Many superfoods have attracted a lot of attention to themselves in recent years with their various nutritional benefits. One of these is the South and Central American native—the Chia seed. But as the chia's popularity increased, so did various distributors and companies. Today, there are many companies selling the dark, white and even sprouted chia seeds in both organic and conventional versions. Lifemax is one of these distributors and they have created a product called Mila (their cultivated version of the chia seed).
Lifemax is a network marketing company based in Florida. Lifemax’s mission is to “Change the Health and Wealth of the World” by sharing the healthiest whole raw food with the world and by empowering their network of independent distributors to create financial freedom for themselves and for generations to come. Their product Mila—The Miracle Seed sounds catchy and almost suspicious in that too-good-to-be-true sort of way, but the name is not far from true as the chia seed indeed has some amazing nutritional and health benefits.
But if Mila is the chia seed, how is it different from just a regular bag of chia seeds, aside from the obvious price?
The Characteristics of Mila
Mila claims that their product is a proprietary selection of the Salvia hispanica L. plant that has been carefully selected to maximize the seed’s nutritional value. Mila claims to contain the highest levels of nutritional components, such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Mila comes in ground form and claims that the mechanical process the seeds undergo uses a proprietary system that optimizes its bioavailability and increases its nutritional value. Mila’s distributors state that the use of potentially harmful pesticides was not used in growing Mila, but the product is not Certified Organic by the USDA or any other organic governing agency.
As the chia seed goes, Mila is gluten-free, trans fat-free, lactose-free and sugar-free. It is a good source of protein and fiber, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
The product is ground, from a blend of white and dark chia seeds. Like all chia, it has no distinct flavor or aroma, thus can be added to anything without distorting the taste. In the ground state, it can be easily added to smoothies, to maintain its raw, nutritional composition. It can be sprinkled on other meals too, but may not be ideal for all meals as it does have thickening and gelling properties. It is also important to remember that Mila (or the chia seed) is a food, not a supplement.
Personal Experience with Mila
In always keeping an eye out for valuable and authentically healthy superfoods, I have just finished my first bag of Mila. I felt no different while using Mila, in the same way that I feel no different when I use any other chia product. Due to my healthytarian lifestyle, I feel great all the time, relying only on whole, natural foods. Therefore from this aspect, I cannot properly evaluate if there is actually any noticeable difference by consuming Mila, versus another specially cultivated chia seed—Salba, or versus any other chia seed.
I am definitely a big supporter/promoter of chia seeds, as valuable additions to any diet, as I have looked into various research about this seed. However, I am also aware that as with any other natural beneficial compound, once word spreads about its potential, many are quick to find ways to patent and monetize on them. Often this may even include sacrificing the quality of the original compound, or playing with nature to manipulate it in unnatural ways that may have negative consequences in the short and long run. No-name brands of chia seeds often come from various parts of Mexico, have been grown with various pesticides and don’t always deliver the nutritional value they claim. High-end brands of chia seeds may overhype what their product can offer by using fancy marketing.
When it comes to Mila, I really cannot say whether the product is the highest quality of chia seeds or not and how it may have been manipulated, unless I personally worked in their labs. Since I have no experience with the company whatsoever, it would also not be wise of me to spread their claims as true without having data on all of the chia seeds in the world. To add to this, I have had enough experience with various MLM companies to err on the side of caution when it comes to independently owned and distributed products, because while some are in it for the greater good, some are just in it for profits. So it is hard to tell where Mila stands and as usual the onus falls on the consumer to try to decipher for themselves if this product is worth their money.
And speaking of money, this is where my biggest concern lies. The price of this product will undoubtedly be a huge factor in deciding whether to seek out and buy this product or not. Don't get me wrong, I am all for investing your money in your health and not cheapening out on quality food - but investing wisely. A 16oz/454g/1lb bag of Mila costs $55 (or $50 if you sign up for preferred pricing). Knowing about all sorts of chia seeds on the market and the famous Salba brand, this is rather steep, regardless of what is claimed, especially too that it cannot be easily (if at all) proven. A typical bag that size of chia (and certified organic at that) from high quality, reputable sources can cost as little as $10-$15. Even Salba, which also claims to have a more nutritionally potent variety is only about $20 for a pound of the organic seeds. Therefore I encourage the consumer to do a lot of research and soul searching in deciding whether this product really is worth it for them to pay 3-5 times more for.
Finally, since the writing of this review originally I have been contacted by numerous Mila/Lifemax independent distributors trying to convince me that Mila is indeed different and how it changed their life. That is great and I am happy that each one of these individuals benefitted from the product. However, it in no way influences me or what I wrote in this review to change. When I look and read through the Mila information on the Lifemax website, or on some of the independent distributor sites all I see is a regurgitation of what one can easily find on Salba's sites or many other chia sites. As I mentioned before I completely support the chia seed and its powerful qualities for healing and preventing disease, but there is no justification in my opinion based on many sources of data to justify this product's cost to the consumer. We are not talking a few dollars difference here, but a huge investment for most people, that is as mentioned anywhere from 3 to 5 times more than the same amount of chia seeds from another reputable, high quality brand.
It is unfortunate, but it is a common occurrence for most who get into an MLM, pyramid or independent distributor type of business. Before becoming personally affiliated, most people can reason based on various facts, figures, brands, logic, etc. After becoming personally affiliated, most of us seem to adopt a one-sided, biased view that of course is only going to promote and make what they are selling seem like a miracle must have. It is too bad, but that is human nature, that as soon as we take anything too personally, or self-identify through it, or have a vested interest in it, we lose sight of the bigger picture and our decision space narrows.
So if you are a consumer considering purchasing this product, and you have the funds to experiment, definitely buy a bag of this product and try it out for at least a month. Keep everything (relatively) the same in your life and try another high quality brand of ground chia seeds for another month and see any changes or differences that may make it worth it for you and your health. Incorporating chia into your regular diet is a good idea anytime and for long term, but again whether you need to pay the premium needs to be your educated choice.
And if you are a distributor or anyone with a positive story to share of how this product changed your life, please do not contact me, but instead contact Lifemax, as I am sure your testimonial will mean a lot to them and be beneficial for them to hear.
- 100% Natural Whole Raw Chia Seed (a proprietary selection of Salvia hispanica L.)
(per 1 scoop/13g serving)
- 70 Calories
- 4g Fat
- 0g Saturated Fat
- 3g Polyunsaturated Fat - 1g Omega 6 (LA) - 3g Omega 3 (ALA)
- 3g Protein
- 4g Carbohydrate
- 0g Sugar
- 5g Fiber
- 0mg Sodium
- 0mg Cholesterol
Vitamins & Minerals
- 1mg – 6% Iron
- 90mg – 3% Potassium
- 78mg – 8% Calcium
- 110mg – 11% Phosphorus
- 42mg – 11% Magnesium
The seeds come ground, in tough plastic-foil-like resealable ziploc bags. The typical size is 16oz or 454g.
Price (as of this posting)
- $55 US/CDN for the 454g/16oz size ($50 with discount)
- Mila is not found in any stores, it is sold through independent distributors
- To find a distributor near you in the US, Canada or international see Lifemax Distributors
- Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Excellent source of minerals
- Excellent source of antioxidants
- Good source of protein
- Guaranteed freshness
- No taste or aroma
- No additives
- No preservatives
- No gluten
- No lactose
- Not certified organic
- Independently regulated product
- Too pricey
Questions and Answers
How long do you have to keep eating Mila to see positive health benefits?
Just like with high quality chia seeds, there is no set time during which one can or should expect to see changes or some results. We have to remember that chia, or Mila is a food source, not a supplement or drug. Think about eating apples all of a sudden as a novel food. How long would it take to start seeing benefits? For some it will be within days, for others weeks, and for others yet no detectable benefits may become present or noticed, but benefits may (and in the case of apples are) taking place on an internal level.
We have to remember too that one, single food is never going to be the answer to all of our health or general problems. The most and best benefits always come from a holistic mind, body and spirit or multidimensional approach where we integrate healthy products as part of a healthy lifestyle. So we cannot expect to be eating fast or processed food for example, and eat Mila and think that all of our health problems will go away. Our body and nutrition just does not work this way. It is a whole lifestyle approach, compounded over time that makes the most difference in how good or poor we feel and whether we form, prevent or heal any disease.