Tokma Dana (তোকমা দানা) or Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They’re loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain. Despite their small size, chia seeds are full of important nutrients. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium. Chia seeds can be eaten cooked or raw, but they should be added to another food or soaked before eating. Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke.
Proven Health Benefits of Tokma Dana
- Chia Seeds Deliver a Massive Amount of Nutrients With Very Few Calories. Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is related to the mint. Chia seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans back in the day. They prized them for their ability to provide sustainable energy. In fact, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple, chia seeds became recognized as a modern-day superfood only recently. In the past few years, they have exploded in popularity and are now consumed by health-conscious people all over the world.
- Chia Seeds Are Loaded With Antioxidants
Another area in which chia seeds shine is their high antioxidant content. These antioxidants protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid. Though the benefits of antioxidant supplements are debated, researchers agree that getting antioxidants from foods can have positive health effects. Most importantly, antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, which can damage cell molecules and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.
- Almost All The Carbs in Them Are Fiber
One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds has 12 grams of carbs. However, 11 of those grams are fiber, which your body doesn’t digest. Fiber neither raises blood sugar nor requires insulin to be disposed of. Though it belongs to the carbohydrate family, its health effects are drastically different from those of digestible carbs like starch and sugar. The digestible carb content is only one gram per ounce (28 grams), which is very low. This makes chia a low-carb friendly food. Because of its high soluble fiber content, chia seeds can absorb up to 10–12 times their weight in water, becoming gel-like and expanding in your stomach.
- Chia Seeds Are High in Quality Protein
Chia seeds contain a decent amount of protein. By weight, they’re about 14% protein, which is very high compared to most plants. They also have a good balance of essential amino acids, so your body should be able to make use of their protein content. Protein has various health benefits and is by far the most weight loss-friendly dietary nutrient. A high protein intake lowers appetite and has been shown to reduce obsessive thoughts about food by 60% and the desire for night time snacking by 50%.
- The High Fiber and Protein Content in Chia Seeds May Help You Lose Weight
Many health experts believe that chia seeds can aid weight loss. Its soluble fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in your stomach, which should increase fullness and slow the absorption of food Several studies have examined the soluble fiber glucomannan, which works in a similar way, showing that it can lead to weight loss. Also, the protein in chia seeds could help reduce appetite and food intake.
- Chia Seeds Are High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Like flaxseeds, chia seeds are very high in omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, chia seeds contain more omega-3s than salmon, gram for gram. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the omega-3s in them are mostly ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which is not as beneficial as you may think. ALA needs to be converted into the active forms of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) before your body can use it.
- Chia Seeds May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Given that chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, and omega-3s, they may reduce your risk of heart disease. Their benefits have been examined in several studies, but the results have been inconclusive. Rat studies have shown that chia seeds can lower certain risk factors, including triglycerides, inflammation, insulin resistance, and belly fat. They may also raise “good “ HDL cholesterol. However, one human study did not detect any improvements in risk factors.
Chia seeds are high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and protein. All of these nutrients are essential for bone health. Studies show that chia seeds may lower the rise in blood sugar after a high-carb meal, possibly benefiting people with type 2 diabetes. Limited evidence suggests that eating chia seeds may reduce an inflammatory marker known as hs-CRP. However, the health benefits are uncertain and more studies are needed. Chia seeds are easy to prepare and are often added to porridge or smoothies.