Photography by Zin Ko Oo
Have you ever tried chia seeds for your health?NOW YES (-_-)
They are the seeds of chia plants in the mint family. Their native is Mexico and Guatemala and they are commonly used as food in several countries of western South America, western Mexico, and the southwestern United States. And the good news is that the Kayah is the one and only land of the country where chia plants are now being cultivated.
The leaves are also high in protein and nutrients!
The leaves are also high in protein and nutrients, and are therefore a valuable addition to your salad or stir fry. But in this article, we will only focus on chia seeds. The seeds are edible and have a mild, nutty flavor and go well with both sweet and savory dishes and the taste seems to be similar to a poppy seed or an alfalfa sprout. Like a poppy seed, they are a little crunchy and dense as well.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. One of the antioxidants in the seeds reduces the risk of several health conditions. Since they are high in fiber, they can lower blood pressure and prevent your heart risk from developing. Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants may reduce the risk of developing heart disease, certain types of cancer and cognitive decline.
Myanmar is a low-income Southeast Asian country, facing the risk factors leading to diabetes and prediabetes. So that’s a big deal! A survey says prevalence of diabetes in Myanmar was 10.8%: 11.5% in males and 9.2% in females.
Chia seeds also reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar levels and thus lower your risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Researchers say that bread containing chia seeds prevents high blood sugar levels.
The seeds are also good for reducing inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to health conditions like heart disease and cancer. Caffeic acid can help to fight inflammation in the body. Eating chia seeds regularly may also reduce inflammatory markers, which often indicate the presence of an inflammatory disease.
Weight management? Yes, a 1 ounce serving of the seeds equals to 39% of fiber. This soluble fiber absorbs water, causing them to expand in your stomach and increase your feeling of fullness when you eat them. And it maintains your healthy weight.
Bone health? Sure! The magnesium and phosphorus in the seeds are vital for bone health. A single ounce of the seeds also contains 18% calcium, which is essential for bone, muscle, and nerve functioning. One thing is that chia seeds have more calcium than dairy products.
Everyone already knows about omega-3 fatty acid that reduces the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and inflammatory conditions. A one-ounce of serving chia seeds has 138 of calories, 4.7 grams of protein, 8.7 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 9.8 grams of fiber and 0 grams of sugar.
But like any other foods, eating too much many may cause complications. Since they are high in fiber, eating too many seeds may cause constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas. Dry chia seeds absorb water, which causes them to swell up and become gelatinous. They can get stuck in your throat leading to a choking. To avoid these risks, soak the seeds 5 to 10 minutes before use. Again, eating too many seeds can cause severe dips in blood sugar levels and blood pressure if you’re already taking medications for diabetes or hypertension. One tea spoon in the morning and another, in the bedtime is enough.
You can mix them with milk or any fruit juice. Or create an egg replacer in cakes or breads. Sprinkling raw seeds on oatmeal or a salad is a famous one. Some soak them to make chia sprouts. For fried chicken you can mix them with almond flour and spices to make a breading.
So why not try these cute little seeds, especially if you’re with diabetes or hypertension or if you want to build muscles and lose weight. And we hope these plants will abundantly grow in our lovely land, Kayah!
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Writer – Aung Thet Naing