Hi! I'm Stelios Pantazis. I'm a doctor and I specialize in medical nutrition and metabolic disorders. Today, I'm presenting a superfood that you can include immediately and very affordably in your diet. Chia seeds. Chia seeds are very small seeds, usually white, red, brown or black, and they usually come from Mexico and Guatemala. It's an ancient plant the Mayas and Aztecs used as one of their main foods. The word "chia" means power in the Mayan language. Chia seeds contain a large amount of fibers, proteins and essential Omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important to our health, as well as metals, trace elements and other phytochemicals. This really nutritious package makes chia seeds very useful to our health. After presenting what chia seeds contain, I'll tell you in which cases they can really help with your health and how you can introduce them into your diet. Let me note that if you avoid gluten, you should know that there is no gluten in chia seeds. Chia seeds absorb the liquids in which they are contained, creating a kind of gel. This is useful in cooking, if you want to thicken a sauce. They can also replace eggs in cooking. You can find many recipes on the internet in order to use them. They're most commonly used to make pudding with chia seeds or in salads, yoghurt or breakfast cereals. In the table you see on your screen, you can see what 100 g of chia seeds contain. 46% of the seeds is carbohydrates, 83% of which is fibers. 19% is proteins and the remaining 34% is fats and oils. Let's see more details about it. Studying the table I just showed you, you can notice that 46%, namely the biggest part, is carbohydrates. But in reality, 83% of this is fibers. Chia seeds contain soluble fibers that are really useful to our health, because they are fermented in the intestine, and in this way they feed the good bacteria that are there. Many studies claim that foods rich in soluble fibers offer a series of benefits to our health, such as reduction of cholesterol, better regulation of blood sugar, and protection from some types of cancer and heart diseases. Another very important ingredient of chia seeds is their very high content in Omega-3 fatty acids. As we've repeatedly said, Omega-3 fatty acids are the most beneficial fatty acids for our health and the ones that our diet is mostly lacking. Namely, there's much room to increase Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, in order to enjoy a series of benefits. Since 75% of the fats chia seeds contain is Omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are a really useful food for blood vessels. But because Omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds are ALA, namely á-Linolenic acids, you can't rely exclusively on chia seeds to cover your needs in Omega-3 fatty acids. The Omega-3 fatty acids that we need are EPA and DHA, and while ALA is transformed into EPA and DHA, the effectiveness of the transformation is limited, which means that you should supplement the intake of Omega-3 fatty acids with foods that are rich in EPA and DHA, such as fish. The combination of EPA, DHA and ALA will guarantee sufficiency of Omega-3 in our body, which contributes to the heart's health, the treatment of cancer and the inflammation in the body, and reduces the risk of early death on the whole, according to studies. However, chia seeds are really rich in proteins, because they constitute 19% of their weight. Their protein content is similar to the protein content of legumes, such as lentils and beans, and it's double the protein content of cereals. Moreover, as in legumes, the quality of the protein is extraordinary, because it contains all nine essential amino acids. Let me remind you that the high-quality protein in legumes and chia seeds is considered equivalent to the protein contained in meat, eggs and dairy, without burdening us with saturated fatty acids, which, as you all know, are not really healthy. However, chia seeds also contain significant salts and trace elements, such as manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium, iron, magnesium and calcium. Unfortunately, chia seeds barely contain any vitamins. On the other hand, chia seeds are really rich in some phytochemicals, namely substances that help with our health, such as chlorogenic acid, which has been proven to reduce blood pressure, caffeic acid, which is a really strong anti-inflammatory substance, quercetin, which is a really strong anti-oxidant, and kaempferol, which has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer and prevent some chronic illnesses, such as heart diseases and dementia. To sum up, the benefits chia seeds offer to our health are the following: They increase Omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, which has been proven by studies to improve the health of the vessels, heart and brain. They improve the regulation of blood sugar, which is really useful for diabetic persons as well as people suffering from insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia. They reduce blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension. The regular consumption of food containing chia seeds has been proven to reduce blood pressure as effectively as some drugs. They contribute to the intestine's health. As I stressed in the beginning, chia seeds are really rich in soluble fibers, which are dissolved in the intestine by good bacteria, which feed on them, thus contributing to the balance of the gut microbiota. The consumption of chia seeds involves huge benefits. But in some cases, before you start consuming them in large quantities, you should discuss it with your doctor. Chia seeds, like all legumes, contain a large amount of phytic acid, which binds with some metals and trace elements and inhibits their absorption. In some cases, we don't want this to happen. Therefore, if you suffer from severe iron deficiency, for example, you should discuss with your doctor before deciding to use large quantities of chia seeds in your daily diet. Moreover, the high content in Omega-3 may affect blood coagulation. Therefore, persons that use drugs to modify blood coagulation, such as Sintrom, should discuss with their doctor before deciding to consume large quantities of chia seeds. Obviously, the consumption of a small amount, for example, one tablespoon a day, is in no case harmful. I hope I've persuaded you to pay more attention to chia seeds and find ways to introduce them into your diet. If you decide to do so, there are two things you should do. One, buy chia seeds from a health food store. They cost 5-6 euro per kg, if they're organic, which is a very low price that shouldn't concern anyone, because 1 kg suffices for you to consume 30 g of chia seeds a day, every day, for one month. Two, find recipes on the internet in order to use them. Enjoy! If you thought this was interesting, please give us a thumbs up. Share it with people who you think might find it interesting and subscribe to our channel in order to get notified when we upload a video. You can also suggest subjects in the comment section. Thank you very much!

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