In the remote Copper Canyons of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, the isolated tribe of Tarahumara Indians is known for a remarkable feat.
They run hundreds of miles... without injury and without rest.
Their legendary endurance puts gold medal Olympic marathon runners to shame. The Tarahumara not only run long distances, they also routinely scale mountains in mere hours, just for the fun of it. They sprint on foot to catch animals for their dinner... and consider it a playful diversion. The Tarahumara are believed to be among the healthiest human beings on earth.
What is the secret to their superhuman endurance? Many believe it's because of a long-forgotten super-food, so potent, so packed with nutrition, that one or two mouthfuls will fuel a Tarahumara runner for an entire day.
This obscure plant food was once a staple crop of one of the greatest civilizations mankind has ever known. But when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Americas, it faded into obscurity, and languished, forgotten, for hundreds of years.
That crop fueled the mighty Aztec empire for centuries.
When Columbus landed on the American continent, the Aztec empire boasted a population of about 11 million people. Centuries of cultivating that super-food enabled the empire to grow and encompass an ever-expanding territory in what is now Mexico. The Aztec culture was vigorous and sophisticated with a complex social order, splendid feats of architecture, a rich arts tradition, a strong military, and robust commerce.
That super-food helped to build this great civilization.
Not only was it a staple crop (eaten whole, ground into flour, and made into drinks), but it was also an essential survival ration for a mighty military. It was used medicinally for numerous ailments. Its oil was used as an ointment, and as a component in perfumes. It was used as a protective coating on Aztec paintings. It was even a part of Aztec religious ceremonies; it was offered to the gods, and the Aztecs even tithed a portion of it.
But when the Spanish conquistadors discovered how important this "high-altitude" chia was to the Aztec way of life... they immediately knew their secret. But that wasn't all...
When the Spanish observed the Aztecs using high-altitude chia dough to make images of their gods and then observed the Aztecs eating the sacred dough as part of religious ceremonies, they were horrified.
I guess to the Spanish it seemed like an abomination given the similarities to Holy Communion. Which is why they appealed to the Aztecs to stop the practice. But there's more...
The Spanish also began to wonder if there was more to the sacred chia story than just a religious rite. They eventually discovered:
The Aztecs took it with them wherever they went. When they conquered an enemy, it was among the first loads of supplies brought in to their newly acquired territory. This Aztec Super-Food was considered an essential food for military training. It was fed to runners and messengers for their long distance travels, and warriors would fuel up with it before battles and marches. They carried bags with its dried seeds and ate regular mouthfuls throughout the day. Researchers believe it enabled them to cover great distances swiftly and to fight their enemies with astounding ferocity.
The Spanish actually forced the Aztecs to replace the Aztec Super-Food's production with foreign crops like wheat, barley, and rice.
But despite all of this, the amazing seeds managed to survive. Because it grows wild, high in the mountains and in wilderness areas that are hard to get to, the conquistadors couldn't eradicate it all.
Over hundreds of years, its secrets were handed down from generation to generation. For centuries, it remained a closely guarded secret of the Tarahumara Indians, descended from the Aztecs. But eventually, the secret would get out.
As the 20th century came to a close, the remote tribe of
Tarahumara Indians began to brush up against modern civilization... and once again word began to leak out about its astounding powers.
Soon, runners and athletes... hearing of its legendary powers, began seeking it. Now, athletes all over the world swear by it and many won't go a day without it.
Aztec Black Chia honors its Aztec heritage. It's grown in rich volcanic soil on mountainsides that are fed by mineral-rich mountain aquifers. Our chia fields are traditional small farm plots, not giant agribusiness endeavors, and they're located high in the fertile mountains of the old Aztec empire in Mexico.
Authentic Aztec chia, grown in its native environment, has evolved over millennia to repel the local insects naturally.
That's why we never have to use harsh chemical pesticides or toxic insecticides to grow Aztec Black Chia. Our chia is grown by small farmers who have far more time and attention to lavish on their crops than the industrial growers do.
Aztec Black Chia is grown using sustainable, authentic heritage farming techniques... even grown without man-made irrigation systems!
And as I mentioned earlier, the high growing altitude--5600 feet and above--produces chia seed with an extremely high ALA omega-3 fat content. Laboratory analysis shows that Aztec Black Chia has one of the highest levels of ALA omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seed.
Click the play button below to listen why.
For superior stamina and endurance, you need several things. First, you need protein, to build and repair muscle and tissue. You also need healthy fats--fats that support your brain and nervous system, your heart, and that help you weather external stressors. You also need bio-available vitamins and minerals. And you need a "fuel delivery system" that ensures your energy remains even and your blood sugar doesn't spike.
Chia is the total package. No other food delivers nutrients the way chia does.
In the Aztec Nahuatl language, chia means "oily." The Aztecs may not have understood sophisticated nutrition science, but they knew a good thing when they saw it. Chia has been prized for millennia for its unusual oil. And no wonder--it's rich in healthy omega-3 fats.
For years a crazed and misguided medical establishment, along with the media, has demonized fat. We've been told again and again how bad fat is for us, and how we should strive to eat a low-fat diet.
That turned out to be the worst advice ever!
We need fat in our diet, especially the omega-3 fats in chia. Omega-3 fats provide a high energy reserve, giving you endurance and stamina, and some say they help you weather external stressors like cold temperatures. Studies show they're important building blocks for hormones, and they even support the nervous system. I don't think we get nearly enough of these healthy fats today... and our bodies are paying the price.
It may surprise you to learn that the people of pre-Columbian cultures were far healthier than their 21st century counterparts. Their physical prowess was astonishing. They were well muscled and much leaner than we are today.
They also consumed many more calories a day than we do. If an animal didn't eat them, their enemy didn't kill them, or they weren't exposed to a European disease, they lived a long, healthy life with almost none of the chronic lifestyle diseases that we suffer from today.
Could it be the potent omega-3 fats in their diet?
Many nutritionists say the answer is yes.
Omega-3 fats are crucial for optimum health. Today, unlike our ancestors, we don't get nearly enough of them. According to a 2009 study funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, omega-3 deficiency is a huge health problem. The word "problem," however, is an understatement.
Why? Because we don't eat the way our ancestors did. We do get lots of omega fats, but most of them are omega-6 fats. Omega-6 fats are found in the grains and vegetable oils that are so prevalent in our diet today. And because we feed grains to our livestock instead of letting them graze on grass the way God intended, our meat now provides us with even more omega-6 fats instead of the omega-3 fats in the animals our ancestors consumed. Yes, we need omega-6's... to a point. But too many are harmful... and that's precisely why some scientists believe we have such an epidemic today of chronic lifestyle diseases.
You see, for optimum health, you need to get your omega fats in the proper ratios. The proper ratio is about 2:1, omega-6 to omega-3. Today, we've skewed that ratio to 20:1. We're getting ten times more omega-6 fats than is good for us... and not nearly enough omega-3 fats.
And that's why Aztec Black Chia is such a valuable super-food for your daily diet. According to my research, it's the richest non-marine source of omega-3 fats found on the planet. It's an even better source than the widely-touted flax seed. Which is why you should probably:
For the past few years, flaxseed has been the darling of nutrition-conscious people everywhere. It's because it contains omega-3 fats in the form of alpha linolenic acid, or ALA.
But here's the catch. Flaxseed has to be ground to release its nutritional properties... but once it's ground, it goes rancid very rapidly. Even when it's not ground, it must be refrigerated to keep it from spoiling. It doesn't store well for long periods of time.
Chia is just the opposite. You can grind it if you want--in fact, the Aztecs ground it into flour--but you don't have to in order to access the nutrients. Chia seed keeps on the shelf for up to two years. And you don't need to refrigerate it. That's because it's packed with healthy natural antioxidants that act like natural preservatives, preventing the chia from going rancid or spoiling. (An important point if one is going to store Chia)
Just like the omega-3s in flax seed, the omega-3s in chia are in the form of alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Chia has more ALA than any other seed I've found, including flax. That's good to know, because most Americans don't get nearly enough ALA or omega-3's.
Both the World Health Organization and the US Department of Agriculture recommend people eat at least 1200 mg of ALA omega-3 every single day. One of the easiest ways to get that is Aztec Black Chia... it has over 2000 mg of ALA omega-3 per tablespoon! (If you want to correct your omega-6 to omega-3 imbalance, be sure to eat two tablespoons every day.) Chia is very easy to include in your daily diet, as you'll see in a moment.
Chia is also high in fiber. A mere two tablespoons gives you about 7 grams of fiber, about a fourth of the recommended daily fiber intake. So what's the big deal? After all, many foods are high in fiber. But the fiber in chia has unique properties that make it, in my opinion, the perfect endurance food.
Because of the fiber content, chia seeds absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. Mix a tablespoon of chia into a half to three quarters of a cup of water... wait 30 minutes... and take a look. What was once liquid is now a gel. And that's the secret to the steady energy that chia helps deliver.
I use this mixture myself every day. Some say the gel seems to act as a regulator, helping to control the absorption of sugars and carbs into the bloodstream. (I'm not sure of the mechanism taking place here.) So, instead of being absorbed all at once... instead of wreaking havoc with my insulin levels and causing blood sugar spikes... the sugars and carbs are slowly and steadily made available for energy. In the end, my energy remains steady -- making me less prone to spikes or crashes.
Our Chia, Aztec Black, is truly a wonder seed. You can use it so many different ways. You can eat it just like the Aztecs did while they were on the march--by the mouthful. If that doesn't appeal to you, you can sprinkle them in all kinds of foods, or even grind it into flour.
But one of the best ways to use chia--especially if you're calorie conscious--is to make chia gel. You simply mix up the seeds with a little water, wait a few minutes, and voila--you have the gel. The rule of thumb is to use 9 parts of water to 1 part chia. You can make up a batch ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator, using it as needed. Tightly covered, it will keep for a week or two.
Chia gel can also be added to all kinds of foods without compromising the flavor. It helps extend the food, displacing calories. The gel's smooth texture makes it virtually unnoticeable... and it doesn't compromise the flavor of the food one bit. (I use it in my oatmeal.) You'll add volume to the food, but not calories. Stir it into sauces, stews, and even gravies or batters.
Aztec Black Chia is a nutrient dense whole food. It's not processed, refined, genetically modified or manipulated in any way. Aztec Black Chia that is grown today is the same chia the Aztecs ate.
Here's what the research shows... an NIH.Gov article regarding Chia's nutritional properties:
"The ancient grain is becoming enormously popular in modern food regimen in many countries; the higher proportion of α-linolenic acid makes chia the superb source of omega-3 fatty (about 65 % of the oil content). Omega-3 fatty acid has been associated with a large number of physiological functions in human body. Chia seed is a potential source of antioxidants with the presence of chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol which are believed to have cardiac, hepatic protective effects, anti-ageing and anti-carcinogenic characteristics. It is also a great source of dietary fibre which is beneficial for the digestive system and controlling diabetes mellitus with higher concentration of beneficial unsaturated fatty acids, gluten free protein, vitamin, minerals and phenolic compounds. Therapeutic effects of chia in the control of diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-blood clotting, laxative, antidepressant, antianxiety, analgesic, vision and immune improver is scientifically established."
Notice the quercetin in yellow above. Quercetin is a zinc ionophore, meaning that it helps transport zinc into cells. Interesting, right?
Chia also contains all the essential amino acids that make up a complete protein (unlike most plant sources) ... and just two tablespoons of Aztec Black Chia deliver about four grams of protein. Here's what else makes Aztec Black Chia such a nutritional powerhouse:
Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Need an energy boost? Forget those energy drinks from the convenience store. Try making iskiate instead. Just a few mouthfuls of this powerhouse--also known as chia fresca, by the way--keeps me going for hours. It's a favorite energy drink among the famous Tarahumara runners. They swear by it for fueling their 50 to 100 mile runs.
Mix together a few spoonfuls of chia gel, a little water, a little lime juice, and a little honey. This fruity-tasting drink is nothing short of amazing and sustains me for hours.
Chia was used by Aztec warriors who marched for days at a time from one end of their empire to the other. Chia was their basic survival ration. And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Just a few tablespoons can fuel you for literally hours, if not a whole day. It's easy to carry, and you can take it straight, mix it with liquids, mix it into other foods, or even pound it into a flour.
Chia is remarkably "shelf stable" and requires no refrigeration for at least 9 months. That makes it ideal to include in your emergency food stash. Store it carefully away from temperature extremes, and it will easily last a couple years.
Aztec Black Chia is a compact little package of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fat that provides steady, clean power for hours at a time. In a crisis, you need fuel that will keep you energized and thinking clearly... and Aztec Black Chia fits the bill. It's also great to bring along when you're hiking, camping, and canoeing. And Aztec Black Chia can help you survive at the office too. If you have to put in long hours, it can help keep you focused and energized.
More and more people are discovering the nutrient power of chia. Don't be fooled by other chia suppliers! Only a handful of growers produce chia the way the Aztecs did, in the mountains of the ancient Aztec empire. To get your supply of authentically grown Aztec Black Chia, see the savings on the monthly quantities available below.
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