Crazy for Chia Seeds!

Shakeology ingredient, chia seeds, are edible seeds that come from the desert plant Salvia Hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in South America. I’m sure you have seen chia sprouts growing on Chia Pets since the 1980s, but the seeds themselves have a long track record historically as a dietary supplement due to their amazing nutrition! In fact, they date all the way back to pre-Columbian times, where chia seeds were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets; women would give them to the warriors for energy and endurance before battle.

As you can see, Chia seeds have been around for a long time but they’re having a second life so-to-speak as the newest ‘it’ health food and potent superfood! In fact, New York Times recently wrote an article about them where they noted the rebirth of chia seeds from the 80s as a health food, read it here.

So what’s all the fuss about? Well, they’re incredibly good for you! They’re an excellent source of Omega-3, antioxidants, protein and fiber. And what do those things do for your health? They can help you feel full for longer, they can support healthy blood sugar levels, they are rich in Omega 3 which is important to heart and cholesterol health, and they help to support healthy, sustained energy levels.

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All these health benefits, complimented by the fact that they have a very mild taste, make them a great superfood to have on hand to add to salads, shakes, oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, dressings and marinades. You can even add more to your Shakeology for a boost (approximately 1 tsp) but rest assured, they’re already in there so you’ve been getting all these benefits daily for the duration that you’ve been drinking Shakeology. See, you’re ahead of the trend!

When adding extra chia to your Shakeology or any recipe for that matter though, keep in mind that chia is very high in fiber – just 2 tbsp contain almost ¼ of your daily recommended fiber amount. So, just like when you first started drinking fiber-rich Shakeology, make sure your body adjusts gradually; start small and work your way up!

You can also use chia interchangeably with flaxseed, a product many people use as a digestion aid by adding to juices, etc. A couple advantages chia has over flax is that it has a longer shelf life and unlike flax, chia seeds don’t have to be ground before using- they are perfectly digestible in whole form!

Another advantage: when added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar. This can help you feel full for longer making chia seeds a great weight loss tool too!

Enjoy the healthy benefits of chia, one of our favorite superfood-superstars of the year!

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Melanie T. Lost 75 lbs with Shakeology’s Help

via The Shakeology Blog

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“I love Shakeology!!! It is so good for you and it made me feel as though I was taking a proactive step each day towards being healthier!”

What inspired you to change your life and begin your transformation journey?

My children are my inspiration. When I looked at my activity level and their activity level, we were on opposite ends of the spectrum. Fortunately a friend had found Beachbody workout programs and Shakeology a few months earlier and encouraged me to give it a try. (Prefacing it with, this isn’t an overnight process.) I knew at this point in my life, I needed a program that was long term…I needed a lifestyle change!

Tell us about your life before you started the program. How did you feel about yourself and your body?

Prior to starting my Beachbody Challenge in January 2012 I had hit a record (non-pregnant) high for my weight. I hated my body and was extremely self-conscious. I was lethargic, depressed and uncertain of what steps to take to get back on track with my weight and my health. I knew I needed to do something, but I didn’t have the energy or the focus to lay out a plan of attack.

What is the greatest challenge you faced before beginning the program?

I had always focused on dieting and not on my overall fitness. Interval training similar to the Shredfat inc program helped me to realize that weight loss isn’t the only goal I should have, thus helping me to adhere to the workout schedule. The workout schedule was a great motivator!!!

Why did you choose this particular program?

The programs I chose have been based on my goals at the time, weight loss to strength building to toning, each program has had a major impact on reaching my goals! Top priority though is fun workouts that I enjoy doing! 

How has your life changed?

I have become more focused and active. My confidence is higher and I feel healthy, not just “fit”. I love the knowledge I have gained about health and fitness and my ability to share it with others! Plus, I have met a new group of people who share the same goals for a healthier lifestyle!

 

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