Chia Seeds 101
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Chia Seeds 101 – Top 8 Health Benefits & How To Consume?

Chia Seeds 101

Who knew something as small as chia seeds could pack such a nutritional punch? Here in Singapore, where we’re always on the lookout for the next big thing in health foods, chia seeds have quickly become a must-have in everyone’s pantry. They’re not just versatile and easy to incorporate into any meal, but their health benefits are through the roof!

Chia seeds have emerged as a powerhouse of nutrition, offering an array of health benefits that can significantly contribute to a balanced diet. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, Chia seeds can elevate your heart health, improve digestion and reduce inflammation. Perfect for topping off your breakfast or enriching your salad, chia, in all its forms, offers versatility and vast health benefits.

In this article, we dive deep into the world of chia seeds, exploring their nutritional content, health benefits, how to incorporate them into your diet, and how they compare to flax seeds.

What Are Chia Seeds?

What are Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are small, black seeds from the Salvia hispanica plant, a member of the mint family, which is native to central and southern Mexico. Notwithstanding their ancient history as a dietary staple, chia seeds have gained modern popularity as a superfood due to their impressive nutritional profile and health benefits.

Chia Seed Nutrition (Per 2 Tablespoons or 15g):

Chia Seed Nutrition Facts

Top 8 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

  1. Enhance Digestive Health: Chia seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber, offering about 5-6 grams per serving of 2 tablespoons. This high fiber content aids in digestion by promoting the growth of good bacteria or probiotics in the gut and ensuring smooth bowel movements. Regular consumption can help prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract.

  2. Enhance Heart Wellness: The omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), play a crucial role in cardiovascular health. These fats help to reduce blood pressure, lower triglyceride levels, and elevate HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol. This combination of effects protects against heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis. You may read this article for more information.

  3. Strengthen Your Bones: Chia seeds are a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, minerals essential for bone health. To put things in perspective, about three tablespoons of chia seeds will yield more calcium than a glass of milk. This makes chia a great alternative for those who don’t consume dairy products. Together, these nutrients contribute to bone mineral density and overall skeletal health.

  4. Blood Sugar Control: Incorporating chia seeds into your diet can help regulate blood sugar levels, thanks to their high fiber and healthy fat content. These components slow down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar spikes after meals. This regulatory effect can reduce the risks of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

  5. Great For Weight Management: The combination of fiber and protein in chia seeds can significantly aid weight management efforts. Fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach, increasing the feeling of fullness and reducing appetite. Protein also helps promote satiety, which leads to eating less food without feeling hungry. Together, they can help control weight by minimising calorie intake.

  6. Inflammation Reduction: Chronic inflammation is linked to several health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Chia seeds contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce inflammation markers in the body, promoting overall health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

  7. Improve Energy and Metabolism: Chia seeds are packed with B vitamins, zinc, iron, and magnesium, all of which are involved in energy metabolism. Their balanced blend of protein, fats, and fiber can help stabilize energy levels throughout the day. For athletes or those looking to enhance exercise performance, chia seeds can be a beneficial supplement for sustained energy and improved endurance.

  8. Mood Enhancement: Tryptophan, an amino acid found in chia seeds, is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood regulation. Consuming chia seeds may help improve mood and promote better sleep quality by facilitating the production of serotonin and melatonin, the sleep hormone.

How To Consume

How To Consume Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are incredibly versatile and can be easily incorporated into your daily diet. Here are a few ideas:

  • Soaked in Liquid: Soak in water or milk overnight to make a chia pudding. For a quick recipe, you can also stir and soak chia seeds in water/beverages for a short period of time (at least a few minutes) to allow the seeds to bloat and absorb water before drinking the beverage. 
  • Added to Smoothies: Blend with fruits, vegetables, and liquid of choice.
  • As an Egg Substitute: Mix with water to form a gel and use in baking. The general ratio for making a chia seed egg substitute is 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes until it forms a gel-like consistency similar to that of a raw egg.
  • Topping: Sprinkle on yogurt, salads, or oatmeal for a nutritional boost.

    If you’re looking for more creative ways to consume Chia Seeds, check out the recipes here.

What ’s the difference between White Chia Seeds and Black Chia Seeds?

There is no major nutritional difference between the black and white seeds. Studies have shown that the difference is more related to where and how the seed was grown, the soil condition of the area, and not so much the seed colour.


Chia seeds are a nutrient-rich superfood that can enhance your health in numerous ways. From improving digestive health to boosting heart health and aiding in weight management, the benefits are as versatile as the ways to consume them. By integrating chia seeds into your daily diet, you’re not only embracing a superfood but also adopting a healthier lifestyle with a stronger immune system in the long run.

For readers in Singapore looking to improve their health and wellness, incorporating chia seeds into your diet is a simple yet effective step towards healthy eating for the whole family. Whether the seeds are added to water, smoothies or breakfast recipes, made into chia pudding, or used as a nutritious topping, the possibilities are endless. Start exploring the benefits and recipes of chia seeds today and make them a staple in your health-conscious diet.

High Blood Pressure Foods
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Killing You Slowly : High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure Foods

One in three Singaporeans between age 18 to 74 years has hypertension (or persistent high blood pressure), according to the National Population Health Survey in 20201. This represents a sharp increase from the 24.2% in 2017. 

When a person’s blood pressure is consistently at 140/90mmHg or higher, he/she is said to have high blood pressure. A borderline high is between 130-139/85-89mmHg. 

Hypertension is often referred to as “the silent killer” because it may show no obvious symptoms and may strike you with a sudden cardiac arrest or heart attack. Older people are usually at higher risk as the vascular system changes with age. There’s a reduction in elastic tissue in their arteries, causing them to become stiffer and less compliant. Having said that, high blood pressure in young adults and even children is not uncommon in Singapore. 

The good news is high blood pressure can be managed with dietary and lifestyle changes. It is better to prevent it from young than to treat it later in life by taking blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.  

Tips To Manage High Blood Pressure 

1. Food Choices 

(a) Reduce Fat and Sodium Intake

The average Singaporean consumes as much as 3,600mg of sodium2 daily, which is close to 2 teaspoons of salt (9g salt) . This is almost twice the WHO’s daily recommendation of 2,000mg of sodium3 (or less than 5g salt). 

If you eat out often, opt for lower-salt and less-oil food options. As much as most of us love hawker fare, many hawker dishes are loaded with sodium. Laksa, for example, contains 7,904mg of sodium in one portion! Choose lower-sodium dishes, for example sliced fish bee hoon, herbal tonic soup, Teochew porridge, Thunder tea rice, economical rice with vegetables and fish (less gravy/sauce). Cut down on gravy- or sauce-based dishes such as lontong, laksa, and deep-fried foods. The gravies and sauces in hawker dishes usually have a lot of hidden sodium (and MSG) in them. 

If you prefer to prepare your meals at home, use less salt (or use lower-sodium salt) and less oil. We highly recommend choosing 1 of your daily meals to be low-in-sodium or sodium-free. The easiest way to do this without going crazy over what to eat at each mealtime is to go low-sodium for breakfast time – protein-rich oatmeals, overnight oats with chia seeds and fruit/nut toppings, smoothies with plant protein powders are easy and quick to prepare in the morning. Besides super-charging your body with an abundance of nutrients, these protein-rich breakfasts will make you feel full longer till lunch time while keeping your overall daily sodium intake lower. 

(b) Increase Fiber Intake – More Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts/Seeds

Incorporate a variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, high-fiber cereals, nuts/seeds and wholegrains into your daily meals or snacks. 

Potassium, magnesium and calcium in the diet have been shown4 to be important for hypertension control. The best sources of these micronutrients come from whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements. We recommend sweet potatoes, bananas, dried apricots, watermelon, avocado, chia seeds, moringa leaf powder, cacao powder, broccoli, spinach, yoghurt and many more. 

(c) Embrace Healthy Cooking Methods

Use non-stick cookware to minimize the need for added oils or fats. Choose grilling, baking, or steaming over frying, and enhance meals with herbs and spices rather than excessive salt.

(d) Limit Highly Processed Foods

Opt for whole foods that are minimally processed. Highly processed foods such as many frozen ready-to-eat foods in supermarkets/convenience stores often contain high amounts of sodium used as preservatives to prolong shelf life.

(e) Learn to Read Food Labels

Pay attention to saturated fat and sodium/salt content on food labels. Choose products with reduced fat, low to zero sodium content, and no added salt whenever possible.

2. Exercise As Lifestyle

A lack of physical activity is linked to high blood pressure. While exercise alone cannot compensate for an unhealthy diet, regular physical activity is vital as it lowers blood pressure by reducing blood vessel stiffness so blood can flow more easily.

However, it is important to note that the benefits of exercise will not be realized if it is not done consistently, as a habit. You can lose gains after stopping exercise for two weeks. The standard recommendation is to have moderate exercise for 150 minutes per week (or aim for minimum 30 min a day) or vigorous exercise for 75 minutes per week. 

Enhance the health of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system through activities like brisk walking, biking, swimming, hiking, dancing, and more. Remember to do something you enjoy so that it is easier to make the exercise a lifestyle habit. 

3. Lose Extra Pounds 

Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight can also lead to sleeping issues such as sleep apnea (disrupted breathing during sleep), which further raises blood pressure. Losing weight is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. 

4. Get Quality Sleep & Keep Stress Levels Low

Insomnia, sleep apnea, and not getting enough quality sleep can contribute to hypertension. Avoid large meals, drinking lots of water, alcohol, caffeine closer to bedtime. Try deep breathing exercises which have been shown to be beneficial for blood pressure and stress levels5.

5. Quit Smoking

Smoking increases blood pressure: it damages your heart and your blood circulation. 


  1. Singapore Heart Foundation  :
  2. Health Promotion Board. (2019). National Population Health Survey (NPHS).
  3. World Health Organization (WHO) A salt intake of less than 5 grams (approximately 2g sodium) per person per day is recommended by WHO for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death globally.
  4. NIH National Library of Medicine: Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium: Their Role in Both the Cause and Treatment of Hypertension 
  5. NIH National Library of Medicine : Deep breathing exercise at work: Potential applications and impact.


It is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly as high blood pressure is typically symptomless. Once diagnosed with high blood pressure, this chronic condition will stay for life and can lead to serious health problems and sudden stroke/heart attacks. Having said that, high blood pressure can be managed and kept under control if patients make effective lifestyle changes as mentioned in this blog and take BP-lowering medications as prescribed by their doctors. It is never too late to start managing high blood pressure. Take the first step today to make a lifestyle change that matters to your heart.

food List
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Diabetic-friendly Local Meals & Shopping Lists In Singapore. Are You Doing It Right?

food List

During the 2017 National Day Rally, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong emphasised the importance of eating healthy meals to cope with the growing number of diabetics and at-risk patients in Singapore. The main reason for so many people becoming diabetic is poor diet.

Nowadays, people consume sugar-sweetened beverages in excess, which is bad for their health. According to the Public Consultation Paper put out by REACH Singapore, drinking an additional 250 ml of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) every day increases a person’s risk of Diabetes by 18 to 26 percent.

We have heard time and again, it is healthiest to cook our meals at home. But we overlook this fact as our lifestyle has changed. We live in a fast-paced world, where devoting time to cooking meals is not possible for most people. So, they prefer to eat out and rely on the convenience of packaged food. Evidence states that one in four Singaporeans eat out daily, and more than half do so weekly.

People who already have diabetes should be especially careful with their diet choices. However, most people have a misconception that food options for individuals having diabetes are limited, which is not true. Instead of narrowing your diet options and just relying on salads, you can consider many diabetic-friendly local food options available in Singapore.

Some Healthy Diet Tips For Diabetic People

Control Your Portion Size

The main idea behind the term “diet” is to eat smaller portion sizes. You can safely follow the recommended portion size by Health Hub. Also, it is important to cut down on simple carbohydrates (e.g., white rice, white bread, pasta, noodles). Because they are stripped of almost all their fibre, minerals, and vitamins, making them synonymous with the term “empty calories”. To ensure you get all the necessary fibre and minerals, increase the consumption of lean protein and fibre.

Avoid Fried Foods & Eat More Vegetables/Plant-Based Foods

It might seem hard to make healthy food choices that are diabetic-friendly in Singapore especially when you’re eating at food courts or hawker centres. However, this is possible and very attainable. When selecting meals or dishes, ensure that vegetables are abundant while avoiding deep-fried foods. Fried foods have high trans fat that is harmful to the body. In addition, you should limit the usage of spicy sauces, condiments, and gravies in the dishes, as these are often high in sodium. Too much salt can raise your blood pressure. Cut down on the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages as they negatively affect your blood glucose levels. Drink lots of good plain old water instead!

Opt For Healthier Choices Over Simple Carbs/Fast Foods

Another option is to opt for brown rice which is diabetic-friendly compared to white rice (simple carbs). As brown rice has the bran layer and cereal germ, it has more nutrients. Its consumption does not result in a spike in blood glucose that commonly occurs when eating white rice. This makes brown rice favourable for people with Diabetes.

Asking for less rice than the standard rice bowl and avoiding flavoured rice such as biryani are also ways to ensure that portion sizes are controlled, and excess salt and fat are not consumed. Including servings of vegetables together with complex carbohydrates such as Quinoa or brown rice is a good way to lower the GI of a meal. This is due to the fibre content of the vegetables and the complex carbohydrates from whole grains like Quinoa, which also has an abundance of vitamins and minerals for your nutritional needs. Low-GI superfoods like quinoa, chia seeds, whole-grain breakfast cereals make excellent meals for diabetic people as they will not spike blood sugar levels and they are nutrient-dense too.

List of Local Diabetic-Friendly Foods

  1. Thunder tea rice.
  2. Chinese Economy Rice, Nasi Campur or Vegetarian Rice (request for less rice, choose 2 to 3 veggies as sides and opt for fish or tofu instead of other meats)
  3. Wanton Mee Soup and Sliced fish soup.
  4. Yong Tau Foo: without fried items, with 3 to 4 vegetable choices.
  5. Grilled Fish with mash potatoes and steamed vegetables.
  6. Mixed salad.
  7. Grilled chicken salad without sauces.
  8. Chappati with 2 to 3 vegetable sides.
  9. Steamed Chicken Rice with steamed vegetables (less rice)
  10. Kopi-O kosong.
  11. Popiah (request for less sweet sauce)

How To Prepare A Diabetic-Friendly Grocery Shopping List?

Being at a supermarket and knowing what to get can be confusing, especially when many advertisements and product companies are trying to sell you their product and tell you what is or isn’t good for you.

Contrary to popular belief, planning a diabetic-friendly grocery shopping list is simple. To do so, it is important to keep in mind the main components that make up your list. This is to ensure foods purchased include fruits and vegetables, lean meats and plant-based sources of protein, foods with less added sugar, and less processed foods.

Healthy Food Options For A Low-GI, Nutrient-Rich Diet


Goji berries, mulberries and golden berries are a few organic snacks that are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre. They are a great option to satisfy your sweet tooth while ensuring you get the added benefit of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, potassium, and fibre.


Sacha Inchi seeds and Chia Seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fibre which help reduce the risk of diabetes. Beyond that, sacha inchi seeds and chia seeds have loads of health benefits including improved cholesterol levels and gut health.

Whole Grains

Whole grains such as organic quinoa seeds and whole-grain cereals are rich in vitamins and minerals like magnesium, B vitamins, chromium, iron, and folate. They are also a great source of fibre, which slows down the digestion process. In addition, the glycaemic index of quinoa seeds is about 53 – a GI that is under 55 is considered low and will not cause your blood sugar to spike drastically. This is a lot lower than white rice, which has a GI of over 70.

After deciding on the items for your grocery shopping list, the next step is to buy them from a trusted source. Do your grocery shopping from a reputable organic food store in Singapore like Nature’s Superfoods. From sacha inchi seeds to organic whole grain cereals to organic snacks, you can get clean quality superfoods without the need to check whether these are genuinely healthy for you. So, start making healthy food choices for you and your loved ones with Nature’s Superfoods, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle!