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Chia Seeds
January 31, 2012
8:51 am
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 19
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June 26, 2011
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Hi all

 

Anyone have an opinion on chia seeds.  Getting alot of good press over here as a super food containing all the amino acids for a plant protein.

 

Cheers ubetido

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February 1, 2012
2:38 pm
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ubetido:

Nutritionally, they appear very similar to flaxseed.  And though they're trumpeted as being rich in minerals, they have a very high phytate content (like most seeds), so most of those minerals are not very bioavailable.  Add to that all the usual antinutrients in seeds and the fact that ALA is not easily converted to the long-chain n-3s that our body requires (particularly DHA), and I see no reason to consume them unless you're so poor that you can't afford meat and eggs.

Think of it this way.  What's likely to be more like a human, and provide more of a human's nutritional needs: a baby chicken (an egg), or a baby chia plant (a chia seed)?

JS

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February 1, 2012
6:26 pm
Gnoll
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June 26, 2011
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Hi JS

very high phytate content

 

I have been taking them for a while an have developed stomach cramps after i eat which i wasn't getting before.  Does that phytate have this effect in us.

 

Regards

Ubetido

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February 1, 2012
7:30 pm
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Not to my knowledge: phytate binds minerals, but it doesn't cause stomach upset AFAIK. 

My guess is that you're experiencing side effects from the trypsin inhibitors (or other protease inhibitors) in the raw seeds.  Seeds don't "want" to be eaten, and if eaten, they don't "want" to be digested: they generally contain chemicals that inhibit the digestive enzymes of animals, in hopes that they'll be pooped out while still able to germinate.  It's the same problem you'll get eating undercooked beans (don't do this...6-8 raw red beans will put you in the hospital).

JS

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February 2, 2012
6:12 am
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 19
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June 26, 2011
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Hi JS

 

I am just puzzled with the stomach cramp as i normally can eat without any problems and also when taking the chia seeds.

 

The only thing i can think of is that i don't normally eat alot of vegetables.  Last week i decided to add vegetables to the diet.

 

I added broccoli brussel sprouts and cauliflower i steam them add cheese and some salsa.  Wonder if my stomach perhaps was not ready for the fibre onslaught..lol.

 

So i guess i will have to take a step back do an elimination process

 

Chia seeds i normally place in blender with milk and thats it.

 

Regards

Ubetido

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February 2, 2012
2:44 pm
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Heat often decreases the activity of protease inhibitors in seeds.  That's why raw beans are often poisonous or indigestible, whereas cooked beans can be eaten.  Roasted nuts are usually better than raw nuts, for the same reason.

Unfortunately, flax and chia seeds are generally consumed raw, because the ALA in them is very unstable under heat.  (This is why flaxseed oil goes rancid if you don't keep it cool and in the dark.)  Result: lots of antinutrients.

May I ask why you're eating chia seeds?  Our bodies don't need ALA: we use the longer-chain n-3s like EPA and DHA, and our bodies are very inefficient at upconverting ALA to DHA (less than 1%).

JS

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February 2, 2012
2:59 pm
Halifax, UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 365
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June 5, 2011
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... there is a lot of "paleo advice" towards seeds and nuts, which actually, when you look at it is quite contrary to real paleo. I think that might actually be one of the faults of paleo, that nuts and seeds are considered so good ... when in fact, using paleo as a yardstick for scientific reasoning, we find actually nuts and seeds are so full of omega-6 and poor sources of omega-3 that we might as well not bother.

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Living in the Ice Age http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk
February 2, 2012
7:42 pm
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 19
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June 26, 2011
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Hi Again

 

Thank you for the replies.

May I ask why you're eating chia seeds?

Initially it was that they have a great ratio of 3 to1 omega 3 to omega 6. and i don't like fish that much only once in a while.

They have the complete amino acids which plant foods don't normally have

I see mixed write ups saying they are more protein than carbs but i think its the other way around the more i am reading also have come across people saying they are getting stomach pains taking them long term.  So i am becoming cautious of them.

 

Also i have recently found out they are very high in iron so that is not good for myself due to hemochromatosis (other thread).

 

They are not cheap so there may be some vested interested in keeping the machine oiled. 

They are being touted a superfood but i think thats being abit over excited.

 

It seems unless you eat meat (this is where the protien is) its hard to get the requirements up without uping your carbs   With hemo i have to watch the iron levels. 

I tend use eggs but then end up having too many etc

 

Regards

Ubetido

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February 3, 2012
6:03 am
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There's nothing in chia seeds you can't get from real food.  As far as omega-3s, chia is just ALA, which isn't very useful.  If you don't like fish, I'd take fish oil supplements before I ate chia seeds.

Mainly I think they're the fad food of the moment.  Flax seeds, wheatgrass, blue-green algae, acai berries...there's always some magical plant food being touted.  Meh.  Complete protein, essential fats, and most vitamins and minerals come from meat (including fish), without the antinutrients and stomachaches.

JS

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