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London butcher swaps meat slabs for watermelon slices

26 Aug
Master Butcher ditches meat for watermelon

Master Butcher ditches meat for watermelon

Breaking news from Notting Hill Carnival – Portobello Road Master Butcher ‘sees the light’ and swaps slabs of meat for slices of watermelon.

If only this was true, at least for non-carnival days. I fear the only light this butcher has seen is the glimmer of gold coins raining down from the dangly purses of girls desperate to pee. At £2.50 a tinkle, this butcher is carving a fortune from the two days of Europe’s biggest street festival.  Why not? But sadly this line up of watermelon is the only sign of raw fruit/vegetable available to the 1 million visitors. The streets are a smoky haze of carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the result of cooking meat (jerk chicken) at super high temperatures.  Apparently 5 tonnes of jerk chicken are sold each year…That’s a lot of carcinogens…

Watermelon on the other hand is a gift from Mother Universe. Watermelon may have a bad rap as having high GI (glycaemic index) of 72 but because it is constructed of fibre and water, when you look at its GL (glycaemic load) of 4– you need to eat 17 croissants/weetabix to reach the same total GI (McCance and Widdowson’s Composition of Foods).

In fact, watermelon may be the perfect accompaniment to HCA rich BBQ food as it is rammed with Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, capable of mopping up some of the carcinogenic free radicals. It’s high in beta carotene, a great source of Vitamin A, essential for eyesight and preventing glaucoma.  Watermelon is high in Vitamin Bs, particularly B1 (maintains electrolytes) and B6 (converts food to energy, good for red blood cells, immune system).  The gorgeous reddy colour of watermelon means it is full of tomato famous lycopene, yet another antioxidant proven to minimize cancer risks. There is also loads of potassium (water retention, gets rid of kidney stones) and magnesium (the metabolism mineral, sleep, tension, irritability, cramps, heart attacks)

Mmmm jerk chicken vs watermelon? Fingers crossed our master butcher is leading a new trend in carnival food…

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Is London water drinkable?

27 Oct

There’s nothing terribly bad about London water but researching this made me buy my 12L 6 stage filter…

If you can bring yourself to read this – you’ll note that my writing style is a bit different to the usual. I’ve basically copied, pasted and fiddled with my first hack attempt at an ‘academic’ essay written for an assignment for my diploma of Nutrition. I should also add that despite my findings, which were positive, I have invested in a 6 stage, in-home 12L water filter (something I’ll write about at a later date…).

An average 160L of tap water are consumed by Londoners every day, with roughly 4% drunk from the tap.  Should we be drinking it? After all London is an old, big, busy powerhouse of a city, home to 10million people. It generates 55,000 tonnes of waste and pollutants every day that either pour into the sky, are buried in waste pits or are flushed down our drains. In the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea alone 1,420,000m3/day of treated sewage effluent is permitted into the Thames Tideway every day.   Considering the downside of the solvent nature of water’s magical structure of hydrogen bonds is that polar pollutants are just as easily dissolved into it as the goodness of vital nutrients, it would be a miracle to hear that our tap water is not negatively affected in some way.

What’s in our water before treatment?

Most London water is sourced from the Thames River and the rest is from groundwater sources.  Before treatment, this raw water contains many unwanted pollutants; pesticides and fertilisers from farming run-off, microorganisms such as typhoid and amoeba, hormones from the Pill released into sewerage and even radioactive substances from both man-made and natural sources.  In fact, in Japan, radioactivity is such a problem, Tokyo’s tap water is declared unfit for babies to drink after radiation from Japan’s quake-hit nuclear plant.

All London tap water is recycled

It is interesting to learn that water from an average tap could contain molecules that dinosaurs drank.  However it is horrifying to learn that 63% of our daily water consumption at home originates comes from sewerage.

Fortunately, in Britain, water authorities insist not only on primary and secondary treatment of raw sewage (to remove suspended solids and organic matter, and add disinfectants), but also require tertiary processing (to remove nutrients, biodegradable products and even traces of pharmaceuticals and other organic compounds).

Thames Water thankfully has a long list of the process London water undergoes to rid us of the pollutants, which may or may not come from our own effluent.

  1. A storage reservoir holds water for hundreds of days before it is pumped to the works for treatment so that debris – and solid contaminants settle-out, sunlight breaks down organic material and some bacteria die off
  2. Screening ensures that larger floating substances are removed
  3. Clarification occurs whereby a chemical coagulant is added to bind fine suspended material such as silt and mud particles which are then collected off.
  4. The liquid (water) is sieved to eliminate suspended particles and remove some bacteria
  5. Aeration removes dissolved carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and dissolved metals such as iron.
  6. Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) is a step that passes the liquid through highly porous carbon particles absorb and remove pesticides, organic compounds and unpleasant tastes and odours.
  7. Ammonia is added after chlorination as a further disinfectant to form chloramines, which decay at a slower rate compared to free chlorine, which is useful for longer transportation of the water.
  8. Ozone is injected into the water to breakdown pesticides and organic material.
  9. Chlorine is added to the water supply as a disinfectant to create a slightly acidic bacteria and virus unfriendly environment. As necessary as it is to do this, chlorine in tap water has also been linked to increased cancers. Hot water also vapourises the chlorine creating a toxic mist that can cause skin conditions.

What’s in our water from the tap after treatment?

Even though these processes are in play many trace elements remain dissolved in our tap water that escape into the system thanks to hydrogen bonding . According to the Drinking Water Inspectorate and DEFRA water standards, these trace amounts of even some highly toxic substances are considered acceptable for London tap water:

Figure from DEFRA Drinking Water Standards

How does tap water reach us?

In July 2008, London tap water was voted the best in Britain by scientists from the Drinking Water Inspectorate despite the fact that a problem of lead plumbing was highlighted as a weak point. Replacing ancient lead pipes and dealing with plumbosolvency (lead dissolving into water) is one of the biggest issues facing London tap water.  We can blame Prince Albert.

At the time of Prince Albert’s death in 1861, the Thames was an open sewer, a toxic hot pot of bacteria and the source of the cholera epidemic of 1854.  Grief-stricken Victoria insisted that Albert’s passion for public health be a priority.  Engineer Joseph Bazalgette built six west-to-east interception sewers fed by 450 miles of main sewers and 13,000 miles of local sewers to channel London’s waste into the estuary when water was flowing.  The system became the model for cities worldwide and invented the first recycled water process.

The lead piping works cleverly with the capillary action of water to deliver water upstream to people’s homes above ground but the only problem is that the lead dissolves into the slightly acidic water that passes through it, causing lead poisoning and other serious and harmful impacts on the human body. Since the late 1970s, Thames Water has invested in replacing the lead with copper or plastic pipes. Our water is also hardened by adding lime or phosphate to produce a protective layer of lime scale between the water and the pipes and making the water less acidic, hence less easily dissolving the lead that still exists.

The other problem with London pipes is that when the temperature cools dramatically, water expands as it approaches freezing point and bursts pipes.  London homes suffer from this most Winters, hopefully not this one to come.

So is London Water drinkable?

Despite the fact that London tap water has passed through several pairs of kidneys before it reaches the average mouth, and despite the chemicals and trace elements that are found in it, consumers often can’t tell the difference between bottled water and tap. According to a Which survey in 2006 tap water is cheaper, preferred in a blind taste test, more eco-friendly and safe.

The added good news is that London tap water is also heavily regulated according to strict health based standards for documented by the World Health Organisation in the Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, DEFRA. 

I drink it over bottled water but have invested in a water filter at home, from which, I have to say, the water tastes absolutely delicious.

Nutrition blogger sued by US state

26 Jul

Healthy recipes on the Web can put you in jail

Hello. Long time no raw food blog. I’ve been super busy but more importantly I had the fear of a lawsuit on my mind…Luckily not one aimed specifically at me but in January this year diabetes nutrition blogger Steve Cooksey was sued for claiming on his website Diabetes Warrior that the Paleo diet cured his diabetes.  Sued! What a joke!   In case you didn’t know – the Paleo diet is the caveman diet – fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. I don’t agree with this diet but that’s not the point. All of us should be able to blog about whatever we feel passionately about as long as we’re honest about our qualifications…

Steve describes the situation on his blog – In case you did not know… This blog and I are being investigated by the NC Board of Dietitians due to egads!!! I tell people to eat like I do!!!…without a license!!  Horrors!!!

Here’s my story if you don’t know it… I’m just a formerly obese, formerly insulin and drug dependent Type 2 Diabetic… who has normal blood sugar… and I’m drug and insulin FREE!

My source – the conspiracy theory obsessed but informative Natural News tells the story with no holds barred:

He’s being targeted by state “dieticians” (which is another word for “nutritional moron”) who say that Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to “practice dietetics or nutrition.” His website’s advocating of the Paleo diet for individuals who have health challenges is, they claim, a violation of law.

So they’ve threatened him with arrest if he does not take down his website… or at the very least stop advocating the Paleo diet to readers.

Health blogger Richard Nikoley of Freetheanimal.com tells us the good news that Steve-the-legend is fighting back.

He asked Steve’s lawyers: Can the government throw you in jail for offering advice on the Internet about what food people should buy at the grocery store?

That is exactly the claim made by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition. In December 2011, diabetic blogger Steve Cooksey started a Dear Abby-style advice column on his popular blog (www.diabetes-warrior.net) to answer reader questions. One month later, the State Board informed Steve that he could not give readers advice on diet, whether for free or for compensation, because doing so constituted the unlicensed, and thus criminal, practice of dietetics. The State Board also told Steve that his private emails and telephone calls with readers and friends were illegal, as was his paid life-coaching service. The State Board went through Steve’s writings with a red pen, indicating what he may and may not say without a government-issued license.

But the First Amendment does not allow the government to ban people from sharing ordinary advice about diet, or scrub the Internet—from blogs to Facebook to Twitter—of speech the government does not like. North Carolina can no more force Steve to become a licensed dietitian than it could require Dear Abby to become a licensed psychologist.

That is why on May 30, 2012, Steve Cooksey joined the Institute for Justice in filing a major free speech lawsuit against the State Board in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division. This lawsuit seeks to answer one of the most important unresolved questions in First Amendment law: When does the government’s power to license occupations trump free speech?

In my view everyone should be entitled to talk passionately about whatever they want to including the nutrition lifestyle that suits them. As long as the blogger is clear about their qualifications and perspective then who cares. It’s the responsibility of you the readers to take what you want out of it. The raw food diet for example works for me. My experience of eating enzyme rich live foods is extremely positive mentally, physically and even spiritually.  – I’m not eating raw 100% of the time – and when I’m not – I notice it and not in a good way.

Hence 2 things happened to me because of this:

I. took a blooging hiatus, and

2. I’ve signed up to study a diploma of nutrition at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition, founded by guru Patrick Holford.

I’ll keep you posted on the story…and my course…

My dehydrator has sweetened my raw life

19 Mar

Happily home made dehydrated 100% nutrient-rich goodness

My raw food toolkit is now complete and my excuses not to be raw are running just as dry as the banana chip I created overnight.  My Excalibur deluxe 9 tray dehydrator in white has arrived!!

In 12 hours at 37 degrees C, it successfully delivered a feast of dried strawberries, blueberries,raspberries, mango, pears and banana chips. It is super-easy to use and a real revolution, in my kitchen at least.  I can’t contain myself from the joy of making my own dried fruit and more so in the knowledge that all the nutrients and precious enzymes are intact!!!

Raw food is still considered ‘raw’ even if it is heated or dehydrated under 40 degrees C or 104 degrees F.  Anything over this temperature alters the food at a molecular level and therefore can cause damage to precious nutrients and enzymes, which means less for our bodies.

the only, the wonderful, the amazing, the raw life changing excalibur deluxe 9 tray in white

My breakfasts are lifted into a new dimension of colour and flavour and my afternoon snacks are a treat to behold and with the exception of James, who has a strawberry phobia, are the envy of the office…at least the healthier contingent…

Dehydrating goes a long way beyond dried fruit – for example my next exercise in dehydrating will be herb and linseed crackers…I’ll keep you posted…literally…

Fruit and veg sales out the window in a crisis reveal statistics

30 Jan

don't expect to see another promo for Macdonalds on this blog anytime soon!!

Newly released figures from DEFRA state that fruit and veg sales are in sharp decline in the UK. Depressing but not surprising. Fruit and veg are simply much more expensive than a £1 burger from Maccas.  But is price alone the cause of such a drop in consumption?  I don’t think so.  Tescos (and the other retailers) drove a 30% price reduction in fruits and vegs  over the last 3 months, Department of Health has spent £75m in 3 years on the change-4-life 5-a-day campaign and still we ate less.

One reason could be the enormous advertising budgets of fast foods and sweets manufacturers, estimated here on DEFRA at £375m a year.  It’s easy to blame price or big food manufacturers for a veggie sales decline but fundamentally I believe our decisions to eat what we eat, when we eat it, are never rational.  My theory is that while price (perception) is important, we humans can only worry about one thing at a time.  And when the health of our finances is in deep doodoo, we let personal nutrition go to hell. ‘Give me comforting, easy to prepare, and cheap food, now!  I’m busy surviving the crisis!’

Fruits and veg are a hassle to prepare, difficult to eat ‘on-the-go’ and to most people, not instantly comforting.  They are seen a personal indulgence of time AND money and add mixed messages about their impact, they are barely worth the trouble. Nutrition is an abstract long term investment for hippies, sadly not an everyday essential for the masses.  One day…

Parliament are debating the issue as we speak.  I’ll keep you posted.

Here’s the article in The Grocer here:

Fruit and veg consumption has continued to fall in the UK, with Brits buying 0.9% less in 2010 than they did the previous year.

Purchases of fruit and veg were 7.5% lower in 2010 than in 2007, new figures from Defra show, and down 8.7% on 2006 levels.

Poor households have cut back the most, with those in the lowest income bracket buying almost a third (30%) less fruit and veg in 2010 than in 2006.

Fruit bore the brunt of the cut, purchases falling by 11.6% between 2007 and 2010, while vegetable sales slipped by less than 3%. But fresh green vegetables also saw significant reductions, with purchases down 4.5% on 2009 and 15% on 2007.

Last week, The Grocer reported that the UK was near the bottom of the pile in a comparative survey of fruit and veg consumption across the European Union.

Nigel Jenney of the Fresh Produce Consortium said it was disappointing to see further confirmation that the UK was not meeting minimum recommendations for a healthy diet.

“The FPC is pressing government to support the industry by doing more to promote fresh produce as the ultimate value-for-money convenience food,” he said.

Denmark’s fat tax! I l love it! But let’s pick on thin and lazy people also.

9 Oct

Fat people are more obviously unhealthy than thin people but both cost the NHS. We need a tax on unhealthy food in general, not just saturated fats. Thank you NZ Sunday Mercury for this pic, which raises lots of other questions...

I think a fat\health tax is great but sadly totally flawed. I’d call it a health tax, tax refined carbs and dramatically lighten up the costs of ‘healthier’ foods.  My belief is that the masses, including both skinny and fat people, know that a KCF/Maccy D/Burger King/Taco Bell/Red Rooster/etc burger/fries is bad for them, but because it tastes good, it fills you up and it’s cheap, health doesn’t get a look in.  

The figures are widely varied but recently, the Independent newspaper blog suggested that ‘fat’ people cost the UK £4.2bn’ in obesity related illnesses. However in a 2008 story in The Grocer, this figure is more like £6.8bn and it’s not just fat people who are chronically unhealthy, thin people are also a drag on the system costing the NHS even more at £7.3bn a year.

I pay £2.99 for a raw chocolate bar that perks me up and gives me essential minerals and vitamins when I could pay for 35p for an average chocolate bar that also does the job of perking me up but only for a moment and at a cost to my liver, gut, brain and adrenal system.  When times are tough, and I need a snack – there is no way I can afford to choose ‘healthy’.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive and they don’t last for months in my grocery cupboard, making bulk buying difficult. Raising the price of naughty food will certainly make me (average person) think twice, but the only way this will really work to cut costs to the NHS is if the price of health foods is also slashed.

While it is a worry that Cameron is proposing a tax only on saturated fats, it is a step in the right direction. Breaking habits of lifetimes is hard and people don’t like change, but when it comes to money – maybe we have hope that the message will get through to the people who need it whether they are smart, thin, fat, stupid, poor or rich.

We are what we eat and it’s as simple as that!

‘finger lickin good’ no more?? KFC goes ‘so good’

5 Sep

finger lickin good no more?? KFC goes 'so good'.

This month in the UK we wait with bated breath to see the new healthier, more nutritionally transparent menu from KFC.  I  see it now.  Raw cashew nut replacement chicken buckets, raw mock chicken fillet burgers….Oh what a raw dream.

Perhaps my sarcasm is misplaced because already, earlier this year, KFC did the unthinkable and ditched their 60+ year old tagline ‘finger lickin good’ for ‘so good.’  An altruistic passion for our nutritional welfare? Perhaps not. Falling sales and increased demand for healthier food options are behind their decision and more importantly for us shallow consumers, KFC understands our desire to be seen  to be ‘making a good brand choice.’  This is exciting (to me anyway…) and reveals the tide of interest from a mass audience for food of nutritional value despite the fact that in the UK alone, KFC sells a chicken hotwing every 3.6 seconds amounting to 114m a year.  Checking their statistics (as you do…) I see in comparison they sell only 3.3m pots of beans, 2.3m tubs of coleslaw and 7.8 million corn cobs each year.  It’ll be interesting to see whether we start to ditch chicken wings for corn cobs in our zest for something ‘more gooder’ but in the mean time I like that we, the masses, are trying to be healthier and therefore using our power to push big food brands in the right direction.

As softpedia.com reports:  KFC is out to prove that it’s also about food and not just excellent taste, so it’s switching up some things in UK restaurants like bringing new cooking oils, introducing new foods that are healthier options to the current offering and sourcing the chicken from the UK.  

The rebranding exercise will coincide with the introduction of healthier frying oils and meals cooked on a griddle instead of in a frier. There are also plans to show the calorie content of all items on KFC’s menus from September,” says the same publication (The Daily Mail).

KFC is known in the trade as a QSR (quick service restaurant) so it was a big surprise to find any reference to raw food on trade website qsrweb.com.  Here my new guru, Betsy Craig, writes the blog Raw explained: Tips and tricks for offering raw dishes on your menu in August this year.

As she concludes; As more Americans focus on including healthy, fresh vegetables and fruits in every meal, there is more and more interest in making those nutrient dense meals the meal in itself.  Offering a raw menu item or two at your restaurant will help you to best serve this growing demographic. Be sure to include full nutritional information on the menu for this group and all your menu items.

Isn’t Betsy fabulous?  Perhaps KFC’s next evolutionary brand step will be ‘so raw.’ I might write to them and suggest it in case they missed her article…

How to go raw: my raw cupboard essentials

30 Jul

Green leaves and sprouts are king and queen of my raw cupboard.

By some strange quirk in the universe lots of people have recently asked me what they need to buy to make ‘going raw’ as easy as possible. It is strangely harder than I thought to find a list online so here are some of the raw basics I have in my cupboard at all times. I should add that these are by no means complete – there are always new things to try and seasonal specials that bring my raw heart back from the dark cooked side.

The obvious essentials

  1. Green leaves – baby spinach is a staple, any lettuce and watercress
  2. Seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, linseed, sesame
  3. Vegetables – zucchini is a must, carrots, red onions, beetroot,and broccoli
  4. Sprouts – I grow my own alfalfa
  5. Fruit – apples, lemons, limes, cucumber, tomatoes (including sundried)
  6. Nuts – almonds, walnuts always
  7. Dried fruit – dates, prunes, raisins
  8. Avocado – I know it’s a fruit but I think it deserves its own spot
  9. Chilli
  10. Garlic
  11. Ginger

Less obvious essentials

  1. Coconut water
  2. Honey
  3. Agave syrup
  4. Raw cacao powder
  5. Tahini
  6. Apple cider vinegar
  7. Coconut oil/butter
  8. Quinoa
  9. Oats
  10. Chick peas

Essential spices

  1. Cinnamon – I have it with just about everything
  2. Cumin
  3. Turmeric
  4. Sea salt
  5. Cayenne pepper
  6. Cracked black pepper
  7. Chilli flakes
Essential herbs
  1. Basil – I grow it on my window sill
  2. Coriander
  3. Parsley
  4. Mint
Essential supplements

  1. Probiotics
  2. Digestive enzymes -to help me digest something more complex
  3. Zinc -if I feel my immune system needs a hand
  4. Cod liver oil
  5. Psyllium husk – if my digestive tract feels sluggish
  6. Chlorella (blue green algae) – good for city dwellers and deep fish eaters – for detoxing heavy metals

Essential equipment

  1. Blender
  2. Sprouter
  3. Dehydrator – I wrote this here but I don’t have one yet – although I am saving for the 9 tray excalibur deluxe…

Other non-raw  raw essentials

  1. Rice paper sheets
  2. Nori roll seaweed paper
  3. Black strap molasses
  4. Teas – oolong (like nice tasting green tea),  dandelion (liver/gall bladder/water retention)

Raw Thai street food

25 Jul

pawpaw, cucumber, pineapples and just about everything else in a raw street food vendor's cart

It’s easy to be raw on the streets of Bangkok. Mashed against and tangled between walls and curbs of both the tiniest windiest alleyways and the most overwhelming motorways are its many raw street food vendors.

If you can turn your head away from the deep frying chicken, tripe, insects and fish balls, amongst the other unidentifiable goodies, the wide variety of tenderly prepared fruits and vegetables is a delicious temptation for the most hardcore carnivores among us.

Please excuse the layout of the pics – I haven’t mastered it!

Ancient superfood Chia brings bodies back from the dead

7 Jun

Add some cha cha cha to your life with chia seeds

The raw food hypocrite should be on top of the latest raw food foods and trends but I have to admit I only stumbled across Chia seeds (also known as Salvia hispanica) in an obscure health food shop in Melbourne.  At first I had a tablespoon with my breakfast a few times a week, however since I’ve been so super busy the last few months, I’ve been eating badly, forgetting my healthy extras, feeling particularly dehydrated and hence retaining water and swelling to the size of blimp.  With busy-ness down a notch, I’ve stopped coffee, upped my coconut water (and water) and dandelion tea (good for liver and gall bladder and water retention), added chia seeds back in and voila, I already feel much, much better.

So what are chia seeds?

According to Living Foods – For centuries this tiny little seed was used as a staple food by the Indians of the south west and Mexico. Known as the running food, its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. It was said the Aztec warriors subsisted on the Chia seed during the conquests. The Indians of the south west would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24hr. forced march. Indians running form the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seashells would only bring the Chia seed for their nourishment.

There are tonnes of benefits and thanks to mychaiseeds and living foods amongst others, here are some of them:

1. Lose weight
When a chia seed is exposed to water, it forms a coating of gel, increasing its size and weight to nine times its original form. Since the gel is made of water, it has no calories and also fills you up to prevent cravings.

2. Balance blood sugar
Both the gelling action of the seed, and its unique combination of soluble and insoluble fiber combine to slow down conversion of starches into sugars. This means if you eat chia with a meal, it will help you turn your food into constant, steady energy rather than a series of ups and downs that wear you out.

3. Improve digestion
The exterior of the seed is protected by insoluble fiber that keeps food moving smoothly through the digestive process. Soluble fiber and the gel coating of the seed also keep the colon well-hydrated.

4. Add good fats
By weight, chia contains more omega 3 than salmon, and yet it doesn’t taste remotely like salmon.  Omega 3 oil is important in heart and cholesterol health and a sensational source for vegetarians and rawists.

5. Add more protein
Chai is one of nature’s highest plant-sources of complete protein, which makes it highly valuable for vegetarians and raw foodists. The combination of complete protein, vitamins, minerals and blood-sugar balancing gel all work together to make sure you have steady, never jittery energy

6. Keep your cells young
Chia is extremely high in anti-oxidants, which makes the Chia Seed stay fresh and ready to eat for over two whole years! And that’s all without a single chemical or preservative. This amazing ability is not found in other seeds like flax or sesame, because those seeds don’t have the same rich anti-oxidant content.

As a reminder – anti-oxidants help prevent free-radical damage in your body. Free radicals lead to problematic conditions such as premature aging of the skin and inflammation of various tissues. Fight free radical damage by staying fresh and healthy with nature’s anti-oxidant powerhouse

8. Look younger
One of the exceptional qualities of the Chia seed is its hydrophilic properties, having the ability to absorb more than 12 times its weight in water. This prolongs hydration in the body, keeping skin and cells inside and out looking plump, supple and great.

Healthyfellow runs us through some of the scientific evidence behind the rejuvenation of this ancient super food:

1. In a june 2009 study, results showed the serum levels of plant-based omega-3 fats (alpha linolenic acid) increased by 24% in the chia seed group (vs control). This is considered a positive finding and indicates some degree of absorption of the healthy fats contained within the seeds, however according to the study no other direct benefits were noted.

2. A scientific trial completed in 2009 examined the effect of chia seeds on appetite and blood sugar levels. The authors of this study found that the middle (15 grams) and highest dosages (24 grams) resulted in blood glucose reductions of between 33-44%. The “intermediate dose” of chia also prompted a 47% drop in hunger levels.

3. In a longer-term experiment published in November 2007 in the journal Diabetes Care results showed – while undergoing the chia diet there was a significant reduction in C-reactive protein (an inflammatory marker), improvements in blood sugar control (A1C) and circulatory factors (fibrinogen) and a drop in systolic blood pressure.

It’s absolutely in my daily regime and I can absolutely vouch for the benefits of this ancient superfood – although I can suggest rinsing your teeth before rushing out the door as they stick around and make you look as though you desperately need a visit to the dentist…I recommend buying them from my friend Rob at funkyraw – only £18 for a 1 kilo is a bargain.