Chia seeds are little black seeds that come from a plant native to South America called Salvia Hispanica. Historically, chia seeds were prized by the Aztec and Mayan civilizations for the sustainable energy they provided the citizens and warriors. “Chia” is actually an ancient Mayan word for “strength”. Their rise to fame has only been in the last few years, despite being an essential component in the aforementioned ancient civilizations.
Nowadays, chia seeds are a well known superfood. These seeds are arguably one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They provide a serious nutritional punch with very little calories. Just one ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds contains 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat (5 grams of which are Omega-3s) and several essential vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds are also a non-GMO, whole-grain food, are naturally gluten-free and are usually grown organically.
Chia seeds are also incredibly high in antioxidants. These antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals in the body, which are contributing factors in various types of cancer. Several studies have shown that chia seeds stop up to 70 percent of free radical activity. In addition, antioxidants have powerful effects on repairing the skin and reversing aging. The antioxidants are also instrumental in reducing inflammation, which is the leading cause of several debilitating health conditions. Because chia seeds reduce oxidative stress, they can help to boost the immune system as well.
The high fiber content in chia seeds is great for the digestive system. Several studies have shown that chia seeds, due to their fiber and healthy fat content, can act as blood sugar balancers. The fiber can help to make you feel fuller longer. Some studies have shown that chia seeds are actually an appetite suppressant and therefore a good tool for weight loss. In addition, chia seeds can absorb up to 10 times their own weight in water. This helps to prolog hydration and also helps to curb appetite for longer. The fiber in the seeds also helps to regulate bowel movements.
Chia seeds are great to boost the metabolism as well. Several studies have shown that just one serving of chia seeds a day can help to reduce a type of fat called visceral adipose tissue, commonly found in the lower belly. This kind of tissue effects the metabolism and is a major component of obesity.
Here is the complete nutritional information for one ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds:
- 137 calories
- 12g carbohydrates (11g are fiber so only 1g net carbs)
- 4g protein
- 9g fat
- 11g fiber
- 30 percent DV of Manganese
- 27 percent DV of Phosphorous
- 18 percent DV of Calcium
- 7 percent DV of Zinc
- 3 percent DV Copper
- 1 percent DV Potassium
Chia seeds also contain several essential fatty acids like Omega-3s, Vitamins A, B, E and D, sulphur, iron, iodine, magnesium, niacin and thiamine.