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Monday, April 22, 2013

Ch-ch-ch-chia Charlottesville: Where to buy chia's top 3 health benefits via

  Chia seeds, once popular as the 1980's green-haired clay pet, have made a comeback as a health-food throughout the nation--and Charlottesville--with rumors of weight loss, high-protein energy, and even diabetic help.

Chia seeds first became popular with the Mayans, who drank them, ground them into flour, and mixed them as oils as early as 3500 BC; the later Aztecs believed one tablespoon could sustain a warrior for 24 hours, and they treated chia as a sign of strength. When the Aztecs conquered other peoples, they demonstrated that strength by demanding chia seeds as tribute, symbolically as well as literally "sapping the strength" from their enemies.

Today's chia-consumers may see chia differently--more as a food for "back-to-nature" health-hippies than violent warrior's fare--but the nutritional requirements remain the same. To help health-conscious readers track down the elusive black-and-white marbled seeds, Charlottesville's Nutrition Examiner contacted grocery stores across Charlottesville to discover who's stocking. When possible, Examiner dug up prices to help Charlottesville's health-nuts compare cost. Charlottesville-area chia shopping grounds include:
  • Kroger on Barrack's Road (1159 Emmet St N) stocks three or four varieties ranging around $9.99 for a small bag.
  • Kroger at 1980 Rio Hill Center stocks a 16 oz box for $9.49 and a 1 lb bag $21.99.
  • Whole Foods on 1797 Hydraulic Rd stocks several different brands between $6.99 and $17.99. Organic varieties begin with a Whole Foods Brand 15 oz bag at $18.99, Nutiva brand $16.99 for 12 oz bag, and Navitas $17.99 for 16 oz bag. Conventional brands stocked include Spectrum, at $12.99 for a 12 oz bag, and The Chia Company on sale through end of April 2013 with $6.99 for a 5 oz bag, 17 oz bags for $16.99, 12 oz bags for $15.99, and 35 oz tubs for $26.99.
Are the health benefits worth the costs? Our Charlottesville Nutrition Examiner checked current scientific research to find out. Click forward for the top 3 scientifically-proven health benefits of chia.

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