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Chia Seeds: 8 Surprising Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds

The Kashmir Monitor

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Chia seeds might be tiny, but in terms of nutrition, these little seeds are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. These seeds are placed under the superfood category and for a good reason. For this, we shall get you acquainted with the many health benefits of chia seeds. But before that, let’s take a look at the nutritional value and calorie content of these super seeds. A spoonful of chia seeds, five pounds approximately, contains 69 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. The nutritional value of chia seeds further offers a wide range of health benefits. And the best part about these seeds is that they are versatile; there are no specific criteria of consuming these seeds. They can be added to salads, smoothies, vegetable curries and more.

Here’s a list of 8 amazing health benefits of chia seeds you simply cannot miss:

1. Fiber

 

These little seeds are packed with fiber, 5 grams in just a spoonful. With one tablespoon of chia seeds, you can make up for 20% of your daily fiber requirements. Dietary fiber in these seeds helps in lowering your cholesterol levels and boosts your digestive health. It helps in keeping your bowel movements in check and reduces the frequency and occurrence of constipation.

2. Stronger bones

Besides calcium, your bones need phosphorus and magnesium to stay in a good state of health. These nutrients can be obtained from chia seeds. According to a study published in the Nutrition Journal, people who consumed phosphorus were at a 45% lower risk of developing osteoporosis as compared to others. One tablespoon of chia seeds contain 122 mg of phosphorus and 47 mg of magnesium which makes up for 17% and 15% of the daily requirement of these nutrients.

3. Source of complete protein

Complete proteins contain all the essential amino acids required by the human body. These are usually found in animal-based foods. However, chia seeds are a plant-based source of complete proteins. This makes chia seeds the perfect source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. The protein content, however, is not very high. One tablespoon of chia seeds contains only 2 grams of protein. Add it to your pudding, salad, smoothies and other foods to make the most of these seeds.

4. Omega 3 fatty acids

Chia seeds are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid. It is a type of omega 3 fatty acid which offers protection against heart diseases. This fatty acid cannot be produced by the human body, therefore, it is important to consume it from food sources.

5. Keeps you hydrated

Here’s another good reason to relish a chia drink before going out for a run. Chia seeds soak up a lot of water which is why they help athletes and runners stay hydrated during high endurance sports. One gram of chia seeds can soak up 12 grams of water.

6. Weight loss

Because of the high fiber content, chia seeds make you feel full for longer, thereby cutting down your calorie intake. A study showed that people who consumed 7 to 14 grams of chia seeds ate 25% lesser than what they usually eat. Another reason why these seeds induce satiety is their ability to absorb water. Due to the high water content, they make you feel too full to eat more. Over time, these seeds induce weight loss.

7. Calcium

Chia seeds can be a source of calcium for vegans and lactose intolerant people. And if you are a dairy-consumer, simply add these seeds to your milk shake or yogurt to boost your calcium consumption.

8. Benefits for type 2 diabetics

One of the most important benefits of these seeds is its ability to boost the health of type 2 diabetics. It lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels of the patients considerably. Including chia seeds in the diet can be considerably beneficial for the health of diabetes patients.


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Health

This winter control asthma with inhalation therapy

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Whether youre indoors or outdoors, winter will exacerbate asthma attacks. Winter is the most loved season, but it might be unpleasant for patients with lung diseases. An American Lung Association fact-sheet states that asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders and currently affects about 7.1 million children under 18 years. The World Health Organisation Global Burden of Disease Study estimates that 13.8 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are lost yearly due to asthma, representing 1.8 per cent of the total global disease burden.

For 300 million people around the globe suffering from asthma, the cold winter months often lead to a worsening of their symptoms.

The cold environment it not suitable for asthma patients. Their lungs and airway passages are quite sensitive. To a larger extent, asthma symptoms related to winter can be in controlled and managed by precise treatment and medication. Due to the swelling in the lining of the airways which leads to their narrowing, and the sticky mucus or phlegm build-up that blocks the airways, breathing is difficult and forced for asthmatic patients.

 

During winter, the cold air causes airways to tighten further, making it even more difficult to breathe.

Many patients and their family members are misinformed about the causes of asthma and the treatment options available. It is a necessity to educate patients and caregivers about the disease and treatment with minimal side-effects of inhaled corticosteroids, i.e. inhalation therapy.

Many pharmaceutical organisations are running campaigns to bust myths around inhalation therapy. Often, the word steroids evokes apprehensions in the minds of patients causing them to shy away from inhalers. The steroid is produced by the human body naturally to deal with inflammation and it is also safe for children and pregnant women. The inhalation therapy consists of an inhaler pump to send the corticosteroids into airway passages.

According to a research article published in Respiratory Medicine journal, the correlation between inhalation therapy for asthma and clinical efficacy is positive, with improved symptom-control and lung-function shown in most studies of adults, adolescents and children.

In the inhalation therapy, the inflammation of the airway requires a very small quantity of corticosteroids — around 25 to 100 micrograms — but when it is consumed through the oral/intestinal route the amount administered is very large — about 10,000 micrograms, since only a fraction of the drug reaches the lungs. This means that every time an asthma patient pops a pill or a tablet, he/she is actually taking almost 200 times the amount of medication required, leading to ill-effects on health.

Inhalation therapy directly gives body only that amount of steroid needed to control the symptoms. Against this, oral medication first gets dissolved in the blood and then reaches various organs, including the lungs.

Thus, inhalation therapy is a simple and easy solution for asthma patients to enjoy their winter to the fullest.

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Health

Some nose, throat bacteria less likely to develop into flu: Study

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US researchers have identified a cluster of nose and throat bacteria that made their hosts less likely to get flu.

The researchers from the University of Michigan (UM) looked at samples of nose and throat bacteria and used DNA sequencing to identify which bacteria were present.

Analysing the bacterial composition across all samples, they found five clusters.After taking into account other known factors that could affect an individual’s
susceptibility to influenza, such as age, exposure to tobacco, crowded household and flu vaccination, the researchers then looked to see if individuals with a given cluster were less likely to get influenza.

 

“We looked at who had which cluster and whether it makes a difference on whether they got influenza, and it does,” said lead author Betsy Foxman, Professor at UM. “That’s the exciting thing about it. It tells us if you have this bacterial community, you have lower risk for getting the flu. That’s big news because it really hasn’t been shown before.”

However, the findings published in PLOS ONE journal also bring new questions.”Is it really possible to push someone’s microbiome in a way that would make a difference? Is it possible that we could tell people – ‘Here’s your microbiome pill?'” Foxman said, adding that “It’s a very long road and we’re at the beginning.”

Researchers hope that similar studies can be done in a different population and possibly follow them longer for secondary bacterial infections.”We know we are always going to need new antibiotics but this way we could hold on to them longer and, presumably, if we could intervene in this way there would be fewer side effects,” Foxman said.

For the study, the team enrolled 717 participants from 144 households. Household members of individuals with confirmed influenza were recruited for the study and followed for 13 days or until they developed influenza, whichever came first. They included only the 537 individuals who tested negative for influenza at the beginning of the study.

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Taking artificial sweeteners as a sugar substitute? Study says it may not be effective

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While some people who are trying to avoid sugar are increasingly opting for artificial sugar, a recent study has revealed that taking artificial sugar may not be a good idea after all.”Growing concerns about health and quality of life have encouraged people to adapt healthy lifestyles and avoid the consumption of food rich in sugars, salt, or fat to prevent obesity and other non-communicable diseases. With increased consumer interest in reducing energy intake, food products containing non-sugar sweeteners (NSSs) rather than simple sugars (monosaccharides and disaccharides) have become increasingly popular”, the study stated.

But replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners used in Diet Coke and other soft drinks has no effect on weight loss and their long-term health effects are still poorly understood, the review said. The study titled ‘Association between intake of non-sugar sweeteners and health outcomes: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised and non-randomised controlled trials and observational studies’ was led by the University of Freiburg and published in the BMJ.

It also highlighted the absence of research on the long-term health effects of sweeteners when taken over years or decades. In this comprehensive systematic review, a broad range of health outcomes was investigated to determine a possible association with non-sugar sweetener used by a generally healthy population.

 

“The studies were set up to look at different types of sweeteners, measuring weight, blood sugar (glycaemic) control, oral health, cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, mood and behaviour in consumers. For most of them, there was no statistical difference in weight loss or health benefits of adults and children using higher doses of sweeteners rather than small amounts or none”, a report in The Guardian stated.

This comprehensive systematic review covers a broad range of benefits and harms of NSSs in a generally healthy population of adults and children, following rigorous systematic review methods. “Overall, we included 56 studies of adults and children, which assessed the associations and effects of NSSs on different health outcomes.

For most outcomes, there seemed to be no statistically or a clinically relevant difference between NSS intake versus no intake, or between different doses of NSSs. No evidence was seen for health benefits from NSSs and potential harms could not be excluded. The certainty of the included evidence ranged from very low to moderate, and our confidence in the reported effect estimates is accordingly limited”, the study stated.

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