Tag Archive for: ‘Antioxidants’
Chia Seeds – Find it, Eat it now!

What Are Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are one of the most powerful, functional, and nutritious superfoods in the world.  The chia seed is an amazing source of fiber and protein.  It is full of antioxidants and vitamins, minerals and is the richest plant source of omega-3. Yes, even better than flaxseeds.

A member of the mint family the plant is Salvia Hispanica and grows in southern Mexico.  Chia seeds were a daily component of the Aztec and Mayan diets.  It was thought that 1 T of the seeds could sustain a person for 24 hours.  Aztecs also used chia medicinally to relieve joint pain and skin conditions. It was a major crop in central and southern Mexico well into the 16th century, but it was banned after the Spanish conquest because of its association with the Aztec “pagan” religion.

Easy to grow

Over the past few decades, commercial production has resumed in Latin America.  Insects don’t like the plant, so organic seeds are easy to obtain but since there are no pests on the plants, almost all Chia is grown organically or without chemicals.  Where flaxseed has a very sort shelf life, Chia can be stored for years without getting rancid and the seeds don’t require grinding like the flaxseed, to be able to digest.


2 tablespoons or 25 grams–give you 7 g of fiber as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, and zinc.  More antioxidants than Blueberries.  More omega-3 than salmon.  More Fiber than bran flakes, more Calcium than 2% milk, more Protein, Fiber & Calcium than flax seeds.  These humble seeds give you a boost of energy that lasts also providing stamina and endurance.  Chia Seeds Reduce Cravings because they absorb so much water and have high soluble fiber levels, they help release natural, unrefined carbohydrate energy slowly into the bloodstream.  They are easy to digest and the fiber content actually helps in that digestion.

Chia is 16 percent protein, 31 percent fat, and 44 percent carbohydrate of which 38 percent is fiber. Most of its fat is the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20 (2007).

The Chia seed has gotten very little press and only a little research since it’s revival, but expect much more soon.

In a preliminary study from the University of Toronto, researchers fed 21 diabetics either a supplement made from chia or grains with similar fiber content.  After 3 months, blood pressure in patients taking chia dropped (10 points diastolic, 5 points systolic) while the grain group’s BP remained steady.

Taste & Uses

The Chia seed has a nutty flavor.  Use them whole on cereal, yogurt or salads.  Mix them into your trail mix.  They can be ground and mixed with flour when baking as their nutritional content isn’t effected by heat.

The seeds have a natural affinity to water and when soaked in water create a gelatinous liquid which is just the soluble fiber releasing,  that can be used as a kind of binder in cooking.  In Mexico, Chia is used to create a drink called Chia Fresca.  Stir 2 T of Chia seeds into 8 to 10 oz of water.  Add lime or lemon, sugar to taste and you have a nutritious health drink.

Nutritious Chia Seed Gel

Chia Seed Gel

ways to prepare and use the seeds

1. Make Chia Gel -Chia Gel can be a healthy substitute for milk, eggs, butter, or oil.

  • Mix 1/3 cup of chia seeds with 2 cups of water.
  • Whisk together briskly.
  • Let the mixture rest for about fifteen minutes.
  • Whisk one more time.
  • Put the mixture in a sealed container and refrigerate.
  • Chia gel will keep 3 weeks in the fridge.
  • 1 egg = 3 T water and 1 T chia seeds either whole or ground

2. Chia Flour

You can also enjoy the health benefits of chia seeds when you grind them into flour. You can do this yourself or purchase ready-made chia flour. Use chia flour to bake pizza crust, pies, bread, cookies, biscuits, and anything else. Combine it with whole wheat or barley flour. Experiment with the ratios until you get what you like. Of course you can also use chia flour alone, but it might take some practice. Chia is gluten-free so there isn’t a problem with that.

3. Chia Butter

Chia butter is a great low-fat, high-protein alternative to regular butter. There is still real butter in the recipe but it’s only half. So you get the creamy flavor of butter, but only 1/2 the fat, and you get the additional health benefits of chia.

  • Take equal proportions of chia gel to softened butter.  Around 3 to 4 oz  of each.
  • Combine them together in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  • Put in an airtight container and refrigerate.
  • Use the chia butter anywhere you would use normal butter – on toast, for cooking and baking, or as a sandwich spread.
  • Try adding some fresh herbs and spices for a savory butter
  • Try adding a teaspoon of agave nectar and a handful of ground almonds, spread on toast and sprinkle with cinnamon
Don’t buy Chia oil because all the preservative antioxidants are in the seed shells, therefore making the oil very perishable.

Recommended Dosage

Nutrition experts recommend you take 1-4 tablespoons per day of chia seeds. You can receive the health benefits through chia ingested raw or cooked. Try and take a little chia every day so that your body experiences long-term benefits from the regular intake of omega 3, vitamin B, calcium, potassium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, and many other fundamental nutrients.

I have read that there is no need to worry about “overdosing” – chia is a 100% natural food and presents no damaging side effects.  Any extra nutrients should simply pass through your body. So you should be able to eat as much chia as you like!


 I conclude that everyone needs Chia seeds in their diet.  If you are wondering, the old Chia pets are these same Chia seeds.  You should be able to find Chia seeds in white or black at least in the health food department of your store for around $10 -12 per lb.  If you can’t find it, it will be available through the Fat Farm Store with links below. – jughandle

1 lb of Chia seeds – $8.40

 3 lbs of Chia seeds – $13.65

6 lbs of Chia seeds – $21.99


Matcha Green Tea – Super Tea?

Matcha is a fine ground, powdered, high quality green tea and not the same as tea powder or green tea powder.  Matcha is also used to flavour and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodles, green tea ice cream and a variety of wagashi.  Blends of matcha are given poetic names called chamei (“tea names”) either by the producing plantation, shop or creator of the blend, or by the grand master of a particular tea tradition. When a blend is named by the grand master of some tea ceremony lineage, it becomes known as the master’s konomi, or favoured blend. – from Wikipedia


Matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves.  Several weeks before harvest, tea bushes are covered to prevent exposure to direct sunlight.  This slows down growth, turns the leaves a darker shade of green and causes the production of amino acids that make the resulting tea sweeter. Then only the finest tea buds are picked. After harvesting, if the leaves are rolled out before drying as usual, the result will be gyokuro (jade dew) tea. If the leaves are laid out flat to dry, they will crumble somewhat and become known as tencha. Tencha can then be de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone ground to the fine, bright green, talc-like powder which is known as matcha.

It can take up to one hour to grind 1 ounce of matcha.

Note that only ground tencha qualifies as matcha, and other powdered green teas, such as powdered sencha, are known as konacha.

The highest grades of matcha have more intense sweetness and deeper flavour than the standard or coarser grades of tea harvested later in the year.
The most famous matcha-producing regions are Uji in Kyoto, Nishio in Aichi, Shizuoka, and northern Kyushu.


Matcha is generally expensive compared to other forms of tea, although its price depends on its quality. Grades of matcha are defined by many factors.

  • Location on the tea bush –  Where leaves destined for tencha are picked on the tea bush is vital.  The very top would have developing leaves that are soft and supple. This gives a finer texture to higher grades. More developed leaves are harder, giving lower grades a sandy texture. The better flavor is a result of the plant sending all its nutrients to the growing leaves.
  • Treatment before processing =  Tencha leaves are traditionally dried outside in the shade and are never exposed to direct sunlight.  Modern drying has mostly moved indoors. Quality matcha is vibrantly green also as a result of this treatment.
  • Stone grinding –  Stone grinding is an art form in itself. Without the right equipment and technique, matcha can become “burnt” and suffer degraded quality.
  • Oxidation – Oxidation is also a factor in determining grade. Matcha exposed to oxygen can easily become compromised. Oxidized matcha has a distinctive hay-like smell and a dull brownish green color.

Health Benefits

The health benefits of green tea and matcha are widely acclaimed. Consequently, matcha and green tea can be found in health food products ranging from cereal to energy bars. In 2003, researchers from the University of Colorado found that the concentration of the antioxidant EGCG available from drinking matcha is up to 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from other commercially available green teas.  Matcha is said to boost metabolism and not just because of the caffeine which is 1/2 the amount found in coffee.  It is known to also help reduce cholesterol levels when consumed regularly.   The aforementioned health benefits of matcha green tea can largely be attributed to the fact that the whole tea leaf is ingested, as opposed to just the steeped water in the case of ‘bagged’ green teas. This means that it delivers a much higher potency of catechins, chlorophyll, and antioxidants. Matcha contains more antioxidants than blueberries, gojiberries, pomegranates, orange juice, and spinach.

There is evidence from clinical studies that suggests that theanine, when consumed by drinking Japanese green teas, may help to reduce or moderate mental stress responses.

Research has also shown that the EGCGs which are a group of antioxidants called catechins, speed up the metabolism, helping the body burn stored body fat.  Not to mention it significantly delays the onset of cancer as well as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. 1  All antioxidants inhibit the aging process by restoring cell tissue and reducing inflammation.

As far as caffeine goes, Green tea contains tannin witch slows the absorption of caffeine into the blood releasing it over the course of 6-8 hours, unlike coffee.

Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one – Ancient Chinese Proverb

Matcha tea is now available from the Farm Store here.  Don’t worry, the price through the Farm Store is no higher than any other price from – Jughandle



NUTRITION: Antioxidants- What are they and do they really help?

From the Nutrition Tab lets learn about – Antioxidants and Free Radicals

A free radical is an unstable molecule.  If you can remember from your high school chemistry an unstable molecule will seek to gain an electron from a weaker stable molecule in order to satisfy its need to become stable.  This is known as oxidation.   WiseGeek has it defined as “the loss of at least one electron when two or more substances interact. Those substances may or may not include oxygen.”  In doing so, this free radical destabilizes the stable molecule and creates another free radical in a chain reaction of cellular destruction.

This process isn’t good for our bodies.  When we are young our body has a greater ability to fight the “free radical” attack, but as we age, it can be overwhelmed by cancer causing free radicals and needs the help of Antioxidants.

Wikipedia defines an Antioxidant:

An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When the chain reaction occurs in a cell, it can cause damage or death. When the chain reaction occurs in a purified monomer, it produces a polymer resin, such as a plastic, a synthetic fiber, or an oil paint film. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. They do this by being oxidized themselves, so antioxidants are often reducing agents such as thiolsascorbic acid or polyphenols.[1]

Although oxidation reactions are crucial for life, they can also be damaging; hence, plants and animals maintain complex systems of multiple types of antioxidants, such as glutathionevitamin C, and vitamin E as well as enzymes such as catalasesuperoxide dismutase and various peroxidases. Low levels of antioxidants, or inhibition of the antioxidant enzymes, cause oxidative stress and may damage or kill cells.[citation needed]

As oxidative stress appears to be an important part of many human diseases, the use of antioxidants in pharmacology is intensively studied, particularly as treatments for stroke and neurodegenerative diseases. However, it is unknown whether oxidative stress is the cause or the consequence of disease.

Antioxidants are widely used as ingredients in dietary supplements and have been investigated for the prevention of diseases such as cancercoronary heart disease and even altitude sickness. Although initial studies suggested that antioxidant supplements might promote health, later large clinical trials did not detect any benefit and suggested instead that excess supplementation is harmful.[2][3] In addition to these uses of natural antioxidants in medicine, these compounds have many industrial uses, such as preservatives in food and cosmetics and preventing the degradation of rubber and gasoline.

Free radicals attack us from many different environmental sources every day. Some of which are: alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, smoked and barbecued food, harmful chemicals and additives in the foods we eat, sun bathing and pollutants in the air we breath. They assault your cells, large enzyme complexes, Vitamin C, and DNA. After age 28, the major source of aging is the production of free radicals. And with age, the amount of free radicals we produce increases. Scientists have determined that very large amounts of free radicals accumulated in your body, may significantly shorten your life span.


Free radical fighters found in a certain group of nutrients, namely antioxidants, can help protect against a great many free radical initiated diseases. Antioxidants remove free radicals.

It is also believed that antioxidants also stimulate the immune system’s response to help fight existing diseases.

via Benefits of Antioxidants Protect Immune System Antioxidant Formulas.


Natural Antioxidant

The following is a list of what WebMD considers the top 20 antioxidant food sources:

Here’s the list of the top 20 food sources of antioxidants, based on their total antioxidant capacity per serving size:



Food item


Serving size
Total antioxidant capacity per serving size


Small Red Bean (dried)

Half cup



Wild blueberry

1 cup



Red kidney bean (dried)

Half cup



Pinto bean

Half cup



Blueberry (cultivated)

1 cup




1 cup (whole)



Artichoke (cooked)

1 cup (hearts)




1 cup



Dried Prune

Half cup




1 cup




1 cup



Red Delicious apple




Granny Smith apple





1 ounce



Sweet cherry

1 cup



Black plum




Russet potato (cooked)




Black bean (dried)

Half cup







Gala apple



Researchers also found that cooking method also had a significant effect on the antioxidant content of the foods tested, but those effects were not consistent.

For example, cooked Russet and red potatoes had much lower antioxidant levels than those found in raw potatoes. Boiling also decreased antioxidant levels in carrots, but cooking tomatoes increased their antioxidant content.


Ok, I think we can agree that antioxidants are a good thing, so should we use supplements to get more of them?  If so, then which ones and how much?

Keep in mind that many vitamins only work well in conjunction with other vitamins.  An example is vitamin C and E.  Vitamin C helps restore Vitamin E to active form.

Vitamin A is a “fat-soluble” vitamin, meaning that it is oily and won’t dissolve in water.  The good news about Vitamin A is that it is stored in the fat (oil) of our body and is used over a longer time than a water soluble vitamin such as Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is water soluble and therefore is carried by the blood but as such must be replenished daily.

Vitamin E is also fat soluble.  It helps protect the cell membranes.  It is a strong antioxidant.

These three vitamins are important to our health and can be found in many foods.  It is possible when eating a healthy balanced diet to get 100% of the vitamins we need in our food.  But, if you believe your diet is falling short, a simple daily vitamin pill containing at least, A,C and E would be helpful.


Farm On you Fat Farmers,