They prized them for their ability to provide sustainable energy… in fact, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple, only recently did chia seeds become recognized as a modern day superfood.
Don’t be fooled by the size… these tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch.
A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains (1, 2):
•Fiber: 11 grams.
•Protein: 4 grams.
•Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
•Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
•Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
•Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
•Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
•They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.
This is particularly impressive when you consider that this is just a single ounce, which supplies only 137 calories and one gram of digestible carbohydrate!
To top things off, chia seeds are a “whole grain” food, are usually grown organically, are non-GMO and naturally free of gluten.
Health Benefits of Chi Seeds
Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Chia seeds are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3s in chia seeds are great for helping reduce inflammation, and can greatly enhance ones’ cognitive abilities and performance. They also contain 1620 mg Omega-6 fatty acids per ounce, a wallop of goodness for heart health.
Help joints. Those same omega-3s help control inflammation within the body: Dogs with osteoarthritis experience improved mobility and reduced pain in their joints with a regular daily dose from chia seeds.
Great for digestion. Just when you thought they were all about the omegas, chia seeds bust out the fiber–an essential part of keeping a dog’s digestion train chugging along and absorbing important nutrients along the way.
Good for their bones. They have more calcium than whole milk. Combined with phosphorus, these minerals aid in bone development as well as healthy bone maintenance.
Fiber is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. That is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fiber per day.
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.
Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.
Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.