Healthsomeness Written Logo

Chia Seeds

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Chia Seeds Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 5.8 g
Calories: 486 kcal
Protein: 16.5 g
Carbohydrate: 42.1 g
Dietary fiber: 34.4 g
Fat: 30.7 g
Saturated fat: 3.3 g
Monounsaturated fat: 2.3 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 23.7 g
Vitamin C: 1.6 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.6 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B3: 8.8 mg
Vitamin E: 0.5 mg
Calcium: 631 mg
Iron: 7.7 mg
Magnesium: 335 mg
Phosphorus: 860 mg
Potassium: 407 mg
Sodium: 16 mg
Zinc: 4.6 mg

Chia seeds are obtained from the chia plant, also known as Salvia hispanica, and originates from both Mexico and Guatemala. They were consumed by Aztecs and Mayans in the past. Many people may not know about these seeds, however they are a powerhouse of nutrients and have only become popular very recently. They can be sprinkled over yogurt, added to smoothies or used to make chia pudding, as part of a healthy breakfast.

Even though the seeds are very small, they are loaded with nutrients; 100g of chia seeds contains 16g of protein, 34g of fiber, 83% of your RDA of magnesium and 42% of your RDA of iron. 100g does contain 486 calories, which is a bit on the high side, however some of the fiber may not be used by the body for energy. Chia seeds are whole grain and gluten free.

Their high protein content means that these seeds are a fantastic protein source for vegans and vegetarians. Chia seeds are great after working out and for those trying to lose weight (protein has high satiety). Although studies have not shown a direct correlation between chia seed consumption and weight loss, there is no doubt that combing them with a healthy diet and lifestyle will aid weight loss.

Also, when chia seeds are soaked in water, they swell up and form a gel (due to the fiber they contain); this means if you eat them dry, they expand in your stomach, making you feel full faster. The fiber they contain is food for the good bacteria in your intestines, and therefore help to keep your digestive system running correctly, fighting off problems such as constipation.

Chia seeds, similar to many fruits and vegetables, are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in the body as they help fight against free radicals, which can cause diseases such as cancer.

Chia seeds have been shown to help with bone health as they are rich in calcium and phosphorus. This may be particularly useful for those of you who are lactose intolerant.

Finally, they can help reduce blood pressure and inflammation in type 2 diabetics, as seen in this study.