Chia seeds are a tiny black and white seed from a desert plant, Salvia hispanica. Chia seeds aid digestion system, potentially lower various of diseases like heart diseases, stroke or depression.
Chia seeds deliver a great amount of nutrients
According to The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Nutrient Database, every 100g of Chia Seed contains:
- Protein: 16.67g
- Carbohydrate, by difference: 43.33g
- Calcium, Ca: 667mg
- Fiber, total dietary: 33.3g
- Sugar, Cholesterol: 0g
According to the data of nutritiondata.self.com, 28 grams of Chia seeds contain:
The good: Chia seed is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Calcium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber.
It is impressive that just a small tablespoon of Chia seed, equally 28g, supplies too much fiber and protein. This makes the Chia seed be one of the healthiest food on the planet.
Chia seeds and the fiber-rich content
According to American Heart Association , a certain amount of fiber value should be taken depending on sex and age.
- Women under 50: 21-25grams/ day
- Men under 50: 30-38 grams/day
- Children from 1-8: 14-19 grams/day
- Children from 9-18: 22-31 grams/day
Fiber is really essential for our health:
- Aid digestive system
- Prevent diabetes
- Reduce cholesterol and blood sugar level
- Lower the risks of heart disease, stroke, depression, etc.
Because of high soluble fiber-rich content which is higher than many cereals or similar nutrient seeds, Chia seeds can absorb up to 10-12 times in the water, becoming gel-like and expanding much more in our stomach. Almost carbs in Chia seeds are fiber, 40% fiber of its weight, making them one of the best sources of fiber on the planet.
Chia seeds are high quality of protein
The daily value of protein goals for age-sex groups according to USDA Dietary Guideline:
- Child from 1-3: 13g
- Child from 4-8: 19g
- Child from 9-13: 34g
- Female from 14-50+: 46g
- Male from 14-18: 52g
- Male from 19-50+: 56g
For those who don’t eat meat, finding food with high protein would be a drag. However, Chia seeds can be your “saver” with high protein level, 11% by its weight, compared to most plants. If you find out that protein supplement or medicine is not good at all for your health, then this is a great choice for your daily protein intake.
Chia seeds and their high-antioxidant content
You can increase your antioxidant intake by eating more vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits; and Chia seeds is a very high-antioxidant food which is highly recommended to add in your daily meals. Antioxidants are substances that might protects cells from free-radical damage caused by certain chemicals, smoking, pollution. Besides, boosting antioxidant can help your body against eyes, heart, memory problems and help to protect your skin from some reactive species of oxygen.
Chia seeds and high-omega-3 fatty Acids
Chia seed is listed in the medicalnewstoday.com as an excellent plant-based source of ALA( Alpha Lipoic acid) Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is very important for your health.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, called DHA( Docosa Hexaenoic Acid), a major structure component of eyes’ retinas helps to improve your eyes’ vision and support eyes’ health.
- Omega-3 reduces inflammation, a vital part of body’s response to injury, which can contribute heart disease, stroke and so many others diseases.
- Omega-3 lowers chance of heart attract.
Chia seeds and low risk of heart disease
Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein and omega-3 which really helps to lower the risk of heart disease.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, a good source of calcium, a good source of plant based protein and an excellent source of the plant derived omega 3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid) ALA similar to walnuts and flax. As with any nut or seed, they are low in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol, but like all nuts and seeds they are more calorie dense, 139 calories per ounce, so it is important to watch serving sizes and consume in moderation.Diet and Fitness Expert, Dr. Melina Jampolis, Physician Nutrition Specialist
IS CHIA SEEDS REALLY HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS?
As many articles list “weight loss” as one of the great benefit of Chia seeds, but is it actually true?! Because Chia seed is a fiber-rich content as I mentioned above, it absorbs 10-12 times by weight in the water and expands more in our belly, which promotes the feeling of fullness and less hungry, and it might prevent the overeating that literally contributes to not gaining weight. However, there are not a lot of evidences support the idea that weight loss is one of the benefit of Chia seeds.
USE CHIA SEEDS WITH CAUTIONS!
- It’s not recommended to eat them dry and raw, especially when you have swallowing issues. Chia seed have the ability to absorb in the water from 10-12 times and possibly up to 27 times of weight in the liquid; therefore, you should mix Chia with the liquid in a certain time to allow them to expand before eating them.
- There are definitely a lot of health benefits when eating Chia seeds, but you might want to keep in mind a certain amount of daily use. Of course, this rule actually apply for any kind of food and supplement. However, there are not a lot of guidelines of how much exactly of Chia should eat daily because it depends on age, sex, weight and your health status. Columbia University recommend to daily eat 20 grams of seeds (less than 2 tablespoons).
- If you have any food allergies like sesame or mustard seeds or you have high blood pressure, pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctors first before adding Chia to your daily diet.
- Prostate cancer: Chia seed contains a lot of ALA ( Alpha Linolenic Acid). ALA can be converted into DHA (docosahexanoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) inside the body, but the ability to metabolize is poor especially for male. Some research consider that high amount of ALA increases the chance of getting prostate cancer. Even the percentage is very little, but if you have prostate cancer or have the risk of getting it, try to avoid eating huge amount of Chia in your daily diets.
BEST WAY TO EAT CHIA SEEDS IN YOUR DIET!
We actually can eat raw Chia seeds but the seeds don’t have much flavors on their own, so we can add the raw seeds to some dishes like cereal, yogurt, vegetable, smoothies:
- Simply add Chia seeds to your water bottle and bring along with you everywhere everyday. After place them in the water, wait around 15-20 minutes until the seeds change to soft gelatin.
- Add Chia seeds to make your smoothies, cereal, milk nicer and more nutrients.
- Thank to their gelatinous texture when mixing with water, Chia seeds can be perfectly used cakes or muffins cooking.
- Make you soup and salad to be healthier with Chia seeds.
CHIA SEEDS TRUE FACTS!
- Chia seeds come in black and white but there is no different in nutrient content.
- According to United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA), Chia seed looks like a modern fab, but actually back in time, it is used by many Native American tribes in California for food and medicinal purposes, it was also usually cultivated along with corn in the fields of ancient Mexico and it used by the Chumash on Santa Rosa Island, in the coast of Southern California, as long as 600 years ago.
“In terms of nutritional content, a tablespoon of chia is like a smoothie made from salmon, spinach, and human growth hormone. As tiny as those seeds are, they’re superpacked with Omega-3s, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber and antioxidants.”― Van Zandt, Monica, Chia Seed Superfood: How to Use Chia Seeds for Weight Loss, Raw Dieting, and Overall Health
References & Other Resources
Harvard T.H Chan, School of Public Health, Chia seeds (Accessed 2019-7-24)
Self Nutrition Data, Seeds, chia seeds, dried (Accessed 2019-7-24)
Fooddata central, Chia Seed (Accessed 2019-7-25 )
Appendix 7. Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations (Accessed 2019-7-28)
Springer Nature, Chia seeds as a source of natural lipid antioxidants (Accessed 2019-8-1)
Medical News Today, What are the benefits of Chia seeds?(Accessed 2019-8-1)
Medical News Today, What are the best sources of omega-3? (Accessed 2019-8-1)
American Heart Association, Whole Grains, Refined Grains, and Dietary Fiber (Accessed 2019-8-3)FOLLOW ME HERE