Is it true that chia seeds are good for your heart?
Since its appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, I've gotten my share of chia questions. You probably best remember chia from a catchy jingle in the '80s for Chia Pets. Well, people are now gobbling up chia for its proposed heart-healthy benefits. Chia is believed to contain very high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and protein, not to mention calcium, magnesium, iron, and antioxidants. Early studies seem to indicate that chia may help reduce blood pressure and improve blood sugar control.
Chia is actually a member of the mint family and grows in Mexico and South America. Whole-grain chia is harvested from a plant called Salvia hispanica. How do you take chia, you may ask? Well, some people eat whole chia seeds, consume chia oil supplements, or use chia in baking.
Chia isn't for everyone, though. If you suffer from high triglycerides and use chia, you should have your triglyceride levels checked more often and tell your doctor you're consuming chia. Chia contains high levels of a certain chemical that may increase your triglyceride levels. Now, before you go out and stockpile a ton of chia, keep in mind that more studies are still needed. And you should always tell your doctor if you're considering a drastic change in your diet or adding a new supplement.
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