I’ve been talking for a while now about the benefits of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), and in particular flax, fish and evening primrose oils. But some new research is emerging on flax seed oil and its possible link to estrogen dominance, which perhaps makes it a questionable oil to consume on a regular basis.
Estrogen dominance is becoming a huge problem all over the world. We’re consuming way too many estrogens from both obvious and hidden sources which is elevating our estrogen levels by way too much. And it’s not just a female problem either, this is a problem no matter what gender you are because men naturally have the estrogen hormone too.
Before I get onto Chia seeds (which is what this article is supposed to be all about), I’d like to first talk about plastics, because plastics are the biggest culprit of all containing a lot of hidden estrogens. And unfortunately plastic is everywhere and we use so much of it everyday. It may surprise you that all plastic contains estrogens. And the more flexible the plastic the more estrogen it contains.
So if you can, store your food in glass containers, use a glass drinking bottle, and never ever heat your food in a plastic container. I was using those little plastic sandwich bags for a while to store almonds and cashews in my handbag. I’m not going to do that anymore because the flexible plastic bag contains a lot of estrogens. And if you think the estrogens cannot get into your food or liquid, think again because they can.
Why is there estrogen in my flax seed oil?
Flax seed is in fact “linseed” which is what linen is made out of. Linseed contains a very high amount of plant based estrogen and phytoestrogens.
Whether or not flaxseed oil raises your natural estrogen levels is very controversial. Some say that the plant based estrogens in the oil mimic the natural estrogens in our body and therefore raise our estrogen levels. Others say that the phytoestrogens actually level out any estrogen imbalances we have in our body.
I’ve heard both differing opinions from reputable sources, so until I can decide for myself which is the truth, I’m going to stay way from flaxseed oil. So what’s the best alternative? Chia seed.
Why chia seed is so good
Chia is an ancient superfood that is very similar to flax, but without the estrogen and phytoestrogen element. It is a just as good, if not better source of EFA, so will do wonders to your health and to your skin.
Here’s a bit of trivia for you – the chia seeds were originally used by the Mayans as an energy supplement. The running messengers used to carry a little pouch of the seeds around with them. So, chia has been called the “Indian running food”.
And here are some facts for those into food. Chia seeds contain –
- 2 times the protein of any other seed or grain
- 5 times the calcium of milk
- 2 times the amount of potassium as bananas
- 3 times more iron than spinach
- and of course, copious amounts of omega-3 and omega-6
How to use Chia in your diet
If you’re currently taking a flax supplement then you can just replace it with a chia supplement if you want. Or you can choose to use raw chia in your cooking. Chia has a very mild, bland taste so you can easily add it to your cooking without it changing the taste. Try adding the seeds to your salad dressing or sprinkling it onto your cereal or oatmeal.
For more extensive information about the benefits of Chia, have a read of this article – The Chia Cheat Sheet
And before I finish off this article, I have to show you a retro add for the “Chia Pet”. Turns out chia seeds are also great for growing your own pets too! Check it out –