Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chia seeds; a superfood and a way to good health.

I have known the health benefits of chia seeds for some time.  What I didn’t know was that they also can greatly reduce or eliminate arthritic pain. This was confirmed to me by a friend who takes two spoonfuls of chia seeds per day (one in the morning and one in the evening) and is not suffering from arthritic pain anymore. I discovered that a lot of people have never heard of “chia seeds.” So, people who suffer from ill health may find this article interesting and may find it worth giving chia seeds a try. There is nothing to lose, but good health to gain.

And as the saying goes: “Being healthy is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.”  Chia seeds are easily available at chemists, health shops or online. Please forward this posting to your contacts, the easiest way to do this is to copy the title and paste it into the body of the e-mail; it will then become a live link direct to this posting  - Werner
Chia Seeds - The Pinnacle Super food.
Chia seeds are one of nature's most perfect natural foods, and regarded by many nutritional experts as the pinnacle super food. Chia is a food that gives you high sustained energy, high fibre, and high perfectly digestible protein for muscle, and tissue regeneration.

There are immediate benefits and accumulated sustained health benefits from including chia seeds in your eating habits.
Some like energy, and healthy regularity, you will notice right away. Others like joint support, cardiovascular health, weight loss, muscle regeneration, etc. will exhibit itself after prolonged use. Overall, your health will be greatly improved with the regular addition of chia seeds to your daily eating habits. Small healthy changes to our daily habits that will become part of our enjoyed healthy daily routine will become second nature and greatly improve our quality of life.

Many respected experts say if they could have just one cup of food a day, chia seeds would be it. Not only does it have super nutritional value, but it tastes good, is inexpensive, goes well with many other foods, supports weight loss, and helps with a variety of medical conditions. Below we have listed short summaries of its various benefits. The more you learn about, and try chia seeds, the more you will love them.

Chia seeds are small oval seeds with a diameter of one millimetre. They are brown, grey, black, and white. They typically contain approx. 20% protein, 34% beneficial oil, 25% dietary fibre, and significant levels of antioxidants and Omega 3 and 6. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regard chia as a food with an established history of safe consumption. There are no known toxic effects of chia seeds, so you may consume without worries.

High Protein Food:
Chia has a higher percentage of protein than any other grain. Chia's protein is easily absorbed and digestible and can replace the protein supplied in protein shakes. It is a complete protein source, with all the essential amino acids (19 amino acids total) in appropriate balance.

High Fibre Food:
Chia is an excellent food source of high fibre. 5%-10% mucilloid soluble dietary fibre (helps lower cholesterol and manage diabetes) 90%-95% insoluble dietary fibre (promotes healthy regularity). Taking chia daily will greatly aid your regularity, and sweep out old debris in your intestines helping to detoxify your system naturally. Chia aids in the assimilation of other foods and hydration retention.

High Antioxidant Food:

Chia is a natural food that has high antioxidant levels, more than blueberries. This gives dry seeds a 4 to 5 year shelf life. To name some of the more important antioxidants chia provides: chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol flavanol glycosides.

Omega 3 and 6:
Chia is the richest natural source of Omega 3. Omega 3 and 6 help our brain functions and brightens our mood. They also help our central nervous system and cell membranes health. Chia has a favourite ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6, and has the highest known natural percentage of alpha linolenic fatty acid. More than flax seeds (which needs to be ground, and has a limited shelf life) or salmon. Omega oils are important for vitamin assimilation and for the health of your vital organs, especially your thyroid and skin cells. Chia contains long chain triglycerides in the right proportions to reduce cholesterol on arterial walls. Chia is an important part of heart healthy eating and cardiovascular health.

High Energy Food:

Chia is known as a mega energy food. Athletes (like runners, climbers, weight lifters, etc.) take it because of it's prolonged sustained release of energy. It has twice the potassium as bananas. It easily gives me sustaining energy for my daily cardio and resistance workouts. You will be amazed at your energy increase.

Natural Weight Loss Aid:
Chia is called the 'Dieter's Dream Food'. It bulks up other foods, displacing calories without changing the flavour. It is filling, so you eat less, yet you don't feel weighed down. It also helps clean out your intestines.

Muscle and Tissue Regeneration:

Chia seeds promote regeneration of muscles and tissues that have been damaged. Chia's essential fatty acids boost metabolism and given it's being an optimal source of protein and balanced amino acids, build and maintain lean muscle mass. Chia seeds and chia seed oil, applied externally, or taken internally, are great for your hair and skin.

Stabilizes Blood Sugar:
Chia seeds are great for the 'diabetic diet'. When eaten with other foods it creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down. This slows the conversion of carbs into sugar. The energy from food is released more steadily, thus not getting a sugar spike after eating foods. Chia helps lower insulin sensitivity. It also lowers systolic and diastolic pressure.

Joint Pain Relief:
Daily use of chia over time will greatly reduce or eliminate joint pain. Many with joint pain and the choice of surgery or giving up physical activity, experience an end to joint pain after a few months of use without giving up activities they enjoy.

Hydration and Electrolyte Retention:
One property of the chia seed, when exposed to liquid, is that it is a hydrophilic colloid. That is a gel like substance that’s forms the underlying elements of living cells. The seeds absorb and retain 10-12 times their weight in water. Consuming them helps you retain hydration and your electrolyte balance. This property also aids in the digestion of other foods.

Easily Digestible Food:
Chia is very easily digested and assimilated by our bodies. There are no known food allergies, or sensitivities to chia. It is not toxic.

Medical Conditions:
Chia seeds are said to help with the following medical conditions: Anti-inflammatory - Healing wounds – Constipation - Prostate problems - Attention deficit disorder – AIDS - Thyroid disorders – Menopause – PMS - Digestive problems – Diabetes - Celiac disease - Hypo-glycaemia - Weight loss – Cholesterol – IBS. For Acid Reflux Take 1 1/2 tablespoons with just enough water to swallow, wait 5 minutes (time for the chia to absorb stomach acids) drink a glass of water.

Naturally Organic Food Advantages:
Insects dislike chia, so it is not treated with pesticides. It is mechanically harvested and cleaned. So it is naturally organic. Don't fall for the high prices of organic or white chia. Chia is typically the same.

Long Lasting:
One fantastic property of chia seeds is they have a very long shelf life. 4 to 5 years for dry seeds, and 2 to 3 weeks for refrigerated gel.

Inherent Vitamins and Minerals:
Vegan – Kosher - GMO free - No trans fat - Gluten free - Trace levels of sodium - Balanced ratios of macronutrients - High in: B vitamins - Calcium (more then milk) - Phosphorus - Potassium (more than bananas) - Zinc - Boron – Copper - Magnesium – Manganese – Iron- C vitamins.

How to make a “Chia Fresca,” the perfect before-the-gym endurance drink? To be taken about 30 minutes before a workout.
1 cup spring or filtered water
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 teaspoons fresh lemon or lime juice
2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey
Whisk the chia seeds into the water and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes. Stir in lemon or lime juice and agave and whisk well. Drink immediately. Makes 1 serving.
Chia seed are good tasting and versatile:
The taste of chia is very mild. Many say it has no flavour, while some say it tastes slightly nutty. You can take chia seeds raw by themselves, or sprinkle them on salads, soups, cereal, etc. Try stirring it in your favourite Greek yogurt. The easiest way to take them is to stir a couple of tablespoons in a glass of water, stirring occasionally to keep from clumping, waiting about 5 minutes for the seeds to soften, then consume.

You can also cook with them and add them to virtually any food or drink without changing the flavour, but greatly enhancing it's nutritional value. When chia seeds come in contact with liquid, they start to turn into gel. This gel is a great thickener for sauces, etc. A chia gel is made by adding a small to moderate amount of water to a portion of chia seeds; this is perfect to add to recipes and will keep for weeks in the refrigerator.

Cooking does not negatively affect the good properties of chia. Many like chia in their juices, smoothies or shakes, others like to take the gel in their baked goods. Chia Fresca is fresh natural lemonade mixed with chia seeds, it is refreshing and very nutritional. Chia flour, chia oil extract, and chia sprouts are also available. We like to take 2 tablespoons in a glass of water about 3 times a day, it's easy and efficient.
Source of this article: http://www.healthy-eating-guidelines.net/chia-seeds.html 
My thought for today.Werner
Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it. ~Josh Billings
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Monday, July 8, 2013

When you live in Australia, be always aware of snakes.

When you live in Australia, especially in the northern half, you are always aware of the presence of snakes and, to keep your house or car doors closed is an absolute necessity.  I went to my garden shed one night and in the light beam of my torch was a 1.4 metre black snake in strike position in front of a big green frog; seconds away from its death. My light made the snake to disappear, and I can still see the smile of the green frog whose life I just had saved. You certainly never go in your backyard without a light.

I remember the story that made the front page in our daily newspaper, the Cairns Post a few years ago. Two Australian interstate tourists drove up the scenic and rainforest surrounded “Gilles Highway” from Gordonvale (About 25 Km south of Cairns) to the Atherton Tableland.

They decided to have something to eat and stopped at a nice spot beside the highway so that they could also admire the wonderful rainforest beside them
. Unfortunately for them, they left the backdoor of their car open. When they continued their drive about an hour later, the driver of the car behind them spotted a carpet snake “looking” out of the window of the backdoor “dangling” in the wind.

The driver in the car behind frantically tooted the horn,
and since it is difficult on this road to overtake, it took some time to find an overtaking lane and the driver called out: “You have a snake in the car.” Well, this couple learnt the hard way to keep car doors closed when stopping in the rainforest. Following is a story from my life, and my close encounter with snakes - Werner

I can say it was a culture and a creature shock for me.  When I arrived in Australia I stood in front of a big learning curve. The fauna and flora was totally different to what I was used to in Germany. And, that was particularly so when I arrived in Mossman in tropical North Queensland with my wife Karola and our three children; to cut sugar cane.

The splendid tropical fauna; the palms and especially the coconut palms; the blue sky; the evergreen rainforest, the nearby Pacific Ocean; the warm tropical climate gave us the euphoric feeling – wow, we’ve arrived in paradise!

Our abode, oh that was a culture shock. It was a kind of a hybrid, embodying all the features of a house, barracks and a shed; nothing to brag about, but it kept the wind and the rain out. The farm had no mains power, but an electrical generator supplied us with light. 

The sugar cane farm was also home for other creatures; in particular venomous black snakes, taipans, death adders, and the non venomous carpet snakes (python). Bandicoots  and rats that live in the sugar cane and find their food there and likewise become food for the snakes. The taipan is one of the deadliest snakes in Australia.

My boss gave me good advice on how to avoid stepping on snakes and getting bitten. “When you walk here, look down in front of you, and if you want to watch birds flying above, stop walking.” I adhered to his advice religiously. I encountered many snakes in my 60 years in Australia, but never stepped on one - yet.  This good advice should be given to our children and anybody that comes to this country. I wondered how I could convey my boss’ advice to our three young children in a practical way instead just spoken words. An opportunity presented itself a few days later, but an explanation first.

Once upon time, sugarcane fires lit the Queensland skies throughout the cane-cutting season. The cane was burnt to remove the dry leaves to make cutting much easier, when the cane was still cut by hand.  Today, this practice has been discontinued and mechanical harvesters have replaced the manual cane cutter. Not burning the cane benefits the environment, and the animals that live there.

To watch a cane fire was a great spectacle and a sight to behold,
especially with the wind behind it, thirty-meter high flames were nothing unusual.  Unfortunately, this spectacle had also a more ominous side to it.  Many small animals, which found food and shelter in the cane fell victim to the fire, if they were not fast enough to escape. They were predominately snakes, rats and bandicoots. The latter two, which escaped to an empty paddock fell prey to hawks circling above. Click on the blue bandicoots link above for more reading about that interesting marsupial.

So, while cutting cane I found a badly burned 4 meter long carpet snake.
Unfortunately, this snake would have died a slow excruciating death, and the boss told me to put it out of is misery. Carpet snakes are nocturnal and generally harmless, but you have to make sure that your fowls and small babies are not exposed to them. I never killed a carpet snake since then; we lived with them, often had to chase them from our “outhouse’ before we could use it. The carpet snakes and death adders were the main cane fire victims, because they move much slower than the other snakes.

This dead carpet snake gave me that golden opportunity to teach our three young children where to look when walking in North Queensland. I formed a 4 foot diameter circle with the dead snake, and put my waterbag some distance past the ‘snake circle.” All three children had to undergo the test separately. Peter, our son, was the first while the girls waited some distance away.

I told Peter to fetch my water bag further up the paddock and I told him to look out for snakes. So, Peter must have fixed his eyes totally onto the waterbag and stepped right into the snake circle. I called out, “stop, look down for snakes; he did;” saw the snake and jumped as high as he could out of the circle. He learnt his lesson to look down and not into the distance when walking, and so did Sonja and Doris who made the same mistake as Peter. This was a valuable lessen for them.

Yes, snakes are constantly on your mind here in the tropics. I remember coming home for lunch, and found Karola and the three children standing on top of the kitchen table, frantically finger pointing under the table where a 4 foot Blake Snake was.

When I worked on a sugar cane farm at White Rock, 10 Km south of Cairns, we lived in a typical; for that time, Queensland house on high concrete stumps.

Another piece of advice I received was that snakes won’t attack you unless they are cornered. I believed this till the following happened.

Our eldest daughter, Sonja, came over to the shed where I was refuelling the tractor. “Dad we just saw through the window a big brown snake going past the house.” I knew straightaway that this was a Taipan.  I was going to chase it away and came over “armed” with a hoe. She showed me in which direction the snake had gone and I proceeded slowly in that direction with my hoe firmly in my two hands.

I hadn’t gone far when I saw the tail of the snake in front of me, and then the snake looking at me, raised into a striking pose.
I was probably only a second away from being bitten, and had no choice but to strike first with the sharp part of the hoe - the snake was dead and cut in three parts. Putting the three pieces together; it measured 2.2 meters; it was a Taipan.

The assertion that snakes only attack when cornered was debunked. This snake wasn’t cornered, in front was a gully and left and right was open space.

My thought for today. – Werner
People make mistakes, gain experience, and learned from them and it all counts as part of life lessons. Wazim Shaw
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