The many benefits of 'Chia Seeds'

Chia seeds are the tiny black edible seeds, which are among the healthiest foods on the planet. The first ones to cultivate and consume these seeds, prized them for their ability to provide sustainable energy.

In fact, "chia" is the ancient Mayan word for "strength." In the past few years, they have exploded in popularity and are now consumed by health conscious people all over the world.

What are Chia seeds?
Chia Seeds are oval and gray seeds, with black and white spots, from the Salvia hispanica plant, a member of the mint family, which comes from Central and South America. Legend has it that the ancient Aztecs and Mayans used chia seeds as a source of energy.

Nutritional Value

  • Chia seeds on an average contain 6% water, 42% carbohydrates, 16% protein, and 31% fat. 
  • They are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • They are also rich in Vitamin-B, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.
  • They have a high content of anti-oxidants, which preserve the sensitive fats in the seeds.
  • One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) of these seeds contains 139 calories.
  • Chia seeds are a complete food, containing all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body.

 

Health Benefits:
Chia seeds when eaten as part of a balanced plant-rich diet, may prevent the development of various chronic diseases.

  • Fight heart diseases - 
Omega-3 fatty acids in these seeds, have shown a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health - lowering cholesterol, regulating heart rhythms and blood pressure, preventing blood clots, decreasing inflammation. These fatty acids also help raise HDL cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke.
  • Diabetes -
The soluble fibers may help to lower LDL cholesterol and slow down digestion, which can prevent blood sugar and risk of developing diabetes.
  • Digestion, weight loss - 
They help you to feel full, eat less, and ultimately shed pounds. A diet with adequate fiber prevents constipation and promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

 

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Serving:
The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on cereal, salads, soups, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt or mixed into drinks and baked goods. They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel, or use as a thickener to smoothies, or puddings.

Take Care:
There are a few rare cautions when eating chia seeds. A case report presented at the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting in 2014 made headlines describing a patient who ate dry chia seeds followed by a glass of water. The seeds expanded in the esophagus and caused a blockage. Because they quickly swell after absorbing liquid, it is advised to eat chia seeds that have already been soaked in liquid or are served with a moist food, such as oatmeal or yogurt. Do not eat dry chia seeds by themselves. People who have dysphagia, a condition that causes difficulty in swallowing (as was the case with this patient) or other digestive issues, should eat chia seeds with care.

 

Source : Internet

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