The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

While there are few studies on chia seeds, it’s safe to assume that chia seeds have amazing health benefits based on their nutritional profile alone.

Check out the nutrition chart we’ve compiled below, then read on for an explanation of the facts and studies regarding chia seeds and your health!

Chia Seed Nutrition Data

Nutrients100g1oz (28.35g)FDA DVUnit%DV
Water5.81.64g
Energy486138kcal
Energy2034577kJ
Protein16.544.69g
Total lipid (fat)30.748.71g
Carbohydrate42.1211.94g
Fiber, total dietary34.49.825g39%
Calcium, Ca6311791,000mg18%
Iron, Fe7.722.1918mg12%
Magnesium, Mg33595400mg24%
Phosphorus, P8602441,000mg24%
Potassium, K4071153,500mg3%
Sodium, Na1652,400mg0%
Zinc, Zn4.581.315mg9%
Copper, Cu0.9240.2622mg13%
Manganese, Mn2.7230.7722mg39%
Selenium, Se55.215.670µg22%
Thiamin0.620.1761.5mg12%
Riboflavin0.170.0481.7mg3%
Niacin8.832.50320mg13%
Folate, total4914400µg4%
Vitamin B-12006µg0%
Vitamin A, IU54155,000IU0%
Vitamin E0.50.1430mg0%

As you can see, chia seeds are an amazing source of important macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber.

But it’s really more about the quality of the nutrients contained in chia seeds than the quantity. The protein in chia is a complete protein, meaning it has an excellent ratio of the 9 essential amino acids needed to make a biologically viable protein. Also, the fat content in chia seeds consists of 57% percent omega-3 fatty acids, making chia an excellent vegetarian source of this anti-inflammatory fat. Finally, chia seeds contain a substantial amount of fiber, a whopping 39% of the DV in a small, 1oz serving. Chia fiber is amazing because it will provide a greater sense of satiety to any meal (which may be valuable for people trying to lose weight), plus they can add a delightful texture to your favorite drinks!

Chia seeds are also an excellent source of many micronutrients, especially minerals.

In just a 1oz serving, chia has the potential to provide a high percentage of the body’s need for many minerals. Chia seeds are a particularly good source of magnesium, which has an important role in regulating blood pressure. Since the average American consumes 100mg less the the ideal amount of magnesium needed on a daily basis, eating chia seeds can be an excellent way to improve one’s mineral intake. Among other important minerals, chia seeds are also a good source of selenium, which has an important role in muscle function and may be an important mineral in helping prevent some forms of cancer. Just remember, like other seeds, chia contains a significant amount of the anti-nutrient, phytic acid. To reduce the amount of phytic acid content contained in chia, it’s best to soak them for 24-hours before use.

Studies regarding chia seeds’ potential health benefits:

There are only a handful of studies that look at how chia seeds affect human health, and so far the results are minimal — more tests are needed. Most of the studies look at the effects of chia seed supplementation on animal health: In one study, chia seeds were found to have have a positive effect on cholesterol levels in rats. There’s really not a whole lot more than that.

Despite the limited studies on chia seeds, their nutritional profile alone convinces me that they must offer amazing health benefits. Besides, they are a whole, unprocessed food from God’s creation, which means they are highly likely to promote good health when included as part of a varied diet.

References:

Read. Think. Live. SHARE.