Cooking with Chia For Dummies
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Omega-3 fatty acids are key to keeping your heart healthy. Chia is the among the best plant sources of omega-3s, and it gives the heart and blood network a boost of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

The heart pumps blood to all the tissues in the body through blood vessels and arteries. You need to keep the heart muscle, blood vessels, and arteries in good shape because the buildup of fat in these components can lead to heart disease, which can diminish quality of life or even be fatal.

There are other ways to keep your heart healthy, including exercise. Also, maintaining a healthy weight means the heart doesn’t have to work too hard to push the blood around the body. To maintain a healthy weight, you need to be feeding your body the right nutrients, and chia can help by providing these.

Lowering cholesterol

Your body needs cholesterol to help the function of the liver. Cholesterol is a waxy, fatlike substance that is found in the cells of the body. There are two types of cholesterol that your body can produce: so-called “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) and “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL).

When too many fat cells build up with excess fat and other substances and cause plaque to form in your arteries, that can lead to heart disease. Most people who are diagnosed with high cholesterol can do something about it by changing their diet and lifestyle. By exercising more and eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, most people can lower their cholesterol levels naturally.

In every 15 g serving of chia seeds, there is an average of 3,000 mg of omega-3 ALA. Getting just one serving of chia in your daily diet goes a long way toward helping to reduce your cholesterol naturally.

Reducing blood pressure

High blood pressure is often a result of your blood vessels finding it hard to pump blood around the body because there is too much plaque build-up in the arteries. High blood pressure can lead to stroke and heart attack so it’s very important to try to keep your blood pressure at a normal level. There are few symptoms of high blood pressure, but your doctor can measure your blood pressure quickly.

Like cholesterol, a healthy lifestyle and a good nutrient-dense diet can help to lower blood pressure by reducing the amount of plaque building up in your arteries. A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, complex carbs, fiber, vitamins, and minerals can do this — and chia can help provide these nutrients. You can also help to reduce your blood pressure by lowering the intake of salt in your diet and exercising more.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Barrie Rogers is cofounder of Chia bia and, an Irish chia company and website that provides a wealth of information about chia seeds and health and offers a number of chia products for sale, including seeds, bars, and beverages. Debbie Dooly is Marketing Manager of Chia bia.

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