Due to increasing prevalence of various lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular problems, the use of medicinal food from folk medicine to prevent diseases is now gaining momentum among people. One such food is chia seeds, which has been gaining immense popularity as the new superfood in market. They are derived from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family.
Two tablespoons of chia seeds (1 ounce or 28 grams) contain about 140 calories, 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, 7 grams of unsaturated fat, 18% RDA for calcium, and trace minerals including zinc and copper. These seeds are a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body. They are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.
In various studies, omega-3 fatty acids have shown a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health (lowering cholesterol, regulating heart rhythms and blood pressure, preventing blood clots, decreasing inflammation). The fiber in chia seeds is mainly soluble one, the substance responsible for the gelatinous texture of soaked chia seeds. Such high content of soluble fiber has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and slow down digestion, which can prevent sudden blood sugar increase after eating a meal and promote a feeling of fullness. However, their role in promoting weight loss has not yet been well established as per the available scientific evidence.
The truth is that chia seeds do not act alone to benefit human health but may contribute to disease prevention when incorporated as a natural supplement to a nutritionally balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Considering its healthy nutritional composition, chia seed can be incorporated as a functional component in meals.
How to consume Chia seeds
The best way to use chia seeds is with a lot of water. Soaking them makes it easier to digest them. It also offers the added benefit of releasing the nutrients stored inside in bound form. Soak 1 tbsp. of chia seeds in 1 cup water overnight to gain maximum nutrition out of them.
Chia seeds can thin your blood and may affect how certain medicines work. If you plan to consume chia seed or chia seed oil on a regular basis, talk with our experts. For more information, register at My22BMI and get a FREE CONSULTATION CALL from our expert health coach.
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