The Chia Seed brings huge numbers of unsurpassed nutrition along with amazing health benefits. With over 27 key nutrients, it contains six times more calcium than milk does. It also comes with 100% more Omega-3 nutrients than salmon as well as 41% of your overall daily fiber needs, and at only forty-one calories in a single serving of Chia seeds. The benefits include increased energy levels, improved digestion, and better complexion. It can also tone your muscles, boost your mental sharpness, and allow you to sleep better at night. It is a fantastic source of cholesterol-free protein and is packed with complete vegetable proteins. The organic chia seeds also contain a great deal of fiber, with two tablespoons giving you 42% of the amount of fiber you need to consume daily. I buy mine at the Organic Food Café in Dubai and have it religiously with my oats every morning. The seeds are practically flavourless so they will not alter the taste of your foods. They turn into a jelly texture when you mix them with liquids. My kids Sprinkle them on their porridge or cereal in the morning and they love them! You can sprinkle Chia seeds on salads, throw them in stews, mix them with yoghurt or juice, and bake them in pastries. Your imagination is the limit as you can serve them in seconds. They also have an impressive shelf life so you can store them as long as you want to. They are best kept in the fridge.
Here is Dr Perricone giving his view on Chia Seeds:
Fat is not the enemy! Our bodies need fat to function properly and depriving it will only be trouble in the long run.
Good fats basically fall into two categories Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and they are actually beneficial for our health when consumed in the right quantities.
MONOUNSATURATED fats are simple fats that are typically liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled (olive oil is an example). Monounsaturated fats can actually have a beneficial effect on your health when eaten in moderation and when used to replace saturated fats or trans fats. They can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells, and are also typically high in vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin most people need more of.
Examples of foods high in monounsaturated fats include vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil. Other sources include avocados, peanut butter, and many nuts and seeds.
POLYUNSATURATED fats are simple fats that are typically liquid at room temperature and when chilled. Polyunsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on your health when consumed in moderation and like Mono’s they can help reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease.
In addition, they also include essential fats that your body needs but can’t produce itself, such as Omega-6 and Omega-3. You must make sure you get these essential fats through your food as they play a crucial role in brain function and in the normal growth and development of your body. Foods high in polyunsaturated fat include a number of vegetable oils, including soybean oil, corn oil and safflower oil, as well as fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout. Other sources include some nuts and seeds such as walnuts and sunflower seeds.
How much fat should you consume per day?
Mono and Polyunsaturated fats, like all fats, contain nine calories per gram. The fats in the foods you eat should not total more than 25–35 percent of the calories you eat in a given day...and, for good health, the majority if not all of those fats should be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. So for example:
Lets take an average and assume 30% of your total calories should come from fat; If you are on a 2,000 calorie diet, 30% would mean you should be consuming 600 calories from fat. 600 calories of fat equals about 67 grams of fat. To put things in perspective, 1tbsp of oil is about 13.5g fat, 7 walnuts are 18.3g fat and so on...An ideal diet should include fat from nuts and seeds, oily fish like salmon, olive oil, avocados etc…
I personally buy olive oil and canola oil at home. I use olive oil raw in salads for example and for low temperature cooking. I use canola oil for high temperature cooking such as frying an onion for a stew. I use a very small quantity of oil in my cooking (about 1tbsp mixed with water) and add the rest through nuts and seeds, avocado in salads, hummus (sesame paste ‘tahini’ is a good fat) and so on. For baking, I replace all butter/margarine with canola oil and honestly its just as good if not better. So remember that fats are essential for our wellbeing and they are not all created equal! Choose the right ones and stay within the right quantities.
Have you ever heard of Tryptophan? It is an essential amino acid that is not made in the human body and must be obtained from the diet. Tryptophan has a very important function in our body as it gets converted into Serotonin, the ‘happy’ hormone responsible for mood and appetite. In turn Serotonin gets converted into Melatonin the ‘sleep’ hormone that helps us have a good nights sleep. So tryptophan is an important part of the whole feel-good cycle and essential part of our wellbeing.
Tryptophan deficiency can cause symptoms such as insomnia, low levels of serotonin, depression, anxiety, impulsiveness, irritability, inability to concentrate, weight loss and poor growth in children, according to the World's Healthiest Foods. When tryptophan deficiency is accompanied by a vitamin B-3 deficiency, symptoms can include dementia.
According to the World's Healthiest Foods, natural food sources of L-tryptophan include bananas, nuts, soybeans, red meat, seeds, dairy products, shellfish, tuna and turkey. Tryptophan is compromised in the cooking process so I would suggest you receive it through the consumption of raw food sources listed above. This way you will know that you are receiving the nutrient as nature attended!
Did you know that half a cup of sesame seeds contains three times more calcium than half a cup of whole milk? In addition to being an excellent dietary source of calcium, sesame seeds are also a good source of manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1 (thiamin), zinc, vitamin E, healthy protein, and dietary fiber. A quarter-cup of sesame seeds supplies around 75% of the daily value for copper, 31% of the DV for magnesium, and 35% of the DV for calcium.
In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances called sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.
Sesame seeds add a nutty taste and great flavour to many Asian dishes. Sesame oil can be added to stir fries for a yummy taste.
One of the best ways to get the health benefits of sesame seeds is by eating Hummus. They are the main ingredients in tahini (sesame seed paste) used to make Hummus and the wonderful Middle Eastern sweet call halvah (Halawa). Try this great Asparagus and sesame recipe:
1 bunch asparagus, 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or oil of your choice), 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, lightly toasted (toast in frying pan on high heat for a few mns), salt to taste. Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring to the boil. Cook Asparagus in the water for 5 mns until tender-crisp. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Shake off excess water and put back in pan over medium heat, pour in the oil and swirl around the pan, add the sesame seeds and salt to taste.
So my son injures himself during football practice and suspecting a fractured knee, I take him to one of the most renowned Orthopedic surgeons in Dubai who specializes in Sports injury. After a 20mn consultation and reassurance that it is just a sprain, he hands me a little plastic bag containing some black seeds…
Now he’s got my full undivided attention! It turns out to be a bag of Black cumin (Nigella sativa) or ‘Habet al Baraka’ as its called in our part of the world. He explains that the seed has amazing medicinal properties and will accelerate the healing process when taken every day. This of course got me researching this miracle seed and all studies confirm that it does in fact have remarkable health properties that have made it one of the most powerful and cherished medicinal seeds in history.
The seeds of the black cumin plant contain over 100 chemical compounds, including some yet to be identified. Hundreds of studies conducted have shown that compounds from the seeds help fight diseases by boosting the production of bone marrow and immune cells.
Several of the studies have shown that black cumin seed extract could assist individuals with autoimmune disorders and could possibly help to fight cancer.
One of black cumin's most popular and effective uses is the treatment of diseases related to the respiratory system including asthma, bronchitis and cold symptoms.
Black cumin seed oil helps calm the nervous system, quells colic pain, improves digestion and helps prevent and lower high blood pressure.
The seed also stimulates energy and helps in recovery from fatigue and low mood and is an effective cure for skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, acne, psoriasis and is anti-parasitic, treats flatulence, diarrhea, hemorrhoids and constipation…I could go on forever!
My recommendation is to take a teaspoon of seeds everyday as part of your diet. I have personally started adding them to my green juice every morning.
Black cumin is commonly referred to as black seed oil, black onion seed, black caraway, black sesame seed and other names, but try to find the one labeled ‘Nigella sativa’ which is true black cumin…
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