Chia Substitutions and Spirulina

Felicia has shared about the wonderful chia seeds; how they are full of iron, even better than flax, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds and don’t forget the fiber it adds to your diet.  In the latest Costco Connection magazine, Yael Grauer also informed us that not only can you add chia seeds to your omelets, cereal, pancakes, salads, yogurt, well almost anything, you can also use chia seeds to replace eggs and oil in your recipes [1].  This I did not know.  To replace an egg, simply grind the chia seeds in a food processor, (I personally would use a coffee grinder or smaller similar grinder).  Add 1 tablespoon of ground chia with 3 tablespoons of water to replace the egg.  According to nutritionist Kurtis Frank, you can also substitute up to ¼ of the oil in baking with chia seeds without adversely changing the flavor.  I thought that this is a great way to get in extra iron and fiber, but also more healthy omega-3 fatty acid, calcium, magnesium, and protein.  Chia seeds are a wonderful gift from nature.

Another new find for me and gift from nature was spirulina.  I have seen the signs in my local health food store, but I really never investigated it until I saw an ad in my email from naturalnews.com about  it.  I thought now is the time to find out about this spirulina.  Spirulina is new only to me, as it has been used since the 9th century.  Spirulina is a blue-green algae rich in protein, minerals, vitamins, carotenoids, and antioxidants.  It is one of the world’s superfoods.  The nutrients found in spirulina include vitamin-B complex, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium and gamma linolenic acid.

Spirulina is used as a protein supplement (which is how I have seen it in the health food store); but also has these added attributes: immune-system power booster, helps with allergies, balances blood pressure, helps to normalize cholesterol naturally, helps to lower stroke and cancer risk, antibiotic-related illnesses, and candmium-induced fetal damage.  It has also been tested in Bangladesh as a help for people with arsenic poisoning.

“Besides being a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals, spirulina is a potent detoxifier.  So as a precaution start with a small dose and work your way up.  The articles I read did list some adverse reactions.  Dr. Mercola listed as prominent reactions you may experience:

  • Slight Fever — The high protein content in spirulina increases metabolism, which may elevate body temperature.
  • Dark Green Waste Matter — Spirulina can remove accumulated waste product in your colon, which may cause darker stool. Also, spirulina is high in chlorophyll. This will also turn waste matter green.
  • Excessive Passing of Gas — This may indicate that your digestive system is not functioning properly or you have an extreme build-up of gas.
  • Feelings of Excitement — Your body is converting protein into heat energy, which may cause temporary feelings of restlessness.
  • Breakouts and Itchy Skin — This is caused by colon cleansing process and is only temporary.
  • Sleepiness — This is caused by the detoxification process and may indicate your body is exhausted and needs better rest.

Remember, your body may go through an adjustment period with spirulina, and your best bet to reduce reaction is to dose gradually to see how your body will react. Increase your water intake, reduce your stress levels, eat according to your nutritional type, and get plenty of rest.”

As spirulina is grown in water and is an algae, it can contain heavy metals from the water where it is grown.  Also, if you are allergic to seafood or iodine avoid spirulina. And Dr. Mercola cautions that if you are pregnant or nursing or have hyperthyroidism, consult your healthcare provider before taking spirulina.

Please also research where your potential source of spirulina comes from.  Spirulina grows in fresh water, so you want your spirulina to come from a clean and safe environment  Buying organic is a must.

PLEASE READ AND RESEARCH BEFORE JUMPING IN.  GOOD SOURCES ARE:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/01/spirulina-the-amazing-super-food-youve-never-heard-of.aspx

http://science.naturalnews.com/spirulina.html

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/spirulina

1. Grauer, Yael. “ Ch-ch-ch-chia!” Costco Connection, July 2013, pp.47.

Marilyn

About Marilyn

I am a "retired senior" (I've been a school librarian and library tech for a government research facility) who is now pursuing a dream of a home business sewing bags of all sorts, crafting and being the creative person I have always wanted to be. I grew up in the center of Illinois and dreamed of actually living back in the state of Colorado where I was born and lived till the age of 7. That dream came true when I met my husband of 43 years while working together in Estes Park. I am interested in alternative medicine, continuing the good health I've always had, while returning to the pre-processed food era of: eating well, losing weight, and using products that do not harm the environment, me, my family and friends. I am for labeling GMO’s, using sustainable products, organics and finding solutions to everyday problems, like colds and sore muscles, using natural remedies. I have a positive attitude that has helped through a very hard year and will bring forth a life that will be full and happy. My family is wonderful and I am a happy lady, wife, mother, and grandma.

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