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CHIA SEEDS: HEALTH BENEFITS AND HOW TO EAT THEM


What is chia seeds? The little chia seed was anciently used for many purposes, such as medicine, ground into flour, mixed as an ingredient in drinks and pressed for oil.

The ancient civilisations believed that the chia seed bestowed supernatural powers. In Mayan language, “chia” means “strength”, probably stemming from the fact that the large amounts of energy a small little seed can provide.

Chia seeds are the edible seeds of the chia seeds plant Salvia hispanica and provide both the body and brain with numerous chia seeds health benefits. In recent years, chia seeds have gained such enormous popularity as a superfood that health-conscious people around the globe are adding it to their diet. 

So exactly what is chia seeds good for? And how much chia seeds per day should we consume?

To put things into perspective, two teaspoons of chia seeds nutrition (approximately 28 grams) consists of just 138 calories, 11 grams of fibre, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fats and decent amounts of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus which are crucial for bone and tooth development. These chia seeds calories are good for health. Chia seeds are also whole grain and often grown organically.

Chia seeds also have high level of antioxidants which are substances that fight the production of free radicals in our body. Free radicals damage cell molecules and are linked to multiple illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

The body alone is unable to produce enough antioxidants to defend against free radicals and has to acquire antioxidants from the food we consume. The chia seed is one of the superfoods which contain the highest amount of antioxidants. 

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Are Chia Seeds A Weight Loss Wonder?


The high fibre and protein content in a single serving of chia seed can temporarily suppress appetite and make a person feel fuller for longer. The fibre includes both soluble and insoluble fibre, of which the former gives chia seeds their gel-like quality when one soaked chia seeds in water.

This gel not only keeps you full throughout the day and reduces overall food intake, but also slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

However, do keep in mind that the recipe for weight loss is the combination of diet and exercise. Chia seeds can support your weight-loss goals and yet provide you with the essential nutrients while losing weight.


Chia Seeds Recipes


Chia seeds can be found in most supermarkets and organic stores. So how to eat chia seeds? Since chia seeds are subtle in their taste, it is easy to mix chia seeds in every sort of dish from sweet to savoury.

In its raw form, the texture of the chia seed is crunchy and dense. But in gel form, they become soft like tapioca pearls. As chia seeds can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water, it is essential to note that chia seeds need to be mixed into another food or liquid before consuming and should not be eaten dry. Small children should not be given chia seeds, for fear of choking.

How to prepare chia seeds? How long to soak the chia seeds?

These are the common questions people ask. One of the simplest recipes is a chia fresca drink. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to a beverage (water or juice) of your choice and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.

Chia seeds can also be added to smoothies or mixed in yogurt, oats for a super nutrient boost. To make a green chia smoothie, blend 2 cups of spinach, 1.5 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. You may also add one peeled orange, a cup of strawberries and a cup of frozen blueberries and blend again.

It is recommended to consume only 1.5 tablespoons (21 grams) of chia seeds, twice a day. For people who have a sensitive gastrointestinal system, there may be digestive side effects of chia seeds such as indigestion, bloating and diarrhea if you consume too much chia seeds at a time. 

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Where to buy Chia Seeds?


You can easily get them at supermarkets like fairprice NTUC or online shops. It may help to know chia seed in Chinese 中文 is 奇亚籽, in case the labels happen to be in Chinese. For our Indian friends, chia seeds in Tamil is சியா விதை while chia seeds in Hindi is चिया बीज. 


Alternatives to Chia Seed


Some people may lament that the chia seed is too costly as a dietary supplement. In fact, there is a worthy substitute to the chia seed – linseed (also known as flaxseed). So how does chia seeds compare vs flax seeds? Flax seeds are slightly larger in size and they contain around the same amount of protein and fibre as chia. Both flaxseed and chia absorb a considerable amount of liquid and produce a gel texture when soaked.

However, due to the larger size and less surface area of the flaxseed, they do not thicken as much as chia so it is important to consider using less liquid or more flax seeds during preparation. Basil seeds vs chia seeds also come to an interesting result whereby basil seeds have similar nutritional profile but lacks in the amount of omega 3 chia seeds possess. 

Also, if you are looking for supplemental alternative sources to replenish growth factors and omega 3 like DHA, you can consider AL Growth Xtend which consists of 6 essential nutrients to promote growth and development. Growth Xtend contains GAG & Collagen II, calcium citrate, DHA algae oil, vitamin D, yeast β- glucan and chitosan oligosaccharide that work synergistically to ensure maximum benefits for healthy growth and development.

Growth Xtend helps fill the nutritional gap in your child’s diet and keep them growing and developing the way they’re intended to.These important nutrients in Growth Xtend will also help support healthy height growth and posture, optimal mental performance, good immune system to allow them to grow up into healthy young adults. 

For adults, All Link Black Fungus Extract Capsules are a great choice as black fungus are known to be rich in essential nutrients such as iron, protein, vitamins, polysaccharide, fibre, and other minerals. Suitable for vegetarians, these precious nutrients within black fungus can serve similar functions as of chia seeds in protecting our heart health. 

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Packed with iron, protein, vitamins, fibre and other minerals, black fungus extract is a good supplement to include in your diet to protect your heart health!

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