Plant The Seed of Wellness!

In today’s Healthy Hollywood feature: Chia is the little seed could! For the past year or so, wellness experts have been loudly praising its benefits as one of the hottest superfoods on the planet.

Chia, which packs a hefty dose of protein and omega-3s, reportedly can help out with everything from weight loss, to reducing belly fat, to increasing energy to even combat diabetes. In other words, bring on the chia!

The nutritional use of chia can be traced back to the ancient Aztecs. And, the good news it is simple to get and use in our modern day diet. Take a look, there’s chia bars, chia drinks, chia snacks – you name it!

“Unlike flaxseed, you don’t need to grind it. It has a very thin shell and you can do almost anything with it. You can throw it into your salad, or into your yogurt, or you can hydrate it and make really fun drinks. Just two tablespoons a day and you’re covered,” reveals Janie Hoffman, who wrote “Chia Vitality.”

Healthy Hollywood met with Janie in New York. She’s one of those gals who is full of energy, has perfect skin and an enviably slim figure. She makes you want to go: “I’ll have what she’s having!”

Yet, the author/founder of Mamma Chia drinks tells me she wasn’t always so healthy. In her 20s, she had serious autoimmune disorders and was forced to go on a major health journey. She tried traditional doctors, alternative treatments and diets to find a cure.

“I tried being macrobiotic and vegan and all of those things. Once I switched to a predominantly organic diet that’s when the magic happened and I started to notice an increase in energy and a lessening of my symptoms,” reveals Janie.

But, it wasn’t until she started adding chia seeds into her diet that her head to toe rash from lupus disappeared; as did many of her other ailments.

“I noticed after the first day of using chia that I had more energy. I felt more alive and I was able to do my yoga practice a little longer. I really didn’t believe in magic bullets because I’ve been trying stuff for a long time. But, I tried it again the next day and the next and I’m going there is something to this,” she reveals.

Janie credits chia with helping to put her health back on track and also get rid of her allover body rash. Plus, she says chia helped her husband with his chronic acid reflux condition.

“It changed our lives in the biggest way. My mission now is to spread the love to chia,” she adds.

Janie started her own chia-based beverage company and is also experimenting with different chia-infused recipes. Besides, her chia wellness guide, Chia Vitality, she’s also working on a cookbook.

“Whether it’s a really simple chia jam or salad dressing and then of course, a chia encrusted salmon is super yummy. All my recipes are really simple to make and really tasty. I’ve traveled a lot, so there will be lots of dishes that have a little international flair, so it doesn’t get boring,” notes Janie.

Healthy Hollywood will certainly be on the lookout for her cookbook in fall 2014. Until then, I will keep adding chia to my morning yogurt and hope for the best!

-- Terri MacLeod

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.