Connect with us

Whole Grain Benefits

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds



Increasing interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle has recently led to studies of the health benefits of novel functional foods such as chia seeds, acai berries, and apple cider vinegar, all of which have important nutritional and disease preventive properties. Above all, chia seeds are often referred to as “superfood” or functional food.

Image source: mchin /

What are chia seeds?

Research interest in chia seeds was sparked by their high content of ω-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, nervous system diseases, and inflammatory diseases. Chia belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae), which is native to South and Central America.

Chia seeds are becoming increasingly popular as a gluten-free alternative, and the cereal is widely available as whole grains, oil, and flour. In addition, because of their nutritional properties, chia seeds are often incorporated into various food products such as multigrain bread, cereals, and food bars.

In terms of their macronutrient content, chia seeds contain carbohydrates (42.12 g / 100 g), fat (30.74 g / 100 g), fiber (34.4 g / 100 g) and protein (16.54 / 100 g). These seeds also contain antioxidants in significantly higher amounts than many other plants and are rich in phenolic compounds known for their antioxidant content.


Dietary fiber is made up of several compounds that include vegetable carbohydrate polymers, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides such as hemicellulose, pectin substances, and cellulose, all of which may be associated with non-carbohydrate components and lignin. These include waxes, saponins, and phyayes.

Chia seeds contain 2.3 times more fiber per 100 grams than oats, 8.3 times more than corn and 9.8 times more than rice. Two tablespoons or 10 grams of chia seeds, which is more than a third of the recommended daily fiber intake.

Total daily fiber intake is an important part of the diet. The health benefits associated with fiber include a reduction in cholesterolemia, changes in both insulin and glycemic responses, improved gastrointestinal transit, and antioxidant activity. Dietary fiber also has a fat binding function that enables gel formation, which is known to contribute to satiety. Fiber is also linked to a chelating effect, which is used to chelate ions.

The ratio of soluble fiber (SDF) and insoluble fiber (IDF) provides important information about the nutritional and physiological effects of chia seeds. The American Dietetic Association recommends a fiber intake of between 25 and 30 g / day for adults with an IDF / SDF ratio of 3 to 1.

The SDF and IDF content of chia seeds is similar in both Jalisco seeds (6.84 and 34.9 g / 100 g) and Sinaloa seeds (6.16 and 32.87 g / 100 g, respectively) . Much of the slimy texture of chia seeds can be attributed to the SDF in chia seeds, as these seeds are mainly composed of neutral sugars (NSSDF), which make up the structure of the mucus.

The high NSSDF content of chia seeds contributes to these seeds’ ability to lower cholesterol and slow down the movement of food in the intestines, which can help regulate blood sugar after a meal. Chia seeds retain this property at low water concentrations, whereby a gel capsule forms around the seed on contact with water.

Polyphenolic compounds

Antioxidant compounds reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. These compounds also offer protection against other conditions such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Chia seeds contain tocopherols, phytosterols, carotenoids and polyphenolic compounds, all of which have an antioxidant effect. The presence of these compounds serves to scavenge free radicals, chelate ions and donate hydrogen molecules.

Coffee and chlorogenic acids are the dominant antioxidants known to inhibit lipid peroxidation. Compared to vitamins C and E, these compounds are significantly more powerful antioxidants.

ω-3 fatty acids

The high content of alpha-linolenic (ALA) fatty acids in chia seeds is of particular research interest. The most important characteristic of chia seeds is their high polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content, of which 55-60% is linolenic acid (ω-3) and 18-20% is linoleic acid (ω-6). Combined, these lipids comprise 25-40% of the seed PUFAs.

PUFAs such as ALA are important for human nutrition, but should be consumed as food as they cannot be synthesized naturally by the human body. 60% of the oil in chia seeds is obtained from w-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can block calcium and sodium channel dysfunction that can lead to high blood pressure, improve heart rate variability and protect ventricular arrhythmias.

Previous studies have shown that when chia seeds are used as flour for breadmaking, the higher w-3 fatty acid content and a better w-6: w-3 ratio result in a better lipid profile in the baked product. w-3 acids can lower cholesterol levels, regulate heart rhythm and blood pressure, minimize the risk of blood clots and reduce systemic inflammation.

Image source: Nina Puankova /


The protein content of chia seeds is around 15-24%. The main protein component is globulins, which make up 52-54% of total storage proteins, and albumins, glutelin and prolamin, which make up 17.3-18.6%, 13.6% and 17.9% of the protein content of chia seeds. respectively.

Globulins are a rich source of glutamine, aspartic, aromatic, and sulfur-containing amino acids. Overall, these globulins contain essential amino acids such as leucine, lysine, histidine, valine, isoleucine, methionine, threonine, phenylalanine and tryptophan. These amino acids also play a role in metabolic activity.

Glutamic acid has been linked to central nervous system stimulation and exercise endurance. Aspartic acid also contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system and the regulation of hormones. In comparison, sulfur-containing amino acids are involved in the function of tertiary and quaternary structures of proteins. In addition, chia seeds are also a potential source of bioactive peptides that can act as protective agents against oxidative processes.

w-3 and w-6 fatty acids in chia oil are suitable for skin applications as they can inhibit melanin hyperpigmentation. More specifically, these fatty acids can downregulate the expression of melanogenesis-related genes that encode key melanogenic proteins. These phenolic compounds also have antioxidant properties that can weaken the effects of oxidizing agents that promote cell damage.

Chia seeds also have cardioprotective effects. For example, w-3 fatty acids can improve heart health, as shown by previous studies that showed that increased intake of ALA can reduce the risk of death from heart failure.

Another research found that the main cardiovascular benefits of chia seeds are a good source of w -3 fatty acids, higher fiber and iron levels, and better calcium and magnesium profiles compared to milk. This study also demonstrated the ability of chia seeds to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, prevent heart attacks and strokes by inhibiting platelet aggregation, and lower blood pressure.


In conclusion, chia seeds are an ancient grain whose growing popularity around the world is being driven by its nutritional profile, which offers a plethora of functional benefits. In particular, ALA represents chia seeds as an excellent source of w-3 fatty acids, which are associated with many beneficial physiological functions in humans.

Additionally, chia seeds are a great source of antioxidants that have heart, liver, antiaging, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Chia seeds are also a great source of fiber, which is beneficial for the digestive system and plays a role in controlling the development of diabetes.

At the macromolecular level, chia seeds contain unsaturated fatty acids, gluten-free protein, vitamins, minerals and phenolic compounds, all of which are essential components of a healthy, balanced diet. At the systemic level, chia seeds can play a therapeutic role in diabetes, dyslipidemia and high blood pressure, in addition to an important role in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant processes, as well as potential supportive roles in visual and immune processes.


  • Ciudad-Mulero M, Fernández-Ruiz V, Matallana-González MC, Morales P. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2019, 90: 83-134. doi: 10.1016 / bs.afnr.2019.02.002.
  • Melo D, Machado TB, Oliveira MBPP. Food function. 2019; 10 (6): 3068-3089. doi: 10.1039 / c9fo00239a.
  • Orona-Tamayo D, Valverde ME, Paredes-López O. Chapter 17 – Chia – The new golden seed for the 21st century: Nutraceutical properties and technological applications. In: Nadathur SR, Wanasundara JPD, Scanlin L (Ed.) Sustainable Protein Sources (pp. 265-281). Academic press. doi: 10.1016 / B978-0-12-802778-3.00017-2.
  • Valdivia-López A, Tecante A. Chapter Two – Chia (Salvia Hispanica): A Review of Native Mexican Seeds and their Nutritional and Functional Properties. In: Henry J (Ed.) Advances in Food and Nutrition Research (pp. 53-75). Academic press. doi: 10.1016 / bs.afnr.2015.06.002.
  • R. Ullah, M. Nadeem, A. Khalique et al. J Food Sci Technol. 2016; 53 (4): 1750-1758. doi: 10.1007 / s13197-015-1967-0.
  • Kulczyński B, Kobus-Cisowska J, Taczanowski M, et al. Nutrients 2019; 11 (6): 1242. doi: 10.3390 / nu11061242

further reading

Whole Grain Benefits

For the 55-and-over crowd, March 27-April 3, 2022 | Local News



For information about services available to older adults, contact Pam Jacobsen, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 2102 Windsor Place, C, at 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.


  • Active Senior Republicans in Champaign County’s monthly meeting will be held at 9:30 am on April 4 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library. This month’s speakers will be Jesse Reising, Regan Deering and Matt Hausman, Republican primary candidates for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.
  • Parkland Theater House needs four ushers each night for “The SpongeBob Musical,” opening April 14. There will be nine shows in total — April 14-16, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. For details, call or email Michael Atherton, Parkland Theater House Manager, or 217-373-3874.
  • Parkland College also needs four volunteers for commencement. The commencement ceremony will be in person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 8 pm May 12. Volunteers needed from 6:30 to 8 pm For details, contact Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, at or 217- 351-2206.
  • The Milford High School National Honor Society and Student Council is hosting a Senior Citizens Banquet at 6 pm April 22. The event will be held in the MAPS #124 Gymnasium (park at south doors at Milford High School. To RSVP, call Sandy Potter at 815-471-4213.


Knit or crochet for those in need:

Meditative Movement with Yoga:

  • 9 to 10:15 am Tuesdays and Thursdays.


  • 11 am to noon, second and fourth Tuesdays. Call 217-359-6500.


  • Noon to 3 pm Thursdays.


Card game 13:

  • To sign up to play, call 217-359-6500 and ask for Debbie.

Men’s group:

  • 9 am Monday-Friday. Join us for a cup of coffee and great conversation.


The Peace Meal Nutrition Program provides daily hot lunches at 11:30 am for a small donation and a one-day advance reservation at sites in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Sidney (home delivery only), Mahomet (home delivery only) and Homer.

For reservations, call 800-543-1770. Reservations for Monday need to be made by noon Friday.

NOTE: There is no change for home deliveries, but at congregate sites, you can get a carry-out meal.


  • BBQ pork sandwich, mini potato bakers, corn, creamy cole slaw, bun.


  • Turkey pot roast with carrots and celery, Italian green beans, pineapple, whole grain roll.


  • Savory sausage stew, broccoli, chunky apple sauce, biscuit, surprise dessert.


  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, tomatoes and zucchini, apricots, whole-grain roll.


  • Chef’s choice — regional favorites will be served.


If you are 55 and older and want to volunteer in your community, RSVP (funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and the Illinois Department on Aging) provides a unique link to local nonprofits needing help. We offer support, benefits and a safe connection to partner sites.

Contact Pam Jacobsen at or 217-359-6500.


Senior Volunteers.

  • RSVP of Champaign, Douglas and Piatt counties/AmeriCorps Senior Volunteers is your link to over 100 nonprofit organizations. Please contact Pam Jacobsen at or call 217-359-6500 for volunteer information.

Food for seniors. Handlers needed to unload boxes of food for repackaging at 7 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are looking for backup delivery drivers to deliver food to seniors. Contact Robbie Edwards at 217-359-6500 for info.

Continue Reading

Whole Grain Benefits

The future of nutrition advice



By Lisa Drayer, CNN

(CNN) — Most of us know we should eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

So why would the National Institutes of Health spend $150 million to answer questions such as “What and when should we eat?” and “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?”

The answer may be precision nutrition, which aims to understand the health effects of the complex interplay among genetics, our microbiome (the bacteria living in our gut), our diet and level of physical activity, and other social and behavioral characteristics.

That means that everyone could have their own unique set of nutritional requirements.

How is that possible? I asked three experts who conduct precision nutrition research: Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Martha Field and Angela Poole, both assistant professors in the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

CNN: How is precision nutrition different from current nutrition advice?

dr Frank Hu: The idea of ​​precision nutrition is to have the right food, at the right amount, for the right person. Instead of providing general dietary recommendations for everyone, this precision approach tailors nutrition recommendations to individual characteristics, including one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental factors, and more. This can help achieve better health outcomes.

CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to what we should be eating?

Huh: Not everyone responds to the same diet in the same way. For example, given the same weight-loss diet, some people can lose a lot of weight; other people may gain weight. A recent study in JAMA randomized a few hundred overweight individuals to a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet. After a year, there was almost an identical amount of weight loss for the two groups, but there was a huge variation between individuals within each group — some lost 20 pounds. Others gained 10 pounds.

Martha Field: Individuals have unique responses to diet, and the “fine adjust” of precision nutrition is understanding those responses. This means understanding interactions among genetics, individual differences in metabolism, and responses to exercise.

CNN: How do we eat based on precision nutrition principles now?

Huh: There are some examples of personalized diets for disease management, like a gluten-free diet for the management of celiac disease, or a lactose-free diet if you are lactose intolerant. For individuals with a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they should consume (a) phenylalanine-free diet. It’s a rare condition but a classic example of how your genes can influence what type of diets you should consume.

Angela Poole: If I had a family history of high cholesterol, diabetes or colon cancer, I would increase my dietary fiber intake, eating a lot of different sources, including a variety of vegetables.

fields: If you have high blood pressure, you should be more conscious of sodium intake. Anyone with a malabsorption issue might have a need for higher levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins and some minerals.

CNN: There is research showing that people metabolize coffee differently. What are the implications here?

Huh: Some people carry fast caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry slow genes. If you carry fast (metabolizing) genotypes, you can drink a lot of caffeinated coffee because caffeine is broken down quickly. If you are a slow metabolizer, you get jittery and may not be able to sleep if you drink coffee in the afternoon. If that’s the case, you can drink decaf coffee and still get the benefits of coffee’s polyphenols, which are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes without the effects of caffeine.

CNN: How much of a role do our individual genes play in our risk of disease? And can our behavior mitigate our disease risk?

Huh: Our health is affected by both genes and diets, which constantly interact with each other because certain dietary factors can turn on or off some disease-related genes. We published research showing that reducing consumption of sugary beverages can offset the negative effects of obesity genes. That’s really good news. Our genes are not our destiny.

Another area of ​​precision nutrition is to measure blood or urine metabolites, small molecules produced during the breakdown and ingestion of food. For example, having a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) strongly predicts one’s future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The blood levels of BCAAs depend on individuals’ diet, genes and gut microbiome. We found that eating a healthy (Mediterranean-style) diet can mitigate harmful effects of BCAAs on cardiovascular disease. So measuring BCAAs in your blood may help to evaluate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and encourage dietary changes that can lower the risk of chronic diseases down the road.

fields: The environmental effects can sometimes be on the same magnitude as the genetic effects with respect to risk for disease.

CNN: Our individual microbiomes may be able to dictate what type of diet we should be consuming. Can you tell us about this emerging research? And what do you think of microbiome tests?

Poole: Research has shown that in some people, their blood sugar will spike higher from eating bananas than from eating cookies, and this has been associated with microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome data to build algorithms that can predict an individual’s glucose response, and this is a major advance. But that’s not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies instead of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests eating white bread instead of whole-wheat bread due to blood glucose responses, I wouldn’t just eat white bread all the time.

At the moment, I’m not ready to spend a lot of money to see what’s in my gut microbiome… and the microbiome changes over time.

Huh: Microbiome tests are not cheap, and the promise that this test can help develop a personalized meal plan that can improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol … at this point, the data are not conclusive.

CNN: How will nutrition advice be different 10 years from now?

Poole: I think you will receive a custom-tailored grocery list on an app — foods that you want to buy and foods that you want to avoid, based on your blood sugar responses to foods, your level of physical activity and more.

Huh: We will have more and better biomarkers and more affordable and accurate nutrigenomics and microbiome tests as well as better computer algorithms that predict your response to food intakes.

But these technologies cannot substitute general nutrition principles such as limiting sodium and added sugar and eating more healthy plant foods. In a few years, you may be able to get a more useful response from Alexa if you ask her what you should eat — but like other answers from Alexa, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Continue Reading

Whole Grain Benefits

Are Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?



In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.

Typically, there are three main ingredients — bread, peanut butter, and jelly — each with different nutritional values.

Nutritional value of bread

Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.

For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ (1).

Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, it’s higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and keep you full longer (2, 3).

Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word “whole” as part of the first ingredient in bread’s nutritional label (2).

Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan (4).

Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although it’s not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.

Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.

But keep in mind that glycemic index doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole — for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role (5).

As a guideline, look for whole grain breads that offer at least 2 grams of fiber per slice. We also suggest using bread that contains 3 grams of protein or more per slice.

If that’s not available, sourdough bread may be your next best option.


Choose breads that are higher in fiber and protein, like whole grain bread or sprouted grain bread. These varieties help slow absorption of sugars and keep you full longer.

Nutritional value of peanut butter

Many people find peanut butter delicious.

Nutritionally, it also delivers. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, important for all stages of life, especially growing children. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber.

Two tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fats, and 2 grams of fiber (6).

Importantly, the majority of fats in peanut butter are unsaturated fats. Research consistently indicates that replacing saturated fats found in animal products with more unsaturated fats (like those in peanut butter) may lower cholesterol and improve heart health (7, 8).

For growing kids, healthy fats are vital for healthy development. Plus, fats help absorb the vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which play a synergistic role in supporting immune and brain health (9, 10).

Contrary to popular belief, conventional peanut butter doesn’t usually have more sugar than 100% natural peanut butter. However, it may have more salt (6).

When shopping, check the nutrition labels to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients other than peanuts.

When enjoying natural peanut butter, the oil will separate from the peanut butter. Not to fret — just give it a good stir! This helps mix the oils with the solids.

Pro tip: You can store peanut butter upside down in the fridge to keep it from separating again!


When available, choose 100% natural peanut butter, as it’s lower in salt. Remember to stir the peanut butter before eating to mix the oils with the solids.

Nutritional value of jelly

The PB&J sandwich isn’t complete without jelly or jam. What’s the difference, anyway?

Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, there’s a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp (7).

Both jellies and jams contain pectin (artificially added to jelly), which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health (8).

However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.

If you’re buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.


Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting good health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.