Chia seed is considered the new “superfood” because of its many health benefits. It contains carbohydrates, healthy oils, proteins, minerals, and vitamins that all promote good health. In ancient times, the Aztecs use chia as food and medicine. Chia seeds gave the Aztecs enough energy to perform their daily activities. Chia seeds kept Aztec warriors energized during long periods of war. Today, many people are enjoying the health benefits of chia seeds. Every day, more people are learning amazing things about chia seeds from friends, officemates, and online articles. Scientists are doing researches about the therapeutic and nutritional properties of chia seeds. If it is your first time to hear chia seeds, let me introduce to you the nutritional values of chia seeds.
Chia Seed Nutritional Facts
- For every 100 gram serving of chia seeds, there is 490.0 calories. Calorie is the unit for food energy. 490 calories is already a great amount of energy which enables you to perform your day activities.
- Chia seed contains zero cholesterol. Bad cholesterol plaques formed in the inner side of arteries obstructs blood flow. Heart attack and stroke are strongly linked to blood flow obstruction due to cholesterol plaques. Because chia seeds don’t contain cholesterol, they can be safely consumed by people with problems of high blood cholesterol. Chia seeds have also been found to lower blood cholesterol level.
- Good news for people with gluten allergy, chia seeds don’t contain gluten so they can safely eat them.
- For every 100 gram serving of chia seeds, there is 43.0 grams of carbohydrates – the raw material in energy production. Out of the 43 grams of carbohydrates, 37 grams is composed of fibers. Fibers are coarse fibrous substances largely composed of cellulose that aid in normal digestion. Fibers are considered to play a role in the prevention of many diseases of the digestive tract.
- Fifteen grams of protein is found in a 100 gram serving of chia seeds. Unlike other vegetables, chia seeds contain all essential amino acids – the building blocks of proteins. Proteins have many functions in the human body. Our muscles are composed of proteins. Enzymes, hormones, and antibodies are made up of proteins. Chia seed is one of nature’s best sources of protein.
- A total fat of 30 grams is found in a 100 gram serving of chia seeds. The polyunsaturated fats found in chia seeds are omega-3 and omega-6. Both of them help in the prevention of such conditions as high blood cholesterol, heart disease, and arthritis. For vegetarians, chia seeds are among the best sources of omega fatty acids. Take note that omega fatty acids are not produced by our body so we need to get them in plant and animal products such as fish and chia seed.
- In 100 gram serving of chia seeds, you can get 948 mg phosphorus, 631 mg calcium, 160 mg potassium, 19 mg sodium, 3 mg zinc, and 2 mg manganese. All these minerals are needed for normal body functions.
- Chia seeds also contain small amounts of Vitamin C and B. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid works as antioxidant – compound that helps in eliminating harmful toxins. Other antioxidants in chia seeds are myrecetin, quercetin, kaemferol, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid. Vitamins under the Vitamin B complex are important coenzymes for various metabolic processes in the body.