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Chia seed

Chia seeds have already been used by the Aztecs and the Maya. They were extremely valuable ingredients for them, because the consumption of this product allowed for a long-lasting effort, and eating one spoon gave strength even for 24 hours of walking! In addition, these seeds are a valuable addition to the diet due to the high nutritional value and omega-3 content. Thanks to these properties, chia may be helpful in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, overweight and certain cancers. Why is it worth to introduce this product into your diet?

Chia seeds – characteristics of the Spanish sage
Sage Spanish, also called chia, is a species of plant from the family jasnotowatych. This plant reaches up to one meter high, its flowers develop oval seeds with a size of 1.5-2.5 mm in white, brown, gray or black. It comes from the central and southern parts of Mexico and from Guatemala. The word chia is derived from the word chian, which means oully in Nahuatl.

Aztecs started to cultivate this plant already in pre-Columbian times, because they believed that it helps maintain a healthy physical and mental condition. For the Indians of south-west part of Mexico, Spanish sage was the basic food.

Chia seeds – nutritional value
Nutritional and energy values ​​in 100 g of chia seeds
Energy – 486 kcal
Protein – 16.54 g
Fat – 30.74 g
Carbohydrates – 42.12 g
Dietary fiber – 34.4 g
Calcium – 631 mg
Iron – 7.72 mg
Magnesium – 335 mg
Phosphorus – 860 mg
Potassium – 407 mg
Sodium – 16 mg
Zinc – 4.58 mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid – 1.6 mg
Thiamine – 0.620 mg
Riboflavin – 0.170 mg
Niacin – 8.830 mg
Vitamin A – 54 IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) – 0.50 mg
Saturated fatty acids – 3,330 g
Monounsaturated fatty acids – 2.309 g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids – 23.665 g
Trans fatty acids – 0.140 g

Chia seeds are rich in
– omega-3 acids – improve brain function, mood and concentration, contain three times more than Atlantic salmon;
– calcium, zinc, iron – affect the condition of hair, nails and skin, and strengthen the skeletal system;
– leptin – improves metabolism;
– fiber – cleanses the body of toxins;
– long-chain unsaturated fatty acids – prevent atherosclerosis;
– vitamins C, A, E, B1, B2, PP;
– antioxidants, including p-coumaric acid, gallic acid, epicatechin, rutin, apigenin.

Chia seeds – application and health-promoting effect
Chia seeds can be used in the prevention of many diseases, including diseases of the cardiovascular system, cancer and depression.

Omega-3 acids in chia seeds have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system.

They cause a decrease in the level of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol. Similar effect is shown by dietary fiber contained in seeds of Spanish sage. It also prevents the formation of atherosclerotic plaque, which reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. Chia seeds contain potassium, which is responsible for regulating blood pressure and magnesium, calcium and sodium elements that support the work of the heart.

Chia seeds can reduce the risk of developing cancers, including breast and prostate cancer. The factor limiting the development of these diseases is alpha-linolenic acid present in large quantities in the Spanish sage.

Chia seeds improve memory and act prophylactically against the development of depression. The omega-3 acids contained in the seeds support the brain, improve concentration and have a calming effect. The use of this product may prevent the development of dementia and other diseases of the nervous system.

High content of dietary fiber (25%) improves the functioning of the digestive tract. The effect of stimulating the intestinal function influences the mitigation of constipation problems and supports the development of beneficial microflora.

Chia seeds should also be used in a slimming diet. Due to the large amount of fiber after eating this product, the feeling of satiety persists for a long time. The seeds swell and significantly increase their volume, which affects the effect of filling the stomach. Significant protein content also works positively by suppressing appetite.

Chia seeds – contraindications
Do not exceed the recommended doses, because a large amount of fiber may impair the absorption of many nutrients. Chia seeds can affect the effects of cardiac and antidiabetic medicines. People who take this type of preparation should contact their doctor before introducing Spanish sage into their diet. Chia are not recommended for older people, after surgeries, children, pregnant women and nursing women, because they cause blood thinning. Sage may cause allergy in people who are allergic to mustard due to the high similarity of the two proteins, but this is quite rare.

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Chia

The influence that vegetable products have on our health is widely known. Thanks to the high proportion of fiber and antioxidants, they allow to fight tumors, improve cardiovascular function and sharpen the sensitivity to insulin. In principle, they are a key element of a healthy diet, but some of them deserve special mention. This list includes the seeds of Spanish sage, also commonly called chia seeds.

Chia seeds were once eaten by Aztec warriors to prepare them for battle. Now, thanks to their composition, they can be a good tool in the fight for better health. Below is a list of 5 reasons why chia seeds should be permanently included in your diet.

Healthy fats
Fats are usually associated with deep oil fried products, from which hands get stuck and blockages are created in the veins. However, large quantities of fats can also be found in many plant seeds, which is the best, however, these fats have nothing to do with those found in a hamburger!

Chia seeds contain mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids, with a predominance of omega 3 fatty acids over omega-6 fatty acids. This is a big advantage of this product because in our diet there is usually a large advantage of omega-6 acids over omega-3, which promotes the emergence of inflammation and the development of civilization diseases.

The omega 3 acids found in these seeds are alpha-lipoic acid, which may not be as strong as the eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids found in oily fish but still have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.

Protein
Plant products sometimes contain a bit of protein, but usually, there is too little to supplement the needs of an active person. Chia seeds are a product that contradicts this principle. In one spoon we find almost 2 grams of protein, which is abundant with all 9 essential amino acids, which is why it is great for anyone who wants to improve the appearance of the figure.

The addition of chia seeds to the meal will be a great way to increase the total protein content and improve the taste of the dish.

High fiber content
One of the biggest advantages of chia seed consumption is its high fiber content. One spoon contains almost 4 grams, while in 100 grams of chia seeds we find 40 grams of fiber! Very helpful for anyone who has problems with providing the right amount of this ingredient in their diet.

Chia seeds contain about five times more insoluble than soluble fiber, thanks to which they have relatively strong water-absorbing properties. At the same time, such a fiber composition in chia seeds, it can pass toxins embedded on the walls of the intestine through the digestive system.

In addition to the detoxification properties, the consumption of chia seeds and fiber contained in them can be a useful tool in the fight against overweight and insulin resistance. This is due to the slowing of the passage of nutrients from the stomach to the small intestine. Food remaining for longer in the gastrointestinal tract, provides continuous stimulation of its receptors, affecting post-prandial saturation.

This was presented in 2010 by a team of scientists from Canada who gave participants of their study a portion of carbohydrates in the form of bread and addition of chia seeds in an amount of 0, 7, 15 or 24 grams depending on the group. With the increase in the chia seed does, saturation increased proportionally, and the blood sugar level dropped, suggesting a slow absorption.

Powerful antioxidants
Chia seeds are also abundant with powerful antioxidants that help us fight diseases and negative stress effects. They can traverse the body and dispose of debilitating free radicals. As a result, they counteract the peroxidation of cell membranes, leading to a reduction in the risk of cancer.

Chocolate compounds that we find in them are mainly responsible for the antioxidant properties of chia seeds, in particular, caffeic acid and gallic acid. Some publications suggest that chia seeds may have antioxidant properties comparable to Trolox, a derivative of vitamin E, considered to be an extremely potent ingredient.

Anti-cancer activity
It has been confirmed that chia seeds have anti-proliferative effects on cancer cells from various tissues. The research focused in particular on the reduction of the risk of breast, cervical and skin cancer.

The fats contained in the chia seeds favorably affect the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids in cancer cells. Preliminary studies in rats also show that groups fed Spanish sage has a smaller mass of tumors, indicating their smaller growth rate.

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Healthy fats – 7 best sources

Fats are returning to favor as ingredients that bring a lot of benefits, including for the circulatory system. Until recently, they were demonized, but today we know for sure that especially vegetable fats, not only are high-energy fuels, but I can act pro-healthy. Here are six sources of healthy fats that should not be avoided in a balanced diet.