Chia seeds show massive potential: researchers
COULD chia seeds be the newest discovery in a revolutionary health breakthrough?
Local University of Southern Queensland researchers Lindsay Brown, Hemant Poudyal and Sunil Panchal have made a giant discovery.
They believe that eating chia seeds, the tiny black or white seeds grown in the Kimberley region of northern Australia, could have a huge positive impact on your health.
These tiny seeds contain around 20-25% ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), a type of omega 3 fatty acid similar to that found in fish oil (DHA).
"The argument has always been that plant-derived omega 3s are not as good as fish oils, but it is simply not true," said Prof Brown, who on Saturday shared some of his discoveries with a packed audience at Breathe Health Club in Urangan.
Through scientific testing, Prof Brown has proved that the addition of chia seeds to your diet could decrease your blood pressure, improve your heart health to where the actual structure and function of the heart is improved, decrease the damage of a fatty diet on the liver and improve your glucose tolerance so that diabetes or metabolic syndrome could be treated and possibly even prevented.
But the biggest standout for health is the chia seeds' ability to decrease inflammation, since Prof Brown says, "obesity is now considered to be a low-grade inflammatory state".
And that chia seeds can redistribute fat in the body, especially the abdominal fat that is associated with cardiovascular risk.
This fat is moved by chia seeds to replenish fat deposits under the skin, for example in the arms and legs, which decrease during normal ageing.
This subcutaneous fat is very important as we age for insulation but it can also be eventually lost through diet and exercise.
Not only are the weight loss implications remarkable but eating the seeds increased lean muscle mass as well.
But the next surprise was an increase in bone density too.
It is the only food or intervention to be tested to ever show this type of activity.
So chia is basically reversing the major signs and symptoms of ageing and ill health. It:
- Reduces inflammation throughout the body
- Reduces obesity
- Moves fat from the tummy area back to the arms and legs, where it can be lost and/or act as a protective form of insulation from the cold
- Strengthens the bones - possibly preventing osteoarthritis and bone fractures
- Increases lean muscle mass and possibly muscular strength
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves the structure and function of the heart and liver
- Lessens metabolic syndrome and diabetes
And it's just a simple little seed we grow here in Australia.
Professor Brown has suggested adding 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds a day to your diet to see some of these health benefits.