Posts Tagged ‘chia seeds’

Inflammation Smackdown: Chia vs. Ibuprofen

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

The Lab

Inflammation is a biological response of the body to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens and other irritants. Inflammation represents an attempt to remove the negative stimuli and to begin the healing process. Without inflammation, wounds and infections wouldn’t heal. Unchecked, chronic inflammation can also lead to a host of diseases and for this reason inflammation is closely regulated by the body.

For athletes and those involved in an exercise program, inflammation is a common by-product of training. Inflammation can slow progress, cause loss of muscle mass, and increase body fat. Ironically, what we hope will help us become stronger, faster and healthier can also bring about results opposite to those we wish to achieve. All exercise and sports activities produce some level of inflammation.

How do we overcome inflammation due of strenuous exercise? One popular approach is the use of Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID’s) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxin, etc. Unfortunately, NSAID’s are not without side effects, such as reducing the flow of blood to the kidneys and therefore impairing their function.  They may also be linked to liver failure and intestinal hemorrhage.

Dr. David C. Nieman, the director of the Human Performance Lab at the Appalachian State University, is looking into methods other than ibuprofen for decreasing inflammation in runners. According to the Independent Tribune, Dr. Nieman believes that NSAID’s hurt the body (with the exception of aspirin):

We have shown that it actually causes bacteria to leave the colon and enter the blood stream, and that causes systemic inflammation and kidney dysfunction…Ibuprofen and heavy exercise do not mix.

Dr. Nieman has started looking into the effects of chia seeds on  overweight, post-menopausal women; women who tend to suffer some inflammation. Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, minerals, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. In October he will perform the same study on cyclists. Participants will take 25 grams of chia seeds a day for 30 days. Cycling test sessions will be conducted at the beginning and end of the of the trial where various fitness tests will take place. Half the group will be taking the chia seeds and the other half will take a placebo. According to Dr. Nieman:

We will be able to better determine if there is an anti-inflammatory effect in these studies…So what we really are doing is taking this Chia seed research to an all new level that’s never been done before. This study will determine once and for all if the omega 3 fat in the Chia seed has benefits for obese people and athletes.

Needless to say, we’ll be keeping our eyes on this study and look forward to the results.

Athletes test for impact of Chia seed on inflammation

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Creative Commons License photo credit: lmpicard

Chia Seeds: The Best Source for Food Manufacturers

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

It’s been a busy month of September here at Ingredient Hotline. One development of note on the business side of things is our ability, starting this Spetember, to provide chia seeds to food manufacturers from warehouses within North America.

Chia seeds are one of the hottest trends in food right now. These tiny seeds are absolutely packed with nutritional value and have definitely hit the mainstream. Chia seeds are being extolled on television and in popular literature. Consumer demand for chia is growing. Given it’s properties and characteristics, it can be the perfect component for food applications wishing to leverage the growing desire for natural, healthy and functional ingredients. Awareness of chia seeds has been trending up at a remarkable pace in the last three years:

chia seed search trend

We are happy to announce that Ingredient Hotline is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of North American food manufacturers sourcing chia seeds. For the quantities and prices required by food producers, chia seeds are typically imported directly from South America. However, Ingredient Hotline can provide chia seeds in bulk at wholesale prices from within North America. Compared with alternative sources, we can:

  • provide shorter delivery and lead times
  • handle smaller quantity orders
  • ensure you avoid the hassles of importing into North America

For more information, contact us today!

Could Chia Seeds Help Ease Depression?

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

A significant portion of our population suffer from major depression at some point in their lives. A recent study conducted at the University of Montreal, McGill University in Montreal, Laval University in Quebec City and Queen’s University in Kingston has shown that omega-3 supplements help patients with major depression (excluding those with anxiety disorders). The double blind study had half of the participants taking three capsules a day of an omega-3 supplement containing fish oil over an eight week period and the other half taking a placebo. According to the CBC:

The study found that the supplement helped about half of the sample of patients — those who had depression without anxiety disorders…The researchers could not say if food with omega-3, such as fish, would have the same effect, because their test involved only the supplement form.

The consumption of omega-3 is already a growing trend amongst those in search of a diet that may help improve cardiovascular health, strengthen the nervous system and stop cell aging. Chia seeds are the superior vegetarian source of omega-3 since it contains 18 grams of α-linolenic acid for every 100 grams of seeds. It is also felt that vegetarian sources provide other benefits over fish as a source of this essential fatty acid. Others go further in linking the relief of depression to chia:

The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds has shown some success in the relief of depression symptoms. Research has shown that deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids are contributing factors in many mood disorders, depression among them. Supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids have shown promising results in many who suffer such disorders, decreasing symptoms substantially in some cases.

Chia seeds can easily be added to a variety of food applications such as salads, yogurt, soups, cereal, and even drinks, without altering the original flavor.

By the way, we are not medical professionals. This is simply an interesting study result that we’d like to pass on – yet another potential benefit of chia. People with major depression should discuss the use of omega-3 with their physicians before supplementing their diets with the unsaturated fatty acid.

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Omega-3 eases depression: study