Chia Seed Nutrition Facts
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database , 1 ounce ( 28 gram ) serving of chia seeds provides :
- 137 calories
- 12.3 grams carbohydrates
- 4.4 grams protein
- 8.6 grams fat
- 10.6 grams dietary fiber
- 0.6 milligram manganese (30 percent DV)
- 265 milligrams phosphorus (27 percent DV)
- 177 milligrams calcium (18 percent DV)
- 1 milligram zinc (7 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligram copper (3 percent DV)
- 44.8 milligrams potassium (1 percent DV)
In addition to the nutrients listed above, chia seeds also contain several essential fatty acids; vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E and vitamin D; and minerals, such as iron, iodine, magnesium, niacin and thiamine.
What Is Chia Seed ?
Chia seeds come from plant Salvia Hispanica. Chia seeds had been widely used in Latin America since 3500 B.C. The ancient civilization of American continent , especially the Mayan and Aztec people believed that the chia seeds provided supernatural powers because of the large amounts of energy , it provided. Ancient warriors of Mayan and Aztec cultures ate a handful of chia seeds before battle to keep them full all day and boost their energy . ‘ Chia’ means strength , and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. They used these tiny seeds as an energy booster.
Chia seeds are a wonderful Superfood that can help support your heart, kidneys, joints, bones, skin, nervous and digestive system , and it is effective for better weight management, lowering triglycerides, and improving blood sugar levels in types 2 diabetes.
Why Should You Eat Chia Seeds & What Are Their Benefits ?
Chia Seeds – The Most Abundant Source Of Essential Omega-3-fatty Acids On Earth
A Blessed Food For Your Heart & Brain
Omega-3 fatty acids (FAs), which include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA ) and docosahexaenoic acid, are found in fish oils and chia seeds have long been investigated as components of therapy for various disease states. Population studies initially revealed the cardio-protective and anti- inflammatory effects of omega – 3 FAs and EPA , with subsequent clinical studies supporting the therapeutic role of omega-3 FAs in cardiovascular and chronic inflammatory conditions.
Chia seeds contain essential fatty acid called Alpha Linolenic Acid ( ALA) which your body naturally converts to the long chain EPA and DHA . Omega-3-fatty acids are essential for brain function and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.Research suggests that omega-3s can decrease the risk of thrombosis and arrhythmias, that can lead to heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death. Omega-3-fally acids also decrease LDL, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce atherosclerotic plaque, improve endothelial function , and lower blood pressure.
In human studies , omega-3 fatty acids have shown a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health , by lowering cholesterol, regulating heart rhythms and blood pressure , preventing blood clots, decreasing inflammation. Studies showed that chia seeds controlled systolic blood pressure by 6 ± 4 points.
Effective Balance Of Blood Sugar
– A Blessing For Diabetic Patients
Research suggest that chia seeds amazingly and naturally maintain normal blood sugar levels and insulin resistance to fight diabetes. A study done in 2017 suggests that chia seeds have the ability to convert glucose into slow release carbohydrate. Chia seeds because of it high fiber content are associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes, and helps to keep blood sugar stable. Research report published in the British Journal of Nutrition indicates that adding chia seeds to a high-sugar diet prevented changes in blood sugar and lipid levels. Experiment done on human found that adding chia seeds to white bread reduces the glycemic response to prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. National Institute of Medicine found that diets with 14 grams fiber for every 1,000 calories resulted in a decreased risk of both Type 2 diabetes and increased cardiovascular health.
A Great Source Of QualityProtein
The Chia Seeds are great source of high quality protein. They contain all eight essential amino acids,a rarity for a non-animal based food and are much higher in protein than many other plants. It is therefore, consideredacomplete solution for the demand of human body.
High Fiber And Protein Content In Chia Seeds Help You Lose Weight
– It Is A Natural Appetite Suppressant
Chia Seeds are often recommended for those who are trying to lose weight . Their ability to expand and slow digestibility helps keep a person feeling fuller longer. A high protein lowers appetite and reduces obsessive thoughts about food by 60% and the desire for night time snacking by 50% . Hence , protein is the most weight loss friendly macronutrient and can drastically reduce appetite and cravings
One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , of example, showed that increasing protein intake by just 15 percent of daily calories led to significant decreases in energy intake and appetite.Other research shows that following a high-protein diet rich in foods like chia seeds could reduce levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating hunger.
Chia Seeds are the great source of high soluble fiber . The fiber found in chia seeds is the main reason why they effectively succeed in shedding some pounds off the body. One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds contains 12 grams of carbs, out of which 11 grams are fiber. The digestible carb content is only one gram per ounce (28 grams ), which is very low. This makes chia a low-carb friendly food. 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 carbohydrate like starch and sugar.
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 , which should increase fullness and slow the absorption of your food and help you automatically eat fewer stomach . Fiber also feeds the friendly bacteria in your intestine, keeping your gut flora well fed, which is absolutely crucial for your health. A high-fiber diet normalize bowel movement, regulates blood sugar, and reduces cholesterol levels.Increased fiber intake has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A review of 67 separate controlled trials found that even a modest 10 gram per day consumption of fiber reduced LDL , bad cholesterol , as well as total cholesterol. Chia seeds are 40 % fiber by weight , making them one of the best sources of fiber in the world.
Best Energy Supplements For Players And Gym Goers
– Promote Energy And Endurance
The Mayans and Aztecs, the original people of central and south ern regions of American continent originally used chia seeds for their energy and endurance benefits. Warriors and athletes often consumed chia seed gel prior to their events to maintain energy, strength and stamina. They ate chia seeds to relieve knee and joint pain during long marches into battle. It has experimentally been confirmed to be beneficial for runners, joggers and gym-goers. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3-fatty acids and Quercetin , both found in chia seeds, are the reason for the reduction in pain. Chia seeds help to fuel your body for longer periods of time.
Once you know the different benefits that chia seeds could provide your body with, you will realize it is good for those who are trying to lose weight and maintain their body shapes . If you talk about gym work outs, Chia seeds, because of its fiber content provide sustained energy during long working out period, which effectively helps to shed some weight off the body. The high protein content in chia seeds help build more muscles. Manganese and magnesium are also important for this purpose.
Doing any kind of intense exercise is known to increase the production of free radicals and that is why the person who is involved with this kind of exercise should increase her or his intake of antioxidant rich edibles for being fit . Having chia a few hours before a long, intense workout can help provide fat for fuel after the carbs burn off. Eating them after a workout can provide tissue repairing protein.
For Glowing And Wrinkle Free Skin For Ladies
– It Is Known For Its ANTI-AGING EFFECT
The anti-inflammatory properties of Chia seed oil alleviates acne and restores normal moisture levels to the skin. The anti-oxidant inhibit wrinkle formation providing younger , smoother skin and add to more youthful appearance. Chia is loaded with antioxidants like polyphenols, carotenoids and tocopherols. Antioxidants combat free radical damage and prevent oxidative stress while also promoting tissue repair and protecting against skin damage.The antioxidant activity of chia seeds is found to stop up to 70 percent of free radical activity.
It is one of the highest antioxidant containingfoods on the planet, and adding chia seeds to your diet may help prevent dryness , fight premature aging and protect the skin cells against free radical damage to optimize the health of your skin. It maintains moisture levels in the skins , delay aging and the appearance of wrikles.
Fight Cancer Growth
Chia seeds arerich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid . In 2013 , an in –vitro study published in the Journal of Molecular Biochemisty found that ALA helped limit the growth of both breast and cervical cancer cells. Researchers also found that it caused cell death of the cancer cells without harming the normal healthy cells in the body. This is a great discovery for women struggling with these increasingly common types of cancer. This also makes chia seeds a potential cancer-fighting foods.
Build Stronger Bones
– Chia Seeds Contain 5 Times More Calcium Than Milk
One of the biggest chia seed health benefits is the ability to strengthen bone health and preserve bone density helping to prevent osteoporosis , joint weakness , and general bodily flexibility , while reducing the risk of serious conditions like osteoporosis . This is because chia seeds are loaded with calcium and manganese , two minerals that are incredibly important for maintaining bone health.
With about 99 percent of the calcium in your body stored in your bones , calcium serves an important role in maintaining bone strength and density. Manganese is also involved in bone metabolism , with studies showing that a deficiency in this key nutrient can impair bone resorption and decrease bone formation. Impressively enough, a single ounce of chia seeds contains 18 percent of the calcium you need in a day while also meeting 30 percent of your daily manganese requirements to help build stronger bones. These seeds also contain boron, which helps to metabolize calcium.
Daily consumption of Chia seeds has been established to prevent arthritis.
Enhance Oral Health
Because chia seeds are packed with calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc, it is no wonder that promoting oral health makes the list as a top benefit of chia seeds. Calcium is the building block of your teeth that is necessary for maintaining oral health. Meanwhile, zinc prevents tartar by keeping plaque from mineralizing onto your teeth and has an antibacterial effect that keeps bad breath germs away. Vitamin A and phosphorus are also important for strong teeth and a healthy mouth, both of which are plentiful in chia seeds.
Unhealthy Colon Is The Breeding Place For Most Chronic Diseases and Auto- immune Diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis etc.
Chia Seeds Are The Efficient Cleaner, Detoxifier & Healer Of Your Digestive Track
Poor health of gut for a long period impairs the barrier function of the intestine , when bacteria and toxins can leak from the gut, causing inflammation and many chronic diseases or auto-immune diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis, Myasthenia Gravis, psoriasis etc. Your gut bacteria and the integrity of your gut lining strongly affect your health. According to numerouos studies, undesirable bacteria products called endotoxins can sometimes leak through your gut lining and enter your bloodstream. Your immune system then recognizes these foreign molecules and attacks them – resulting in chronic inflammation.Some hypothesize that this diet-induced inflammation may trigger insulin and leptin resistance – driving factors for type 2 diabetes and obesity, respectively. It is also believed to cause fatty liver disease. At the very least, inflammation has been strongly linked to many of the world’s most serious conditions. Chronic , system inflammation is now believed to be one of the leading drivers of some of the world’s most serious conditions. These include obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, rheumatoid arthritis and numerous others.
Regular bowel movements are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool.Because of rich fiber content, chia seeds benefit digestive health by promoting regularity and increasing stool frequency to prevent constipation . These fibers help the probiotics, the beneficial bacteria flourish in your intestines. These probiotics play a central role in many aspects of health and disease. Regular consumption of chia seeds has been found to clean up, detoxify and heal the gut ling in the colon and repopulate these good bacteria for good bowel health.
A Great Source Of Nutrients And Superfood For Pregnant Women And The Baby
During pregnancy , it is important to get adequate calcium for proper skeletal development. Chia seeds contain almost five times the amount of calcium in milk including boron, manganese and vitamin A, all of which are critical minerals for bone health.
Insufficient iron intake during pregnancy can result in low birth weight , premature birth, impaired cognitive and behavioral development. Chia seeds, being greatest source of iron , three times more than spinach , is essential for mother’s increased demand of iron and for the development of the mother ‘s and baby’s blood.
High blood sugar is risky for pregnancy , as it has been linked to complications such as pre-eclampsia, and still birth. Chia seeds , rich in fiber, helps slow sugar absorption in the bloodstream and keeps blood sugar levels steady. The high healthy fat and protein content of chia seeds encourages a sustained energy boost and can help fight fatigue throughout the day, as her energy fluctuates throughout the course of her pregnancy . Eating chia seeds during early pregnancy and during third trimester weeks can be especially helpful when constipation is more likely to occur.
Great Natural Diet For Kids
– For physical and mental growth
Chia seeds are great source of protein and helps in building and maintaining not only the outside muscle , but also the organs. They provide sustained energy for longer periods.High content of dietary fiber helps maintain best health of kids. Chia seeds, being a good source of omega-3 fatty acids are really helpful in brain development , memory and good eyesight for your kids.
An Inevitable Diet For Elderly
– A Great Source Of Energy And Stamina
Elderly people need extra-supplement of nutrients , and chia seeds are the best solution for them.
Chia seeds, rich in calcium, five times more than milk, is essential for bone density and strength while reducing the risk of serious conditions like osteoporosis. Chia seeds are best for cardiovascular health and for lowering cholesterol levels. It is solution for obesity, weight management , diabetis and bowel health. Because of high content of omega- 3 oil , it strengthen the immune system and promote the cell regeneration.
How to eat Chia Seeds?
- Chia seeds can be soaked in a glass of water and consumed the next morning with breakfast.
- Water-soaked chia seeds can be added to cakes or cookies to eliminate the use of butter. Eating sprouted chia seeds can also be very beneficial.
- They can be added to various drinks, juices, protein shakes, and milkshakes as a healthy component.
- Chia seeds can also be sprinkled on various foods in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- They can be added to eggs to make a healthy omelet or to salads as a dressing.
- Add a handful of chia seeds to milk and boli the mixture for some time to have a healthy porridge.
- Chia seeds can be ground up and the powder can be added to flour, milk, and yogurts.
- Chia seeds can be added to stews as a thickening agent.
Some Funful Uses for Chia Seeds
As a Safe Egg Substitute
I recommend a lot of egg consumption and many of my recipes contain eggs. I occasionally get questions from readers who need to adapt a recipe to avoid eggs, and from my research/testing, chia is one of the best options for this.
To substitute for an egg: Use 1 tablespoon finely ground chia seeds (grind them dry in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder) and 3 tablespoons of water per egg in a baked recipe (does not work in place of eggs for omelets though…)
To Thicken Soup or Gravies
If you don’t use cornstarch or thickening agents, it can sometimes be a challenge to thicken different culinary creations. Just add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds (powdered or not) at a time to reach the desired thickness.
To Thicken Meatballs Instead of Breadcrumbs
I married an Italian, so meatballs get made pretty often around here. His grandmother’s recipe calls for breadcrumbs, which I don’t use, so I just throw in a couple tablespoons of ground chia seeds (per pound of meat) in place of bread crumbs. Also works to thicken meat-loafs, batters, etc.
Sprouted for Salads
Ever had little sprouts on a salad at a restaurant? You can make them yourself. Just put some chia seeds in water, drain the water off and leave in a jar for a couple days. Every 12 hours or so, rinse with water and pour the water off. In a day or two, you’ll have little chia sprouts, which leads to the next use of chia seeds:
To Make Homemade Energy Gel
Seen the commercial for those new (corn syrup filled) Gatorade Gels and Chews? Here’s a healthier variation that kids will love: Add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds to a cup of coconut water. Let sit for about ten minutes and you’ll have an incredible energy gel! Beats the socks off of Gatorade for hydration and energy and you get to avoid the fake colors, fake flavors and GMO corn 🙂 Also works for grown ups for endurance activities like running a 5K without training at all (ask me how I know that….)
As a “Breading” for Baking Fish and Chicken
Mixed with some almond flour and garlic powder, or even by itself, Chia Seeds make an excellent “Breading” for fish or chicken. It toasts up well and provides a nutty, crunchy flavor without the grains (another win-win!).
Kid-Friendly Chia Seed Squeeze Pouches
The flavor combinations are endless, and the recipe requires only a few ingredients. Chia seed squeeze pouches are one of my kids’ favorite snacks, and with these reusable pouches, your kiddos can enjoy them too.
Chia Seed Energy Bars
This is my favorite way to use chia seeds so far! These energy bars are a great snack or treat for kids or a healthy breakfast addition if you need extra energy. They are also nut, dairy, and grain free so they are safe to send to schools even if there are allergy restrictions.
Coconut Chia Porridge
When you crave a warm, nourishing breakfast, this coconut chia porridge will satisfy. It’s grain-free and features a delicious flavor combo of figs, pistachios and vanilla beans. My kids love it, and I love that it nourishes them, plus meets my need for avoiding eggs as breakfast.
Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars
I love the convenience of energy bars, and my kids requested a chocolate-flavored one, so I created these chocolate coconut energy bars, with optional chia seeds (which I recommend you add!). Enjoy all the taste and convenience, minus the junkie ingredients typically found in store-bought energy bars.
Strawberry Chia Seed Jam
If you avoid store-bought jams and jellies loaded with sugar and lots of other unmentionable ingredients (I was recently surprised to see red dye in a strawberry jam- c’mon, strawberries are already red!), you’ll love thisstrawberry chia seed jam from Mommypotamus.
Blueberry Chia Seed Smoothie
For a fast meal or snack that doesn’t require many ingredients or, ahem, actual cooking, but still offers tons of nutrition, this blueberry chia seed smoothie from The Family That Heals Together will keep both mama and kiddos happy, for more reasons than one.
Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Muffins
These grain-free goodies are the perfect treat or breakfast from The Real Food Dietitians.
Strawberry Matcha Chia Pudding
Matcha is all the rage these days, thanks to its super healing and energizing green tea origins. This fun take on chia pudding with strawberries and matcha tea from Paleo Magazine looks amazing.
Spinach Salad with Creamy Chia Vinaigrette
A beautiful salad is nutritious on its own. Pair it with a chia seed-based dressing, and you’ve got a winner! Check out this spinach salad with creamy chia vinaigrette from Get Inspired Everyday.
Chia Seed Water
Fancier than it sounds, this energy drink from Not Your Standard contains just a couple ingredients (unless you count the lemon wedge and optional honey) so it’s easy to throw it together and sip throughout a busy day.
Serve these crackers up with a slice of avocado or cheese for snack time. Get the recipe from Gourmande in the Kitchen here.
Low-Carb Chia Bread
This chia bread from Rosanna Davison Nutrition is grain-free and low carb, and looks like it would be fantastic for a sandwich or French toast!
“Peanut Butter” and Jelly Overnight Chia Pudding
More filling and way more nutritious than oatmeal, this “PB” and J overnight chia pudding from PaleOMG is perfect for breakfast or after a workout.
Chocolate Dipped Caramel Nut Bars
One more from PaleOMG, because I thought we should end with what looks to be basically a healthy candy bar. These chocolate dipped caramel nut bars look amazing and are super healthy to boot!
Soak them overnight & add to a smoothie
Using a smoothie cup put in 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and add some liquid (aim for around a 1:8 ratio of chia seeds to liquid). Stir the seeds for a minute until they’ve combined properly. Then leave them to soak overnight. In the morning add your greens and fruit to the same cup, add more liquid and whiz it up. Easy peasy!
Chia seed pudding
This is my staple breakfast; chia seed pudding or porridge as I mostly call it. You can get my ‘go-to’ recipe over here. I usually prepare enough for 3 days at a time using 1 large container that I will leave in the fridge.
How to use raw chia seeds
— Sprinkle over yogurt, oatmeal and cereals.
— Stir into drinks and smoothies.
— Toss in mixed greens, rice, pasta or potato salads.
— Add to muffin and cookie recipes.
— Make a pudding, stirring the seeds into almond milk (or other dairy, rice or coconut milk).
— In a clean coffee grinder, grind the seeds into a coarse flour (often called milled chia) and use it in baked goods.