The ancient grain is becoming enormously popular in modern food regimen in many countries due to is nutritional value. Chia seeds have gained attention as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. They also are an excellent source of fiber at 10 grams per ounce (about 2 tablespoons), and contain protein and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) is native to Mexico and Guatemala and has been included as part of human food for around 5500 years. Chia seed on an average contains around 20% protein, 34% fiber and 34% oils. Of all the know natural source, Chia is the most concentrated source of Omega-3 [efn_note]. Nutritional and therapeutic perspectives of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.): a review [/efn_note] . Due to its nutritional content Chia has tremendous health benefits and included in the list of Super foods.
Chia for healthy heart:
Chia seed has a protective effect on over all cardio vascular system. It protects heart from aging and degenerative effects, reduces bad cholestrol and trigliceride and improves good cholestrol, helps in lowering blood pressure and prevents blockage.
Of the total fatty acid, on an average Chia seed contains 64% is omega 3 and 19% is omega 6 [efn_note] Ali NM, Yeap SK, Ho WY, Beh BK, Tan SW, Tan SG (2012) The Promising Future of Chia Salvia hispanica L. J Biom Biotechnol. [/efn_note]. Chia Sees Because of being such a concentrated source of Omega-3, chia seed powder is known as power house of omega fatty acids. Alpha-lionic acid (ALA) (one of the Omega-3 fatty acid) plays an important role on blocking and reducing sodium and calcium channel thereby risk of hypertension. [efn_note] Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease.
The re – turn of T-3 fatty acids into the food supply. I- Land-based
animal food products and their health effects. Leaf and Kang [/efn_note]. Also Omega-3 fatty acids from Chia seeds has been shown effective in improving heart tone, heart variability and protect ventricular arrhythmia. In simple words, it protect heart from aging effects and other degenerative heart disease.
Manages cholesterol and reduces triglyceride
Increased levels of Omega-3 is also linked to increased level of good cholesterol, lower levels of bad cholesterol and triglyceride. Fiber from Chia Seeds, also helps in reduction of cholesterol absorption from food in intestine.
Prevents heart from blockage
Omega-3 content of chia was also found to prevent myocardial infraction and strokes by inhibiting platelet aggregation [efn_note]Supplementation of conventional therapy with the novel grain Salba (Salvia hispanica L.) improves major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes. Vasukan V [/efn_note]. Study also suggest that Chia benefits healthy functioning of heart by inhibiting blood clotting [efn_note] Nutritional characteristics of chia. Fernandez IR, AyerzaW, Coates SM, Vidueiros N, c, Pallaro. [/efn_note] .
Lowers blood pressure
Experimental studies revealed that consumption of Chia Seeds, helped in lowering systolic blood pressure of correspondents without any side effects [efn_note]Supplementation of conventional therapy
with the novel grain Salba (Salvia hispanica L.) improves major
and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes. Vuksan V et al.[/efn_note] [efn_note]Efficacy and Safety of 1Month Supplementation of SALBA (Salvia Hispanica Alba) Grain to Diet of Normal Adults on Body Parameters, Blood Pressure, Serum Lipids, Minerals Status and Haematological Parameters. Results of a Pilot Study. Vertommen J et al.[/efn_note] .
Manages sugar and prevents and controls diabetes:
Apart from being great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, Chia seed is also a great source of dietary fiber and antioxidants. Chia seed contains 34% fiber. which is 3 time more than fiber content of Almonds. Chia seed contains appreciable amount of fiber, which can absorb up 15 times water the weight of seed. High fiber content of Chia Seeds helps in maintaining suger level by slowing down the digestion process and release of glucose.
Food that is good for heart is also considered good for brain. Excess sugar level has been linked to brain damage since long. Food rich in fiber like chia seed are seen to manage sugar and prevent brain damage caused by excessive sugar. Also large portion of brain is made up of Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seed is fully loaded with building blocks required for formation of brain cells as well as its repair.
Numerous study has been carried out to determine benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids from Chia seed. Topical application of chia oil was linked to improved skin hydration and skin tone. Studies have indicated that inclusion of omega-3 oil in diet helped in improving overall skin health. Food that are believed to be healthy for heart are also found good for.
Antioxidants has been well known to prevent our body from cancer causing oxidative stress of free radicals. Chia Seed contain a variety of powerful antioxidants [efn_note]Application for approval of whole chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seed and ground whole seed as novel food ingredient. Craig R. [/efn_note] . Phenolic extracts from Chia Seeds have been proven to provide health benefits against organs from cancer causing free radicals [efn_note] Screening of the antioxidant activity of six saliva species from Turkey. Tepe B. et al[/efn_note]. In fact potential of antioxidant obtained from Chia Seed was greater than potential of many other strong natural antioxidants source [efn_note] Analytical characterization of butter oil enriched with omega-3 and 6 fatty acids through chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seed oil. Nadeem M et al.[/efn_note].
Chia seed contains decent amount of micro nutrients and minerals. One serving of Chia Seed (around 28g) contains around 18% of recommended daily intake (RDI) of Calcium. In fact, if we count gram per gram, Chia Seed contains more calcium than many other dairy products like milk [efn_note] Chia, la semilla que reduce el colesterol. Magazine Bayres Today 5. De Tucci J.[/efn_note] .
Aids in weight loss
Almost all of the carbohydrate of Chia seed is in the form of fiber. Chia seed contains around 25-30% fiber by weight. Major fraction of this fiber are insoluble and are not absorbed by our body. Because of its high soluble fiber content, chia seeds can absorb as much as 10–12 times their weight in water, becoming gel-like which expanding in stomach. This property of chia makes you feel full with much lesser calories.
Chia seed is a great source of Omega-3, fiber, antioxidants and calcium. Chia benefits and protect heart related problem, control of diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-blood clotting and improving bone health.