Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Incorporating certain food types in the diet has been shown to have vast health benefits. Chia seeds contain several components that could help improve heart health, boost weight loss, lower blood sugar and positively affect your lifespan.
Chia seeds contain quercetin, an antioxidant that can reduce your risk of developing several health conditions, including heart disease.
The seeds are also high in fibre, which can help to lower high blood pressure and, in turn, reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
In fact, just two tablespoons of chia seeds has two times more antioxidants than blueberries, provides 20 percent of your protein, has three times more iron than spinach and has 64 percent more potassium than bananas making it a staple for those wanting to boost their longevity in an easy way.
Chia seeds contain several components that, when eaten as part of a balanced plant-rich diet, may prevent the development of various chronic diseases, said the School of Public Health.
The site added: “Of particular interest by researchers is chia seeds’ high content of alpha-linolenic (ALA) fatty acids. Sixty percent of the oil in chia seeds is from these omega-3 fatty acids.
“In animal and human studies, omega-3 fatty acids have shown a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health (lowering cholesterol, regulating heart rhythms and blood pressure, preventing blood clots, decreasing inflammation).”
Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are highly nutritious. They’re packed with fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and various micronutrients.
The fibre and protein in chia seeds may benefit those trying to lose weight.
Most of the fibre in chia seeds is soluble fibre which absorbs water, becomes gel-like, and expands in the stomach
This action helps to slow your digestion and help you feel full after a meal.
Lower diabetes risk
Studies examining the effect of chia seeds on blood sugar control in animals showed an improvement in insulin resistance.
This was echoed by a similar clinical study published in the National Library of Health.
The study found that chia seeds are effective in attenuating blood glucose levels.
It concluded: “Flexibility in the use of either the ground or whole seed may increase the ease of incorporation and acceptability as a dietary supplement.”
On the whole chia seeds are well-tolerated, however, consuming too many in one sitting may cause abdominal discomfort, constipation and bloating.
For this reason, it is important to drink adequate amounts of water, especially if the seeds have not been pre-soaked.
Those with inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis may need to regulate their fibre intake and limit their consumption of high fibre foods such as chia seeds.
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