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Chia seeds hold potential health benefits

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The holiday season is upon us and everyone’s favorite treats are abundant at both office and family parties. After a weekend of sugar cookies and eggnog some people may be searching for weight-loss aids in their stocking. And strange as it may seem the same seeds that sprouted hair on your childhood chia pet are now being promoted as a weight loss tool to suppress appetite and provide a host of health benefits on the side. Florida’s 89.1, WUFT-FM’s Kristin Hammel reports how these seeds can help in achieveing the number one new year’s resolution…weight loss.

[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/FPChia SeedWrapfinal.mp3]

The hairy potted friends that have provided past generations with hours of entertainment are now serving as a super food. Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica which grows abundantly in southern Mexico. Some alternative health experts are now promoting Chia seeds as an aid in weightloss and balancing blood sugar. Assistant Manager at Sunflower Health Foods in Gainesville, Kathy Marky says there are many health benefits these seeds provide.

A single serving delivers 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber, which is supposedly the key to its weight-loss magic. But there is little evidence that it lives up to that claim. A 2009 study conducted by the Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science at Appalachian State University showed, after 12 weeks, there was no significant influence for obese men and women on body mass, or various disease risk factor measures. Despite the poor weightloss results, health store managers like Markeysay chia seeds contain an excellent source of Omega-3 oils and she adds the use of chia seeds will continue to be in high demand.

She says these seeds are also a great way to keep blood pressure and blood sugar under control. Marky explains the nutritional facts on a pack of seeds sold at Sunflower Healthfoods in Gainesville.

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