5 reasons to add chia seeds to your diet

Chia seeds might be tiny in size, but they pack quite a punch when it comes to nutrients. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 18 September 2020

5 reasons to add chia seeds to your diet

DUBAI: Learn all about the superfoods that will help you live a longer and healthier life. Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach, fills you in…

Chia seeds might be tiny in size, but they pack quite a punch when it comes to nutrients. Blend them into superfood smoothies or oatmeal for breakfast, sprinkle them for a crunchy topping on an exotic fruit bowl or healthy bake, or soak in water or milk for a tasty chia pudding base. Find out how they can help keep your mind and body in top condition.

High in plant-based protein

With four grams of protein in every two tablespoons (28g), chia seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein for non-meat eaters. Protein is key component for everything from building and repairing tissues to making enzymes and hormones. It’s also an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Although the same amount of chia contains 12g of carbs, 11 of those are actually fiber, making chia a great low-carb, high protein option for plant-based and meat-eating athletes alike.

Bone health

High-protein diets have been linked to decreased bone fractures. (Shutterstock)

Chia seeds are high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and protein — all essential for bone structure and growth. With 18 percent of the recommended daily intake of calcium in two tablespoons of chia, the amount of calcium gram for gram is higher than most dairy products. High-protein diets have also been linked to decreased bone fractures.

Anti-aging properties

Being rich in antioxidants and omega-3 oils makes chia seeds a superfood for the skin. They contribute to the anti-inflammatory properties that have been linked to both prevention of wrinkles and calming of inflamed skin. They also help treat a number of skin disorders, can help reduce acne scars and keep skin looking radiant. Chia seeds can also be applied topically by making a homemade face mask when mixed with coconut oil and lemon juice.

Brain health

Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, which protect the brain from damage. (Shutterstock)

As mentioned, chia seeds are stacked with omega-3 oils, which have been linked to fighting depression, improving sleep, increasing memory and concentration, protecting against cognitive decline, as well as increasing learning in children and adults with ADHD. Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, which protect the brain from damage, and in minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, manganese and zinc which are all necessary for different brain functions.

Aid weight loss

The high protein, high fiber content of chia seeds make them great for keeping you full and away from the naughty snacks. Because of the high soluble fiber content, chia seeds can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, expanding in your stomach and increasing the feeling of fullness — and in turn leading you to eat less and lose weight. Studies have shown a high protein intake can reduce obsessive thoughts about food by 60 percent and the desire for night-time snacking by 50 percent.

Meet the hijabi fashion blogger redefining modest style

Updated 19 October 2020

Meet the hijabi fashion blogger redefining modest style

DUBAI: With their chic, modest style and unprecedented flair for makeup, a new crop of Instagram stars are irrevocably redefining the hijab. Rana Ellithy, who recently popped up on our radar, is certainly one to watch. 

The 21-year-old became an Instagram sensation in less than a year, garnering almost 100,000 followers in mere months after uploading a styling video on Instagram in April. “I was really not expecting that video to blow up like that,” she shared with Arab News. “I did it just for fun, but I got some really positive feedback,” she added, stating that some young women even messaged her to tell her they felt inspired to wear the hijab because of her video.

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Do I look tall?

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Ellithy was born in Egypt and brought up in the UK. The business consultant, who graduated last year, now splits her time between London and Cairo. It was in the former where the stylist and influencer decided to take blogging more seriously. “I was bored during quarantine in London,” she explained. “So, I started taking more pictures and videos and uploading them on Instagram.”

The stylist believes the reason that her videos and photographs were able to resonate with so many people so quickly is because of her ability to effortlessly take readily-available pieces and basics from Zara and H&M and create chic outfits that her Gen Z followers can easily reinterpret.

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Rare pic without my sunglasses

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“I always felt like there was a gap of modest bloggers around my age,” Ellithy shared. “Their fashion taste is very good, but it’s not personally what I would wear. I try to stick to everyday basics because that’s what girls my age like,” she said, adding that some of her go-to brands are Egyptian labels Emma, a headscarf brand, and Zoella. 

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Bright Bright

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Fortunately, Ellithy’s foray into the world of social media has been smooth, with her only obstacle being balancing her full-time corporate job with blogging. “It’s really hard to balance the two,” she admits. “There’s a lot of expectation on me to post consistently, so I try to film as much content as I can on the weekends,” she said.

However, she revealed that she will eventually pursue her love for fashion full-time and even has plans to roll-out her very own online concept that focuses on everyday basics for modest dressers.