Nutrition

10 Benefits of Chia Seeds

10 Benefits of Chia Seeds

If you have taken a recent glance at healthy recipes online lately, then you have probably come across an interesting, newly popular, ingredient called chia seeds. You may have even started spotting them in tiny packaged at your local grocery store. That is because chia seeds are an up and coming super food that is gaining a lot of popularity, for all the right reasons. Chia seeds are exactly what their title says, seeds; but they are packed full of nutrition! Chia seeds are extracted from chia plants, Salvia Hispanica, a type of flowering plant native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. The chia plant is a flowering species that produce purple and white flower clusters at the end of its stems.

Though some believe that chia seeds are the secret key to weight loss, the truth is, there isn’t a magic seed for weight loss. However, the first step to weight loss and overall health is starting with what you consume. Though studies have yet to prove that chia seeds can in fact keep you full longer and help you lose weight, the nutritional value in chia seeds can still give you a kick start to healthy weight loss. Just a 2 Tablespoons serving can give you nearly half of your daily recommended nutritional intake.

  • Antioxidants

Chia seeds are packed full of antioxidants; they help to protect the fats within the seed from going rancid. Antioxidants work to ward of the production of free radicals within the body. Free radicals can damage cell molecules and contribute it diseases, such as cancer. Antioxidants also have great benefits for your skin. Antioxidants work to speed up the skins natural repair system and prevent future damage. Chia seeds can also help to prevent premature aging of the skin caused by inflammation free radical damage, according to Dr. Axe.  Chia seeds have a higher antioxidant value than any other whole food!

  • Protein

Another great benefit of chia seeds, is the amount of protein that they contain. Chia seeds are compiled of roughly 14 percent protein. High protein consumption can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol. Chia seeds contain 10 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.

  • Fiber

When you first glance at the nutritional facts on a package of chia seeds you may be turned off by the carbohydrates. But wait, if you look closely you will see that of their 48 percent of carbohydrates, 83 percent of those carbs are in fact fiber, according to, Authority Nutrition. Approximately 95 percent of the fibers are insoluble fibers, which have been related to a reduced risk of diabetes. When chia seeds are placed into water or other liquid, they absorb approximately 10 times their weight in liquid and turn into a gel consistency.

  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids

One of the most sought after benefits of chia seeds is the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids that they contain. Nearly 75 percent of the fats in chia seeds are omega-3 fatty acids and around 20 percent omega-6 fatty acids.  Though the omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds aren’t as potent as those found in fish, chia seeds are one of the best plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Blood Sugar

Maintaining low blood pressure is an essential to maintaining your body’s well-being. Lowering your blood sugar can help prevent type 2 diabetes. It also helps to keep you energized longer. Chia seeds help to lower and maintain your blood sugar in a few different ways, such as, the amount of soluble and insoluble fibers. They work to slow down your body’s conversion of starches into sugar.  When consumed with a meal they can allow you to maintain your energy for a longer period of time.

  • Regularity

With the amount of pre-made and processed foods that most people are consuming now days, most of us aren’t getting nearly the amount of fiber that we need. One of the most noticed effects of these poor eating habits is irregularity. In order to maintain regularity, you need a consistent amount of soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet. The outer coating on chia seeds is made up of insoluble fiber, meaning it is unable to be digested. In turn, it works to help keep the digestive process moving smoothly. While the soluble fiber keeps the colon hydrated.

  • Versatility

Sneaking some healthy foods into your diet may be a bit of a challenge, after all there are only so many things you can hide spinach in. Chia seeds are extremely versatile and can be packed into a number of things. Chia seeds, even make a great substitute of butter, oil and eggs in baked goods and breads, even pancakes can be packed full of chia nutrition. Some of the most popular ways people are sneaking chia into their diets are smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, drinks and muffins.

  • Skin Care

The oils in chia seeds are great for keeping your skin hydrated! Chia seed oil reduces trans-epidermal water loss and prevents moisture loss, even in the driest of skin. You can rub chia seed oil directly onto dry areas, you can even add chia seed oil into other products, such as the moisturizer you already use.

  • Muscle

The packed full nutritional value in chia seeds help to boost your body’s metabolism and increases muscle mass. Chia seeds also help to regenerate damaged muscle tissue. The high protein and balanced amino acids work towards maintaining lean muscle mass.

  • High Nutritional Value

Chia seeds don’t just contain higher values of protein, fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also packed full of a number of other vital nutrients, according to, Health With Food.

Top 5 Healthiest Oils That Should be in Your Cupboard

Top 5 Healthiest Oils That Should be in Your Cupboard

When it comes to cooking everyone is always trying to find the healthiest oil to use. Some people even choose to use no oil at all. But in order to stay healthy, you don’t have to eliminate all oils from your diet. Not all oils are bad, and some are even beneficial to your health and diet. Not only do you need to use healthy oils when you are cooking, you also need oils that will retain their nutritional value after being heated during the cooking process. When certain oils are heated to a high heat, they undergo oxidation, which is where they react with oxygen to form free radicals and harmful compounds that you don’t want to consume. According to, the Cleveland Clinic, even though you are switching to a healthier oil, you should still try to consume as little oil as possible.

  • Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is the best oil to use when cooking at a high temperature. More than 90 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are saturated, making them resistant to high heat. Coconut oil has been gaining ground in popularity for its many health benefits and holistic uses. Coconut oil is very rich in a particular fatty acid called Lauric Acid, which is believed to improve cholesterol as well as kill bacteria and pathogens. The fatty acids in coconut oil consist of 92 percent saturated fat, 6 percent monounsaturated fat and 1.6 percent polyunsaturated fat. Coconut oil also slightly boosts metabolism and increases the feeling of fullness in comparison to other fats. When shopping for coconut oil, you should be sure to choose virgin coconut oil as it is organic and has many health benefits.

  • Olive Oil

Olive is extremely popular and is becoming more popular to its health heart benefits. Olive oil is made from pressed olives and has a very simple processing procedure. Olive oil can raise good cholesterol and lower the bad cholesterol in your blood stream. Olive oil is fairly resistant to heat but can still burn at high temperatures. The fatty acid composition of olive oil is 14 percent saturated fat, 75 percent monounsaturated fat, and 11 percent polyunsaturated fat.  When shopping for olive oil you should choose a good quality extra virgin olive oil, it contains more nutrients and antioxidants than refined oils. Olive oil needs to be stored in a cool, dark and dry place to avoid it going rancid. When shopping for olive oil, be sure to avoid the lower quality oils that can be processed with chemicals, rather than through traditional olive pressing. The cheaper varieties may even be diluted with other cheaper or lower quality oils. Light olive oil is refined and extracted with solvents and then treated with heat and sometimes with other oils, like canola and soybean oil.

  • Butter

Butter is among the most feared oil there is. It has long been shamed for its high saturated fat content. The reality is that processed margarine is the one you should stay away from. Real butter actually contains nutritional value and is good for you, in moderation. Real butter contains many vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K2 and Vitamin E. It also contains a great deal of the fatty acids Conjugated Linoleic (CLA) and Butyrate which have powerful health benefits. CLA is believed to lower body fat percentages and butyrate helps fight inflammation and improve gut health. The fatty acids in butter consist of 68 percent saturated fat, 28 percent monounsaturated fat and 4 percent polyunsaturated fat. The downfall to cooking with butter is that it can easily burn when used at high heats due to the sugars and proteins in it. When shopping for butter you should look for butter that is made from grass-fed cows, it contains more vitamins and nutrients in comparison to others.

  • Ghee

Ghee is a form of clarified butter. Ghee is made by simmering butter and removing the liquid residue. Spices can be added to the ghee after it is clarified. The texture, color and flavor all depend on the quality of the butter and milk quality, as well as the duration it is boiled. The difference between clarified butter and ghee is the variations in the production process. Clarified butter is done once all of the water is evaporated and the fat separates from the milk solids. When making ghee you simmer the butter along with milk until it is caramelized, giving it a nuttier flavor.

  • Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a mild flavored oil that can be used for many purposes and in case you were wondering, it doesn’t taste like avocado.  Avocado oil has a very high smoke point which makes it suitable for all cooking methods and temperatures. Research shows that avocado oil has many of the same health benefits of olive oil. It is also a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Research suggests that avocado oil can help increase collagen and decrease inflammation from topical use. It works just as well in salad dressing as olive oil and deep frying like vegetable oil. Avocado oil isn’t as easy to find as some other oils, but it can be found.

The 10 Best Probiotic Foods

Probiotic Foods
Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are the good bacteria that our digestive system needs to stay healthy. Probiotics are naturally found in your body and probiotics can also be taken as a supplement, but there are also many probiotic rich foods that you can consume to help keep the good bacteria balanced in your body. Probiotics work to move food through your gut and can help with many illnesses, including, IBS and IBD. According to WebMD, Probiotic supplements are monitored by the FDA but not in accordance with drug regulations, rather food regulations. In general probiotic supplements are considered safe, but you should always consult with your Doctor before choosing a probiotic supplement.

Probiotics can easily be consumed from everyday foods that you eat. In many cases, you will actually consume more probiotics from certain foods than an entire bottle of probiotic supplements. Consuming a healthy amount of probiotics is the most natural way to keep your gut bacteria in balance and everything running smoothly. If you have experienced gut trouble, probiotics may be an easy alternative to traditional medicine. Gut bacteria have also been linked to other parts of the body, such as your brain function.   The following are great ways to naturally introduce extra probiotics into your intestines without resorting to supplement.

  • Kvass

Kvass is a fermented drink typically made from stale rye, similar to beer, that is quickly growing in popularity due to its probiotic richness. Kvass has become so popular, that it is expected to hit grocery stores everywhere very soon. While kvass is considered a non-alcoholic beverage, the longer it ferments, the more likely it is to increase in alcohol content. Beet kvass can also be made at home with just a few simple ingredients and all of the great probiotic benefits.

  • Kefir

Kefir Is a fermented dairy product, that is very similar to yogurt. It is made of milk and fermented kefir grains. Kefir contains anywhere from 10-34 strand of probiotics and is higher in probiotics than traditional yogurt, because it is fermented with yeast.

  • Natto

Natto is a traditional Japanese dish that consists of fermented soy beans. Natto contains an extremely powerful strand of probiotic, Bacillus Subtilis, which Is a proven booster for your immune system. Bacillus Subtilis can also support cardiovascular health and aid in the digestion of vitamin K2. As well as a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme, Nattokinase, that is proven to help fight against cancer.

  • Raw cheese

Raw unpasteurized cheese is a great source of probiotics because all of the good bacteria isn’t killed during the pasteurization process. Goat milk cheese, Sheep’s milk cheese, and Cow’s milk soft cheese are all great sources for probiotics. Just be sure that it is raw and unpasteurized. 

  • Yogurt

Yogurt is among the most popular consumed product from consumers directly seeking probiotics. Probiotics can be richly found in yogurt made of cow’s milk, goat’s milk and sheep’s milk. Both yogurt and Greek yogurt are popular; but only yogurts labeled that they are made with “Live and active cultures” will be rich in beneficial probiotics.

  • Miso

Miso paste is a fermented Asian seasoning that contains a combination of soybeans, barley, brown rice, and several other grains with Aspergillus Oryzae, a fungus. After fermentation the outcome is a smooth paste with a strong and salty flavor. Miso paste contains millions of microorganisms that is similar to those that live in your intestines. The longer that miso paste is allowed to ferment the more probiotics it will contain. Miso paste is commonly used as a seasoning in Asian cuisine, such as, miso soup.

  • Coconut kefir

Coconut water kefir, is a kefir made with the water of young coconuts. Coconut water kefir is a great choice for those who are looking to add probiotics to their diet without supplements and cannot have dairy. According to, Natural News, Coconut kefir will promote hydration and give you a great source of natural probiotics. Coconut kefir is said to have a far larger effect on the gut than yogurt received probiotics. Kefir is also said to contain yeast that are beneficial to the body. 

  • Sauerkraut

Most people have eaten or at least heard of sauerkraut. It is a fermented cabbage that typically accompanies sausage, it is also a common German side dish. Sauerkraut is packed full of natural probiotics. Cabbage on its own contains a healthy amount of probiotics. As with other fermented foods, the amount of probiotics continues to grow the longer the cabbage is allowed to ferment.

  • Kimchi

Kimchi is another form of fermented cabbage. It is a traditional Korean dish that is made and served beside most every meal. Kimchi is a combination of cabbage with spicy seasoning such as red chili paste. It is a spicy, somewhat sour cabbage, that pairs well with many Korean dishes. Kimchi is very rich in probiotics; both from the cabbage and the fermentation process. As with other fermented foods, the longer the kimchi is allowed to ferment the more probiotics it will contain. Kimchi is often prepared and sealed in large containers for fermentation and sometimes buried just below the ground for the extent of the fermentation process.

  • Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented black or green tea that is lightly sweetened. Kombucha has been used for centuries and is believed to have many health benefits, such as, increased energy, overall well-being, weight loss and of course, a healthy dose of probiotics. One 8oz serving of Kombucha can contain around 1 million probiotics. Kombucha can easily be purchased in serving sized containers in stores, especially stores directed at natural and organic living. It also comes in a variety of sweet flavor combinations.

How to Read the New FDA Nutrition Label

Changes in FDA labeling

The FDA has recently finalized new nutritional facts label for packaged foods. The new label is to reflect new information, such as the link between chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease and a person’s diet. The intent of the new label is to make it easier for consumers to make better food choices by helping to keep them well informed. All information can be found at FDA.GOV.

The FDA states that they are changing it do to how outdated the old one is seeing as it is from 1993. The changes come in an attempt to keep consumers well informed on the food that they are eating. The FDA states that they are not trying to tell people what to eat, rather, to help consumers make well informed choices. The new labeling will go into effect immediately and manufactures have until July 26, 2018 to comply. All manufacturers with less than $10,000 in annual food sales will receive an extra year to comply.  The new nutritional labeling will also be required on all foods imported from outside of the United States.

Nutrition Labels

Features to look for on the new label

The new label will still have the same iconic look that we have all come accustomed to, but it will have many important changes in the information that is contains. These changes come in hope of keeping consumers better informed. The new label will feature changes, such as:

  • Larger bolded serving size
  • Added sugars column
  • Change in the nutrients required
  • Updated serving sizes
  • Updated daily values
  • Actual amount declared
  • New footnote

Updated suggested serving sizes

Food serving sizes are to get a big reality check and that is exactly what is happening. Serving sizes have been updated to reflect what the typical person would eat as a serving vs. what was originally considered a serving. The FDA has recognized that packaging effects serving size, know a 12 oz. soda and a 20 oz. soda will both be labeled as one serving, since the average consumer will consume the 20 oz. at one time. By law, serving sizes must be marked by how much people are eating and not how much they should be eating. The previous serving size requirements were created in 1993 and are vastly outdated and inaccurate. For certain items that are considered multiple servings, but can be consumed in one sitting, the manufacturer must provide a dual column of nutritional facts to meet these needs. The columns will be per serving and per package, in order to keep the consumer informed of the nutritional values at every consumption.

Some are questioning why some serving sizes would be bigger, given that we have an obesity epidemic. These changes are being made to reflect laws requiring the serving size to be what we consume not what we should consume. Recent food consumption data suggest that some serving sizes need to be revised. As an example, the serving size set for a serving of ice cream has previously been ½ cup. It will now be changed to 2/3 of a cup, to reflect the requirements by law.

Not all serving sizes will be going up, for instance, the serving size of yogurt will decrease from 8 ounces to 6 ounces, based on what the typical American actually consumes.

Updated Footnote

The footnote located at the bottom of the nutrition label is changing in order to better explain what the “percent of daily value” means. The new footnote on the label will read, “The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”

Updated information about nutritional science

Some of the key changes in the new nutrition label will include that of “added sugars” that have previously no been included. The added sugars will be calculated in grams and as percent daily value. New scientific data shows that it is difficult to meet nutritional needs while trying to staying within calorie limits if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugar.

The list of nutrients that are required to be listed is also changing. The new label will require that vitamin D and potassium be listed, however, the listing of vitamin A and vitamin C will no longer be a requirement but can be included by manufacturers if they so choose. When the previous guidelines were set, Americans diets lacked vitamin A and Vitamin C, but now vitamin A and vitamin C deficiencies in the general population are rare. The term “calories from fat” will also be removed from the nutritional label due to research showing that the type of fat consumed is more important than the actual amount. The daily values for certain nutrients such as, Vitamin D, dietary fiber, and sodium, will also be updated to reflect newer scientific evidence from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, which was used in the development of the new nutritional labels. Studies suggest that Americans don’t always get enough vitamin D and potassium and when lacking can be linked to an increased risk of chronic disease.

The new added sugars column

New scientific evidence supports reducing calorie intake from added sugars; this is a widely suggested dietary suggestion from many expert groups, including:

  • The American Heart Association
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics
  • The Institute of Medicine
  • The World Health Organization

The average American gets about 13 percent of their total daily calories from added sugar, with the major source being sugar filled beverages such as soda and coffee. The FDA recognizes that added sugars can be a part of a healthy daily plan, but when consumed in excess, it is extremely hard to still consume enough healthy food and still remain within the recommend daily value of calories. Added sugars are considered sugars that are added during the processing of foods or are packaged as such, and include sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices of the same type. This excludes fruit or vegetable concentrated from 100 percent fruit juice, such as that from 100 percent juice concentrate. As well as some sugars found in fruit and vegetable juices, jellies, jams, preserves, and fruit spreads.

Benefits of the Paleo Diet

closeup of a signboard with the text paleo diet on a table full of different raw vegetables, a bowl with some chicken eggs and a chicken

How the Paleo diet makes you look and feel younger?

When it comes to the long list of fad diets, the Paleo diet, seems to be increasingly high on the list. According to, Wikipedia, The Paleo diet, also known as the Paleolithic diet, dates back to approximately 2.6 million years. It is based around the foods assumed to be available to Paleolithic humans.  The paleo diet has become much more than a diet in its fame, but also a lifestyle.

What does the Paleo diet consist of?

The Paleo diet is based around food that we presume were readily available during the Paleolithic time period. It is much more than just consuming non processed foods, but more about not consuming new aged foods at all. The interpretation of the diet has a wide range, but the general gist is not to consume any dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, potatoes, coffee or alcohol. The Paleo diet places a large emphasis on eating vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meats, Fish, and eggs. WebMD states concerns around the diet include, that which suggests our digestive systems are not the same as that of our ancestors and a following a Paleo diet may have some ill effects.

The majority of people switch to a Paleo diet for the overall health benefits, as well as weight loss. But what if eating a truly natural diet can also provide you with natural physical health and beauty? 

How the Paleo diet improve your skin?

Skin problems may be the most common health issue among humans. You can’t even turn on the television or the radio without hearing about the latest trend in skin care, most of which guarantee to be the long awaited beauty secret to give you the most flawless perfect skin imaginable. But did you know that most skin conditions are a sign of a more serious condition or underlying unhealthy lifestyle?

The Paleo diet is very committed to reducing the consumption of processed oily foods, that are a serious problem when you are trying to achieve the healthiest of appearances. By removing food that can cause things such as inflammation, you can naturally decrease the negative effects your diet has on your skin, such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Another underlying cause of, skin conditions, could be your gut. A Paleo diet removes many of the things that are most likely to be the culprit of your bad digestive health. Thus, healing your body from the inside out. Your skin is also very effected by the nutrients you consume, or the lack thereof. Consuming a diet that is rich in fatty over processed food has long been considered the culprit of oily acne covered skin.

You may have heard that the key to beautiful skin, nails and hair is an important nutrient called collagen. You may have even tried over the counter collagen supplements; or like many in desperation you may have even gone as far as drinking gelatin in an attempt to improve the overall health of your skin, nails and hair. But when you are consuming a Paleo diet, stooping to these levels is no longer necessary.

A big notion of the Paleo diet is consuming the entire meat source rather than the mainstream idea of what part you should be consuming. Collagen is found in connective tissues; not largely found in the muscle meat we most often consume. Things such as beef broth and tendons have a high concentration of collagen and are strongly encouraged on the Paleo diet for their vast nutritional value. 

How a Paleo diet effects your hair and nails?

Hair and nails may not be an essential part of our survival, but they are considered a necessary and important part of our natural beauty. The vastly nutrient foods consumed on the Paleo diet contain high concentrations of nutrients significant to healthy hair and nail growth. Like our skin, our hair and nails also need a good amount of collagen. But they also need other nutrients such as zinc and iron in order to be strong and shiny. If you are suffering from a nutritional deficiency, one of the key signs may be the weak brittle state of your hair and nails. 

Can the Paleo diet make you feel younger?

When it comes down to feeling younger, the most obvious answer is being healthy. When you look and feel the healthiest you can be, it is human nature that you would feel like the best version of yourself. Working on your body from the inside out through the Paleo diet is a good place to start. When you consume natural, unprocessed foods you are giving your body the essentials it needs to be in tip top shape, without the added unnecessary things found in the overly processed foods lining the shelves at the supermarket. Most anyone who sticks to a strict diet and doesn’t consume unnecessary junk that weighs them down, begin to live a healthier lifestyle. You know that feeling of wanting to go to the gym, or wanting to get off the sofa and be live a seemingly glamorous life of being fit, but you feel weighed down and without the energy to commit to it? Have you ever considered that it’s the food you consume that is weighing you down?

A Paleo diet is more than just a fad diet; it is, in fact a Paleo lifestyle, focusing on providing your body with the key nutrients and consumption that it needs without all of the fillers and fluff. Imagine if the inside of your body was the healthiest it could be? No added fats, sugars, grains or overly processed mainstream junk; just brain food that could ultimately change your life. The strongest and most committed of those living a Paleo lifestyle believe that it is about so much more than food. It is about restoring our bodies to those comparable to our ancestors and ultimately improving every aspect of our health and longevity.

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