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Ingredient of the week: Chia seeds

 Chia seeds are a great addition to smoothies (Photo: Shutterstock)

Chia seeds are oval and gray with black and white spots. They are filled with Omega 3 fatty acids, iron, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, antioxidants and calcium. 

When mixed with water, chia seeds can replace eggs in vegan/vegetarian cooking and can be used to thicken sauces. They are also a great addition to smoothies. 

Chia seeds help in weight loss and fighting heart disease and are great for digestion and detoxing. A couple of scoops a day go a long way for cardiovascular disease and cholesterol as it is shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. For diabetics, chia seeds, which are high in fibre, help to keep blood sugar stable (when incorporated into food and smoothies) and assist in bowel movement. They may also reduce chronic inflammation and are great for your bones. 

Chia seeds are easy to incorporate into your diet, they can be eaten raw, added to cereal, porridge, vegetables, salads, rice dishes, smoothies, soaked in water (drink like you would a glass of water) or added to baked items. 

They are available in major supermarkets at Sh170 for 100g to up to Sh2,000 for 1kg. 

Would you rather have more money or more free time?

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