News about Popular Seeds: Basil, Chia and Flax Seeds: Are they beneficial and why?

ChiaSeeds pic

Basil, Chia and Flax Seeds: Are they beneficial and why?  

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about seeds. Every year there is a news breaking  study that touts something is either wildly fantastic or suddenly awful for you. So, as with all things health, the one consistent factor that we must bear in mind is that we are all different. Each of us was born with a unique genetic code, so we cannot just suddenly stumble upon the one magic bullet that works for all of us. As an example, some people have allergies and sensitivities to a number of ingredients, while others breeze through life without any aversions. At any rate, my point is there is not a magic food, pill or mantra that will suddenly make you healthy or give you superpowers. 

Now for the topic at hand: Seeds- good, bad or somewhat beneficial, here is what we know to date:

Nutrition facts:

*Using 1 tablespoon Chia seeds vs Basil and Flax seeds as a guide.
 

CHIA

BASIL

FLAX

Calories

60

38

46

Fat

4.4g

1g

3g

Protein

3g

1.5 g

2g

Carbs

5g

8g

 3g

Fiber

5g

 

2.5g

Calcium

6%

366 mg

8%

Zinc

4%

1%

 
Iron

4%

14 mg

10%

 Note: To optimize the benefits, it is suggested to mix the seeds, as they contain different types of antioxidants. However, Chia seeds are a complete protein and lead in both protein and fiber content.

Other notable claims:

*Chia seeds have 2 times the amount of potassium as bananas and have 3 times the amount of antioxidants that blueberries have.

More details and distinguishing features of the seeds at hand: 

Health Benefits Of Basil Seeds (Otherwise known as Sabja, or Tukmaria)

Basil seeds have antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti fungal,properties. The properties are useful in providing relief in a wide range of digestive issues like stomach cramps, and indigestion. The antispasmodic property is said to be beneficial in controlling and providing relief in whooping cough and also gives soothing effects and in providing relief in respiratory problems like cold, cough, and the flu. Additionally, Sabja seeds have a calming effect on the brain and as another bonus, they relieve stress, tension, mental fatigue, depression and migraines and are also known for enhancing one’s mood.

The antibacterial properties benefit in the treatment of cuts, wounds, and infections of the skin. Apparently, the seeds can also be crushed and applied. It is also mentioned that Basil Seeds can aid in reducing weight. A unique feature of this little seed is that once soaked in water they swell immensely and when this water along with the seeds is consumed, it fills one up, thus assumed to prevent chances of overeating. The anti inflammatory properties benefit by reducing inflammation, pain and swelling in arthritis, control formation of plaque in the arteries thereby reducing the risk of stroke and heart attacks and can also lower cholesterol.

The basil seeds are noted to help to cleanse the the body of toxins and relieve food poisoning and its associated symptoms like nausea and vomiting and also detoxifies and cleanses the blood. (I would still however take other precautions if you are poisoned..just in case as claims are claims until proven to be fact. 🙂 )

Finally, Basil seeds are rich in iron and are said to help in treating anemia and also in fighting plaque and cavities. (A Plus!…Your dentist will appreciate this.) 

Chia Seeds:

Chia Seeds deliver a massive amount of nutrients with very few calories.

The tiny black or grey seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica, which is related to the mint; this plant grows natively in South America.

Chia seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans back in the day and they are noted for their ability to provide sustainable energy… in fact, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.”

Though the seeds were very popular in the ancient diets of Aztecs and Mayans, we have  only recently begun to see the popularity of this seed as a nutritional supplement and now equate chia with a healthy diet.

The affiliation stems from the fact that Chia seeds are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein; all which are essential for bone health.

 Other positive claims include : 

Their ability to fight belly fat: chia’s stabilizing effect on blood sugar is also said to fights insulin resistance which can be tied to an increase in belly fat. This type of resistance can also be harmful for your overall health.

Get Full. Faster

Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, is also found in chia seeds. While tryptophan is responsible for that strong urge to nap after a big Thanksgiving dinner for example, it also helps regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood.

Improve Heart Health 

According to research, chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol. All the more reason to sprinkle chia on your yogurt!

Flax Seeds:

Flax seeds started becoming popular for nutritionally conscious people a few years ago. As a result, there are many flours, cereals, breads and other products available that contain flax. Today, when we think about antioxidant-rich foods, the first foods that come to mind are typically vegetables and fruits; yet, according to recent research, flaxseeds also belong high up on our list of antioxidant-rich foods. Flaxseeds are said to be significantly higher in polyphenol antioxidants than blueberries, vegetables and olives. 

The antioxidant benefits of flaxseeds have long been associated with prevention of cardiovascular diseases and have recently also been tied to decreased insulin resistance. Additionally, flaxseed intake is said to help fight obesity and skin cancer:  As an example, researchers found that mice receiving 10% flaxseed supplementation were able to reduce melanoma tumors by as much as 63%. Another study claims that patients with significant depression levels also suffered from lower levels of acids that are found in various foods including flax seeds; and finally, researchers report that flax seeds could have cholesterol-lowering effects, so consider adding some flax seeds to your meals!

So, there are the listed claims…. As always, studies are ongoing, so never put all of your eggs in one basket, but it is good to know that these three tiny seeds potentially contribute to your health and wellbeing, so enjoy in moderation!