Tag Archives: Nutrients

The Benefits Of A Sprinkle Of Chia Seeds

SNL enthusiasts may recall the ‘Chia Head” sketch, featuring Kevin Nealon, Chris Rock, and David Spade as balding men who have “tried everything” and failed miserably in their futile attempts to regrow hair. The commercial spoof shows the actors throwing ineffective hair products in the garbage only to be pleasantly surprised by the discovery of “Chia Head.” This product, much like the “Chia Pet” novelty, requires the men to rub the gloppy formula on their heads, only to wake up the next morning having sprouted plantlike follicles in varying afro-like shapes – the most hilarious of which is probably Chris Rock’s Marge Simpson-inspired beehive-like do.

Funny as the sketch was, it is perhaps more amusing to realize that hair growth is one of the many health benefits of chia seeds. If only the SNL alum had known; a little sprinkle of chia really could’ve gone a long way.

Chia seeds

High in Nutrients, Low In Calories
It’s no accident that “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for strength. These tiny black seeds, related to the mint, contain 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of omega-3s, as well as a decent percentage of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorous. Chia seeds are a gluten-free, GMO-free, whole grain food, and one ounce contains a low 137 calories and one gram of carbohydrate.

Antioxidant Rich
The antioxidants in chia seeds prevent the production of free radicals that can cause damage to cell molecules and contribute to cancer and aging.

Fiber Rich
Although chia seeds have 12 grams of carbs per ounce, 11 of those are fiber, which means that these 11 grams are not digested by the body, do not raise blood sugar, and don’t require insulin for disposal. The high-fiber content means that the seeds can absorb as much as 10 to 12 times their weight in water, thereby increasing fullness, slowing food absorption, and decreasing feelings of hunger. Chia seeds are one of the best fiber sources in the world, helping to feed good bacteria in the intestine and promoting proper digestion.

High In Protein
Chia seeds are about 14% protein by weight and contain a good balance of amino acids, which assists in helping our body to process the proteins in them. High protein can reduce appetite and is shown to lower food cravings by 60% and the need for nighttime snacking by 50%.

Can Improve Athletic Performance
A recent study was conducted to find out if there was truth to the legend that Mayans and Aztecs used chia seeds as high-performance fuel. Six participants were given carb-loaded Gatorade or a mix of Gatorade and chia seeds. After a workout involving an hour on the treadmill followed by a 10-kilometer run, it was discovered that both groups performed equally well, suggesting that the chia seeds were just as effective as Gatorade in fueling athletic performance.

Incorporating Chia Seeds In Your Diet
Chia seed can be eaten raw or added to puddings, porridges, and baked goods. They can be sprinkled on yogurt, cereal, vegetables, and rice and can even be used as egg substitutes because of their ability to absorb water and fat. Recommended dosage is 20 grams, or about 1.5 tablespoons, twice daily.

Do you have any chia-seed recommendations for us? We’d love to hear from you!

5 Best Foods for Younger Looking Skin

Everybody loves to look young. While a healthy diet and proper care of your skin can help, you also need to make sure that you have the right amount of nutrients and proteins. Skin elasticity is a principal factor for wrinkle-free and younger-looking skin.

Vine Vera brings you the list below of the best foods to improve the elasticity of skin and make it less prone to wrinkles. These foods will help you get skin that is healthy and glowing, even if you are well into the age of lines and wrinkles.

Bunch of different dried fruits Dry fruits – Biotin is a B vitamin that forms the foundation for healthy hair, skin and nails. Almonds and peanuts provide for excellent dietary sources of biotin. Cashews and sesame seeds give plant-based selenium that protects the skin from sun damage. One can also use seed butters and nut to make a delicious sauce for whole grains and veggies. Vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient that protects the skin from sun damage is provided by nuts such walnuts and almonds.

Bowl of sweet potato soup Tubers – Root  vegetables such as sweet potato is another rich source of biotin. Our body uses copper to create elastin, which helps the skin cells to form a healthy foundation. Sweet potato also supplies the body with 16 percent of its daily copper requirements. It also has a very low glycemic index of 17 and contains 65 percent of the minimum amount of vitamin C essentially required by the human body on a daily basis. Sweet potato along with other starchy tubers, also stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid or HA by the body. This acid enables the skin to hold onto moisture, thereby helping it to maintain a smooth appearance. One can have a bowl of hot and spicy sweet potato soup.

Whole grains – The body’s daily need of selenium is fulfilled by whole grains. A cup of cooked couscous provides 62 percent of the body’s everyday selenium needs. One can also try a couscous and broccoli salad! Broccoli and couscous salad with other veggies

Broccoli – Alpha-lipoic acid or ALA is a super anti-oxidant with powerful anti-aging properties. The broccoli and couscous salad provides the body with a good amount of ALA, and is a double-whammy for elasticity of the skin. The amount of alpha-lipoic acid provided by two cups of broccoli equals to that of a supplement pill. It also contains a number of nutrients that strengthens the skin tissues and offers a natural tan to the skin that can be flaunted around the year.

Flax – Flax is a super seed that contains DMAE. It not only protects the skin against sun damage but also prevents the formation of wrinkles. It is another good source of dietary alpha-lipoic acid. However, it is to be made sure that the flax meal being consumed should be of ground flax seeds. This is because our body cannot digest whole flax seeds. One of the ways of having flax is by adding two tablespoons of it to a recipe of green smoothie.