As part of Men’s Health Week 2015, happening from Monday, June 15th to Sunday, June 21st, Europe’s largest suppliers of the nutrient dense super-seed Chia are urging men to take responsibility for their health by improving their diets and eating habits. As part of their initiative, the Waterford-based company Chia bia will be delivering samples of their product to Men’s Sheds across the Southeast of Ireland.
The latest study carried out by Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) indicates that men are more likely than women to be affected by coronary heart disease, diabetes, and weight problems. Unhealthy diets and eating patterns are the cause of an increased cholesterol level in the blood and an unbalance between good and bad fats in the bloodstream. This in turn leads directly to heart problems, obesity, diabetes and many more inflammatory related diseases.
The findings also indicated how the impacts of working life, a lack of formal education or training, and the persuasive nature of fast-food advertisements were contributing factors to these problems among males.
Men’s health problems are also causing a financial burden on the state, with the most recent estimates from safefood placing the cost of male obesity on the state at over €1 billion. Recent statistics from the Irish Heart Foundation show that Ireland has the fourth highest prevalence of obesity in men in the EU.
As part of the MHFI study, men and women were also found to have different levels of involvement in their food decisions, rooted in the cultural ideology of the male and female roles, which can result in men avoiding healthy behaviours because of a belief that this could ‘display feminine characteristics’.
Two-time All-Star winning Kilkenny hurler Michael Fennelly recommends that men take some practical steps along with introducing nutrient-filled chia seeds into their diets, saying: “Chia seeds are extremely versatile which makes them ideal for all men. Chia bia seeds are scientifically proven to reduce cholesterol levels as they are loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and thus reduce the risks related to dietary drawbacks. They can be sprinkled into practically anything – from breakfast to dinner”.
In every 15g serving of Chia bia seeds, there is nearly a whopping 3g of omega-3. Getting just one serving of Chia bia in daily diets goes a long way toward helping to reduce cholesterol levels naturally and bring balance back to your diet.
“It’s very important to exercise regularly to reduce the risk of cardiac complications, diabetes and some other poor diet and lifestyle related problems,” adds Michael Fennelly. “Chia seeds are also full of complex carbs which assist with the slow release of energy, gradually improving endurance and performance while exercising. Our bodies become more efficient when doing similar exercises every week, therefore it is important to challenge ourselves with different stimuli. We need to challenge our bodies to achieve our goals. Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand, my philosophy is ‘eat well, train well, be well’.”
“The Men’s Sheds are a great initiative for men who may have unfortunately may have lost their job, can’t find a job or have felt they have lost their way in life. The project also assists them in getting back into a social network. They provide opportunities for men to use their skills whether it’s gardening, carpentry, plumbing etc. Projects like this can help rebuild men’s confidence and recreate their own goals in life”.
In addition to maintaining a healthy heart, other health benefits of Chia bia include improved memory and concentration, balanced blood sugar levels, relief from joint pain, increased energy levels and a healthy digestive system.
Chia bia will be running a series of special offers online from Monday, June 15th – Sunday, June 21st.
www.chiabia.com / @chiabiaseed
Top tips for introducing Chia into diets:
Chia takes no preparation whatsoever, with numerous ways to include the seed in everyday diets.
- Mix it into breakfast cereal
- Stir Chia bia seeds into juice
- Add to yogurts
- Toss over a salad
- Sprinkle into soups
- Blend Chia seeds into a smoothie
- Hide in a sandwich
About Men’s Health Week 2015: Men’s Health Week is an initiative of the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) which is now in its 10th year.
MHFI Report: http://www.mhfi.org/policyreview2015.pdf
Irish Heart Foundation research: http://www.irishheart.ie/media/pub/factsheets/obesity_fact_sheet.pdf
The Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA): The IMSA was set up in January 2011 with the purpose of supporting the development and sustainability of Men’s Sheds on the Island of Ireland. We are a charity with CHY number 19928 and Charity Reg. Number 20078591.
The Irish Men’s Shed Association (IMSA) is a member-based organisation formed to share information freely between Sheds and support communities and organisations wishing to establish a Shed.