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6 reasons to add chia seeds in your diet

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Zainab Gulamhusein

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 (17:53 IST)
Size does not matter. Chia seeds are proof. These tiny, edible seeds, native to Mexico and other South American nations have been around since the Mayan and Aztec cultures. Infact, Chia in Mayan language means “strength”, symbolizing the high nutritional value this grain food possesses. The nutritional benefits of Chia seeds along with its nutty flavor make it easy to add them to various foods and beverages like falooda, yoghurt, baked foods, sauces etc. Even Dr. Oz mentioned Chia seeds as the “healthiest things around.” 

1 Best Nutritional profile

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Without a doubt. Proteins, Fiber, Carbohydrates, Calcium, Manganese, Zinc, Vitamin B1, B2,,B3,, Potassium. It's all there. They are packed with antioxidants that fight against free radicals to protect molecular and cell damage and contribute in reducing risks of cancer and ageing. They are the richest plant source of omega 3 fatty acids - even more than salmon! This makes chia seeds the best calorie to calorie food grain.

2 Aids weight loss
 
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The high protein and fiber content in chia seeds can help easy weight loss. The gel around the seeds is practically calorie free and helps you keep full longer and curb appetite. Combining them in foods along and following a healthy exercise routine can be a welcome addition to your weight loss plan.

3  Reducing the risk of heart diseases
 
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A study has shown that chia seeds along with oats, soy and nopal reduces the levels of LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. The high amounts of protein and fiber also help in improving metabolic health. These tiny seeds also reduce blood pressure.

4 Improving Type 2 diabetes
 
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The best use of Chia seeds has been for Type 2 diabetes. Several health markers have shown significant improvements in studies, possibly due to its high fiber content that could help decrease insulin resistance.

5 Maintains bone health
 
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Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain almost 18% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, much more than dairy products which contribute to maintaining bone health. In fact, you can substitute chia seeds for any dairy product for your daily calcium needs.

6 Improves sports performance
 
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Even the Mayans knew about this. The high fiber helps to fuel your athletic performance and ‘carb load’ that will help you participate in endurance based events. Good bye Gatorade.

The bland flavor helps chia seeds easily blend in any food or drinks recipe without compromising on the taste. Add it to your yoghurt, baked goods, smoothies or just garnish it over a salad. You can use the gel to thicken sauces or as an egg replacement in several recipes.

If you need to speak to our nutritionist, find one on Visitapp. Need a recipe? 
 
Also, try out some healthy snack meals from our blog.
[ Author is a Nutritionist ]

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