FlaxandChia

Flax and Chia seeds are two powerfully-charged Super-seeds, that have only recently been introduced to us here in America. I say recent because these two precious seeds have been treasured, consumed, and used by many ancient cultures for thousands of years.

Let’s begin with the flaxseed, its origins can be traced back 6,000 years to the region of the Middle East. More accurately, the area of the Middle East in the actual vicinity where all Biblical accounts have been written about. As I did my own research on the word “Flax” and traced it back to its Biblical time period. I found out that the word flax is mentioned several times in the ancient Hebrew writings of the Bible. In the Hebrew tongue the word used for flax is “pishtah” pronounced “peesh-tah”. Our Ancient Hebrew Ancestors had been blessed with the amazing flaxseed from which the flax plant is produced. As I traced the word back into the original ancient Hebrew language from which the Bible has been translated. I soon discovered the Hebrew people had a variety of uses for this precious flaxseed. I would imagine they had a great appreciation for this wonderful plant that supplied much of their sustenance, they utilized every part of the plant, and nothing went to waste. Here are some of the many ways they would have applied flax to their daily living: weaving the plant stalks into fabric and utilizing it in making all sorts of garments, shelter, and bedding. Flaxseeds were one many staple foods in their diet. They would grind it into flour, press it for oil, and also use it in medicinal applications. Our Hebrew ancestors may not have known the nutritional break down of the flaxseed that we have understanding of today. But they sure had a more intimate knowledge of the power and value that this dynamic seed possessed, and the abundance it offered to their lives.

The remarkable chia seed……Most of us growing up as children remember the commercial for the chia pet and the catchy tune that they sang…. “Cha-Cha-Cha Chia”. I can recall as a child wanting a chia pet, but sadly never got one! Back then I would have never thought that as an adult I would actually be consuming those tiny seeds on a daily basis. Sheesh…with all the chia seeds I have now, I could actually make and grow my own chia farm!

Chia seeds have a pretty interesting history themselves; the first record of Chia was reported as early as 3500B.C. by Mayan and Aztec tribes. It was, in fact, one of the staple foods in their diet. Later between 1500 and 900B.C, it was grown in Mexico by the Teotihuacan and Toltec tribes. All of these tribal people had some interesting uses for the chia seed. Aside from being eaten in its whole form, the chia seed was anciently used for many things. It was readily used in medicinal aids, ground into flour for bread, pressed for oil, and mixed into drinks. It was beneficial in that it could be preserved for a relatively long time (perfect for traveling). In addition to these practical uses, the chia seed was rooted in the blood of the Aztecs. They included the use of these seeds in religious ceremonies and ritual sacrifices, they were extremely sacred to them. These ancient civilizations accredited chia seeds to granting supernatural powers. In the Mayan tongue, “chia” means “strength”. This probably has something to do with the ample amount of endurance provided by the chia seed. Ancient tribal warriors attributed their stamina and vitality to these tiny seeds. Even in our present day, the Mexican Tarahumara tribe are renowned for their runners. These runners were known to drink a concoction called “Iskiate”, a mixture of chia seeds, lemon, and water. After drinking, they were known to have the ability to run hundreds of miles.

Today, chia is grown abundantly in several Latin American countries, but Australia is fast becoming the main producer. What a huge gift we have within this tiny package that packs a wallop of a punch in the nutritional department.

A Powerhouse of Nutrition in Two Tiny Super Seeds

Nutritional Value of Flaxseed and Chia Seeds

  • Both are a rich source of plant based Omega-3 Fatty Acids, called Alpha-Linoleic Acid (ALA). These “essential fats” also aid the body in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. “Some experts say,” that making a conscious effort to consume a serving or more of the two of these seeds on a regular basis may contribute to offsetting the higher ratio of Omega-6 dominance in many. The reason being, they hold a much higher ratio of Omega-3’s vs Omega 6’s, the ALA profile in a serving (3Tbls.) of flaxseeds is well over 6 grams with a ratio of 4:1 and chia seeds provide almost 5 grams with a ratio of 3:1. When compared side by side to other seeds and nuts you find the complete opposite, more Omega-6 dominance. With heavy consumption of seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes that have extremely unbalanced ratios. This is a main contributor when it comes to preventing the body’s ability to convert ALA omega 3 fatty acid to the more beneficial DHA and EPA.

Our bodies can’t produce these “essential fats” they are only obtained through the foods we eat, its’s imperative that the foods we choose are from quality sources. This is just one of many changes we can make to offer some balance of these “essential fats” to our bodies. Another crucial component to help balance the Omega 6:3 ratios is implementing a diet full of healthy-quality God designed fats like (grass-fed butter, tallow, ghee, avocados, extra-virgin olive and coconut oils) as well as making a choice to eat only free-range, 100% grass fed, wild caught meats and fish. Making a decision to completely move away from consuming the foods that are in the Standard American Diet (SAD). The reason being (SAD) is completely made up of GMO-man-made foods that are heavily processed and chocked full of chemicals, sugars, oils and fats that our bodies do not recognize and can’t efficiently utilize.

  • Both are ranked to be top plant based sources of protein. These are among the many reasons these two super seeds are a great addition to any individual’s diet; who desires to put on lean muscle, burn fat, and balance sugar levels. Also having high levels of antioxidants as well as containing many essential minerals and vitamins many of us are deficient in. For example, both are high in magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, potassium, copper, and zinc. The nutritional composition of flax and chia differ slightly in that flax has the added nutrients of selenium and vitamins B1 and B6, whereas chia is a great source of calcium and niacin.
  • Both contain superior amounts of fiber, a necessary component for healthy digestion. Due to the high fiber content and healthy fats they act as a natural blood sugar balancer. Fiber is also essential for our body’s ability to balance insulin levels. These seeds offer incredible benefits in the area of the intestinal tract, due to the water soluble mucilage gel fiber content they contain. When ingested they form this gelatin-gel like substance that aids digestion by keeping food in the stomach from emptying too quickly into the small intestine. This slows digestion causing you to feel fuller longer reducing sugar cravings and can also aids in improving nutrient absorption.

The Multitude of Health Benefits These Super Seeds Offer:

  • Fights Breast, Prostate, Ovarian, Colon, and Cervical Cancers-(causes death in cancer cells without harming healthy cells)
  • Hormonal Balancing and Menopausal Symptoms-(estrogenic properties, helps maintain cycle regularity, decreases chance of osteoporosis)
  • Coronary Heart Disease/ Heart Attack- (protects the heart by lowering blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and inflammation)
  • Curing Symptoms of Diabetes- (naturally balancing blood sugar and insulin levels)
  • Sign of Aging/Healthy Skin and Hair-(speeds up skins repair systems, improving symptoms of rosacea, acne, eczema)
  • Eye Health-(reduces dry eye syndrome)
  • Weight Loss/Boost Energy and Metabolism-(curbs hunger and suppresses appetite
  • Digestive Health/Bowel Regularity and Healthy Stool- (soluble-fiber works as a prebiotic supporting the growth of probiotics in the gut)
  • Bone and Dental Health- (packed with many essential minerals)

 Ways to Eat These Two Incredibly Edible Super Seeds:

There is a variety of ways to incorporate a serving or more of these super seeds into your meals daily. Examples of this would be adding them to smoothies, porridge, making raw pudding, yogurt, kefir, and healthy homemade baked goods like muffins, cookies, breads, and crackers. If you’re not too familiar with using these seeds, allow me to share some information and tips I have learned along the way! Hopefully this may benefit you in some way, if you choose to incorporate these super seeds into your diet!

How to Use These Super-Seeds:

  • First of all, when using these seeds for making baked goods keep oven temps below 300 degrees. In order for the Omega-3’s (ALA) to remain stable.
  • To access the most nutrients available from these seeds, specifically the flaxseed there’s a few things to consider, to attain the most nutrients possible.
  • IF EATEN IN THEIR WHOLE FORM FLAXSEEDS WILL PASS RIGHT THROUGH YOU UNDIGESTED. ALWAYS GROUND UP FLAXSEEDS IN A COFFEE GRINDER BEFORE EATING, IN ORDER FOR YOUR BODY TO ACCESS THE OMEGA 3’s AND OTHER NUTRIENTS, THIS PREPARES THEM FOR ASSIMILATION AND DIGESTION.
  • TRY TO ALWAYS PURCHASE FRESH WHOLE ORGANIC FLAXSEEDS. IF YOU DO BUY PRE-GROUNDED FLAX, REFRIDGERATE AND LIMIT THEIR EXPOSURE TO AIR. THE REASON BEING, FLAXSEEDS BEGIN TO GO RANCID AND DENATURE FAIRLY QUICKLY. IF GROUNDING FRESH, LIMIT EXPOSURE TO AIR AND USE PROMTLY OR REFRIGERATE RIGHT AWAY.
  • TO BREAKDOWN ANY ANTI-NUTRIENTS (Phytic Acid) FOUND IN THESE SEEDS YOU CAN ACCESS THE MOST NUTRIENTS BY SOAKING (PREDIGESTING) THEM BEFORE USING. (which means adding warm 110-degree water with 2tsp- 2Tbls. depending on the culturing medium you choose to use. Here’s some options you may already have on hand, apple cider vinegar, liquid cultured whey, sea salt or lemon juice). Liquid cultured whey can be used in place of water; if you happen to have that much on hand. Mix grounded seeds with water and culturing medium (a little at a time) in a bowl till it resembles consistency of a pretty thick batter. Let rest covered in a warm 70- 80-degree area out on the counter or in the oven with the light on (oven would be off). If limited on time let soak/rest for a minimum of 6 hrs. all the way up to 24hrs, which is best. Also have option of soaking more than amount needed for recipe just place unused portion in a container in fridge for use at later time.)

 * Note- The amount of water and culturing medium used is solely dependent on the amount of grounded seed flour you will be mixing. If using sea salt (natural preservative) as your medium only use amount needed for recipe…you don’t want it to be too salty!

  • CHIA SEEDS CAN BE GROUNDED, SOAKED, OR EATEN WHOLE. UNLIKE FLAXSEEDS CHIA DOESN’T NEED TO BE SOAKED IN ORDER TO ACCESS ITS NUTRIENTS. CAN BE EATEN WHOLE AND STILL ATTAIN ITS “ENERGY-PACKED” PUNCH. IF GRINDING UP LARGER AMOUNTS IN ADVANCE STORE IN REFRIGERTOR OR FREEZER TO RETAIN NUTRIENTS AND FRESHNESS. SOAK CHIA AT A 1:10 RATIO CHIA TO WATER. MEASURMENT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE EXACT, YOU DO WANT IT TO GEL, SO LET IT SIT FROM 30 MINS- 2HRS. DEPENDING ON THE AMOUNT.
  • FLAX AND CHIA CAN BE USED AS AN EXCELLENT EGG REPLACEMENT IN RECIPES. HERES HOW- FOR ONE EGG: 1-TBLS. GROUND FLAX OR CHIA SEEDS TO 3-TBLS. WATER, MIX AND LET SIT TILL WATER IS COMPLETELY ABSORBED…ITS READY TO USE AND WORKS GREAT! *Note- In my experience the flax and chia eggs work best when used in baking recipes. Those containing non-gluten grain-free flours or even gluten flour (preferably cultured/sourdough) recipes.

Crunchy Cheesy Italian Herbed Flax-Chia Cracker Recipe

Gluten-free, Grain-free, Corn-free, Yeast-free, Sugar-free, Dairy-free

Makes up to 50-60 crackers (depending on thickness and size of cracker)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups freshly ground organic flaxseeds {soaked or not}
  • ½ cup freshly ground organic chia seeds {soaked or not}
  • 2 tsp. Italian Herb Seasoning
  • 2-3 tsp. nutritional yeast {optional: this is the cheesy flavor in recipe}
  • ½-1 tsp. Himalayan pink sea salt or any quality sea salt- to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup avocado oil {can also use water in place or half/half}

Optional add Ins- once you get comfortable with making these crackers fill free to experiment and improvise: by substituting different herbs, oils, add-in or even changing up the seeds I’ve used. Using seeds like hemp, ground raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds, almond flour, and even coconut flour. Of course you may need to adjust the wet ingredients by adding a little more oil or water so that is sticks together well, a dough consistency.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to lowest setting 180F-200F two large baking sheets. Set aside. (option: can also use dehydrator)
  2. Take a large mixing bowl place all ingredients in bowl in order listed above. Mix all ingredients with a fork or spoon until well combined and everything is sticking together to form a ball. Tip: taste dough before baking to make sure it seasoned to your liking.
  3. Divide dough into 2 portions, take 4 pieces of parchment paper the size of your baking sheets. Place ½ of the dough onto one piece of parchment paper, then place second piece of parchment on top of dough. Use a rolling pin and roll out dough evenly to about a ¼ inch thick. Score crackers into 1 inch squares with pizza cutter or sharp knife. Keeping the crackers on current sheet of parchment, transfer the sheet to baking sheet. Place that baking sheet aside and repeat same steps with remaining dough.
  4. Bake for 1 ½ hours or so, time will vary greatly depending on oven type and heat source; also how thick/ thin you make your crackers. Half way through baking, flip crackers over and remove parchment paper to allow the crackers to crisp up. You would like the end result to be crisp, and crunchy with no moisture left in crackers.
  5. Remove baking sheets from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 15 mins.

Now enjoy your crispy, crunchy grain-free crackers with some raw cultured cheese, maybe some homemade hummus, or some delicious creamy dip or spread (made with some fool proof mayo). Top it off with some thinly sliced veggies like cucumbers, radish, tomatoes, avocado, and maybe some fresh herbs, micro greens or some fresh green spicy radish sprouts…. So Yummy and Delicious!!

Source Articles:

10-Flaxseed Benefits and Nutrition Facts- www.draxe.com

9 Chia Seed Benefits + Side Effects- www.draxe.com

Is Omega-6 More Important than Omega-3? - www.Mercola.com

Chia Seed History and Origin- www.ancientgrains.com

E-sword android app

Post By Tara AhQuin For Align Utah