Chia seeds, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants, have gained attention for their weight-loss benefits. These versatile, dense seeds can be enjoyed in various ways and can be incorporated into several dishes, such as oats. But beyond shedding kilos, do you know what these tiny seeds can do? Well, it has been found that chia seeds play a crucial role in lowering cholesterol levels and enhancing heart health. Rich in soluble fiber, these seeds may contribute to reduced LDL cholesterol, while omega-3s support heart health by promoting a favourable lipid profile.
Additionally, chia seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that may further benefit cardiovascular function. But if you are still not convinced, here are some compelling reasons, explained by nutritionist Dr Archana Batra.
Here are 7 reasons why chia seeds may help reduce high cholesterol levels:
Chia seeds are an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3s play a crucial role in lowering cholesterol levels and supporting heart health. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, ALA helps reduce inflammation and improves blood vessel function, supporting overall cardiovascular function.
Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid. These antioxidants combat oxidative stress and inflammation, which are key contributors to heart disease. They can also help neutralize free radicals, reduce inflammation and support overall heart health.
The soluble fibre content in chia seeds contributes to managing cholesterol levels. Batra says, “Soluble fiber binds with cholesterol in the digestive system, preventing its absorption into the bloodstream and helping lower LDL cholesterol levels, often referred to as bad cholesterol,” says Dr Archana Batra. Due to their fibre content, chia seeds are also beneficial for digestion.
Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is crucial for cardiovascular health. Chia seeds exhibit characteristics that may contribute to managing blood sugar levels. The soluble fibre content slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, preventing sudden spikes and crashes in blood sugar.
The combination of soluble fibre and antioxidants promotes better digestion and aids in metabolism. Chia seeds also promote a feeling of fullness, helping in weight loss. Losing weight can lower your cholesterol.
Chia seeds contain potassium, which is beneficial for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Potassium helps balance sodium levels in the body, promoting optimal blood pressure and reducing the risk of hypertension and high cholesterol.
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High levels of triglycerides in the blood are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. According to a study, chia seeds, when combined with oats or soy, were shown to reduce triglyceride levels, contributing to improved cardiovascular health. The omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds play a pivotal role.
Beyond heart health, chia seeds provide a plethora of essential nutrients. Loaded with protein, essential minerals like calcium and magnesium, vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre, chia seeds are very beneficial for you.
Adding chia seeds to your daily routine is easy. Here are 5 ways to eat chia seeds:
Mix chia seeds into your morning oatmeal for a nutrient-packed boost. Allow the seeds to absorb moisture, creating a gel-like consistency that blends seamlessly with the oats.
Combine chia seeds with water and let them soak to form a hydrating, refreshing beverage. Add a splash of lemon or fruit for added flavor.
Sprinkle chia seeds over salads to enhance texture and nutritional content. The seeds provide a subtle crunch and work well with various salad ingredients.
Prepare a delicious pudding by mixing chia seeds with milk and letting it refrigerate until thickened. Customize with sweeteners and toppings for a satisfying treat.
Blend chia seeds into your favorite smoothie for added thickness and nutritional value. The seeds contribute a subtle nutty flavor while boosting omega-3s and fiber content.
Enjoy the benefits of chia seeds in these ways and manage your heart health!