Chia Seeds - Actively Helping To Lower Cholesterol Levels
In the UK a staggering six out of every ten British adults have a total cholesterol level over 5 mmol/L, when the recommended level is below this number. And contrary to popular belief it’s not only men who are at risk from high cholesterol. In fact the British Heart Foundation recently revealed that an alarming 47% of all Coronary Heart Disease in British women could be directly attributed to high cholesterol levels, compared to 45% of male patients. High cholesterol levels, which often go undetected, not only lead to a narrowing of the arteries, heart disease and ultimately, heart attack, but also strokes and mini strokes.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is an essential fatty substance or ‘lipid’ that your body requires in order to function satisfactorily. It is produced by the liver and also found in certain foods. If your body receives more cholesterol than its cells can utilise, then it builds up in the artery walls causing a narrowing of the arteries and blood clots.
How can I lower my cholesterol levels?
According to the NHS, the first step in lowering your cholesterol levels is to enjoy a healthy balanced diet that is low in fatty foods, particularly those loaded with saturated fat such as processed, convenience foods. In addition you can also incorporate those foods specifically known to actively lower cholesterol levels, such as chia seeds, into your daily diet.
How can chia seeds help to lower cholesterol levels?
Chia seeds are an ancient food once enjoyed by the Aztecs – they are packed with vitamins (especially vitamin A), minerals (including calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese and sodium), protein, enzymes, carbohydrates, amino acids, fibre and antioxidants, and are known to help promote a healthy metabolism, delay the signs of aging, balance blood sugar levels and boost your immune system. In addition chia seeds are a valuable tool that can be harnessed to lower our cholesterol levels in an entirely natural way.
That’s because chia seeds contain:
Large quantities of dietary fibre – one ounce of chia seeds contains an impressive 10.7 grams of dietary fibre, which the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center believes can lower both total and LDL cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) levels in your blood.
High volumes of Omega-3 fatty acids – one ounce of chia seeds contains almost 5 grams of alpha-linoleic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid that the University of Maryland has suggested may help reduce total cholesterol levels. As the body cannot produce this essential fatty acid, which is vital for the respiration, lubrication and strengthening of our cells, it’s important that you obtain it from your regular diet.
Long-Chain Triglycerides in the correct ratios – chia seeds contain essential long chain triglycerides, which scrub your arteries clean, in just the right quantities.
In addition the omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fibre found in such abundance in chia seeds are believed to improve the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering drugs, often allowing patients to lower their dose of medication.
How can I incorporate chia seeds into my daily diet?
Whilst chia seeds are only currently allowed for sale as a bread ingredient in the UK, according to a recent report by the BBC, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes is poised to allow chia seeds into a wide variety of products including baked goods, breakfast cereals and nut and seed mixes.
Indeed, Chia seeds are extremely versatile and can be scattered liberally over salads, stirred into breakfast cereals, soups and sauces or mixed into smoothies, shakes and protein drinks. An ideal ingredient in bread, chia seeds can also be soaked in water (+ / - 150 ml per 15 grams of chia seed) to create a gel-like substance that makes the perfect base for a range of healthy desserts, hamburgers and biscuits or used to thicken tea.
Where can I buy chia seeds?
Detox Your World stocks premium quality chia seeds that have been certified organic by the "Organic Farmers & Growers" - the UK’s leading government accredited organic certification body.