Chia seeds are plants of Salvia hispanica, extremely beneficial to human health. Chia seeds are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and many vital amino acids. Chia seeds are recognizable by their oval shape, around 1mm in diameter, and brown, gray black and white color.
Health benefits of chia seeds
Chia seeds have high levels of fiber. Fiber aids digestion, helps prevent constipation, and is sometimes used for the treatment of diverticulitis, diabetes, and heart disease.
Chia seeds have the ability to absorb 10 times their weight in water. When added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia seed form a gel. This gel-forming reaction is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia. The analogous process takes place in the stomach, where chia seeds absorb fluids and form a bulky gel. This bulky gel can be helpful in controlling weight, because it makes one feel full.
Seeds are rich in omega 3 essential acid, beneficial for emotional well-being and mental capacity. They may also stabilize blood sugar levels, improve cardio-vascular health and help to maintain sufficient levels of electrolytes in the body.
Calories and nutritional value of Chia seeds
Nutrient value of the seed is 20% of protein, 34% of oil and 25% of dietary fiber. In addition, chia seeds contain high levels of antioxidants such as chlorogenic and caffeic acids, myricetin, and quercetin and kaempferol flavonols. Around 64% of seed is composed from omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are gluten-free and contain insignificant levels of sodium.
Serving size of chia seeds is one tablespoon of dry seeds, which equals around 10 g. The nutrition facts label on every bag has all the info, along with the percentages for the USDA recommended amount of nutrients.
One serving has approximately 4.5 grams of fat or oils, which is 6% of a daily value. Most of the oils in chia seeds are the healthy omega-3 oils. The rest of the fat is composed from saturated fat, in amount less than 1 gram. There is no cholesterol in chia seeds.
One serving contains approximately 2.5mg of sodium, 6 grams of carbohydrates (2% of daily value) and as much as 5.5% of dietary fiber, enough to satisfy 21% of daily value.
There are no sugars in chia seeds, and one serving provides 2g of proteins. Proteins from chia seeds are complete proteins, with all the essential amino acids. Single serving of chia seeds provides 3% of Niacin, 9% of calcium, 7% of Iron and 7% of Thiamin. Chia also contains a full range of B vitamins and trace amounts of the healthy mineral boron.
One serving of chia seeds, of around 10 g, contains approximately 50 calories. one ounce or 28.3 g of dry chia seeds contains approximately 139 calories.