Chia seeds, the tiny little seeds that no one forgets to mention when they’re talking about superfoods are a gift from nature which packs a punch when it comes to nutritional value.
Not only these are abundant in health benefits but highly versatile that can easily be incorporated into your meals be it smoothies, desserts, oatmeal, or baking.
If you have any concerns as to which type of chia seeds are more healthier out of black & white chia seeds, let us first clear that to you.
As far as health benefits are concerned, there is hardly a difference between black & white, where protein is slightly more with black chia and omega 3 is a touch higher with white chia.
Do note that these differences are not significant enough to choose between the two, thus we’re discussing about black chia in this post due to its higher demand & wide availability.
Let’s see the nutritional facts, 10 health benefits and any side effects of chia seeds.
Chia Seeds Nutrition Facts (per 100 g) with Percentage of Daily Value
- Energy: 486 kcal DV*= 24%
- Carbohydrate: 42.12 g DV*= 15%
- Protein: 16.54 g DV*= 29%
- Nine essential amino acids
- Histidine : 0.531g
- Isoleucine : 0.801g
- Leucine : 1.371g
- Lysine : 0.970g
- Methionine : 0.588g
- Phenylalanine : 1.016g
- Threonine : 0.709g
- Tryptophan : 0.436g
- Valine : 0.950g
- Total lipid (fat): 30.74 g DV*= 50%
- Fatty acids, total monounsaturated (omega-7 & omega-9): 2.309 g
- Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated (omega-3 & omega-6): 23.665 g
- ALA (omega 3): 17.830 g
- Fiber: 34.4 g DV*= 90%
- Calcium: 631 mg DV*= 63%
- Iron: 7.72 mg DV*= 38%
- Magnesium: 335 mg DV*= 80%
- Phosphorus: 860 mg DV*= 123%
- Zinc: 4.58 mg DV*= 42%
- Copper: 0.924 mg DV*= 103%
- Manganese: 2.723 mg DV*= 117%
- Selenium: 55.2 µg/mcg DV*= 100%
- Thiamin (vitamin B1): 0.620 mg DV*= 52%
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 0.170 mg DV*= 13%
- Niacin (vitamin B3): 8.830 mg DV*= 55%
- Folate: 49 µg DV*= 12%
- Vitamin A: 54 IU DV*= 6%
- Vitamin E : 0.50 mg DV*= 3%
- Vitamin C: 1.6 mg DV*= 2.7%
* daily value
Nutrition Facts Source: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/12006
10 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
1) Low Energy? Eat Chia Seeds & Boost Performance
Considering that 100 grams of chia give you a whopping 24% of daily calorie requirement it really is a powerhouse when it comes to energy & boosting exercise/athletic performances.
On a weight to weight basis did you know that chia provides more energy than beef, tuna and eggs putting those into shame?
What’s good about the energy you get from chia is that it gives you stable energy due to its healthy ratio of protein, fats, fiber and low-carbs.
2) A Complete Protein Source with All The Nine Essential Amino Acids
Though vegans get most of their protein through food sources with complementary proteins, chia seeds are a complete protein similar to soy.
Usually, our bodies need 20 different amino acids which are required to function properly and only 9 amino acids are classified as essential which should be obtained through our diets since the body does not produce them.
As you saw under the nutritional facts above, chia seeds have all the 9 amino acids namely histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
These essential amino acids are involved in many vital roles in your body such as protein synthesis & the production of other amino acids, tissue growth, muscle development & repair, hormone & enzyme production, nervous system, energy production, immune, nutrient absorption, reproductive function, and digestive system.
3) For Bone & Dental Health
Could be a surprise for you but chia seeds have more calcium than dairy milk. It is one of the most calcium-dense foods with 631 mg of calcium per 100g giving you a daily value of 63%.
More than 90 percent of calcium in the body is concentrated in the bones and teeth which is necessary for the development, growth, maintenance and slow down the loss of bone density.
Similarly, magnesium found in chia is a key nutrient for healthy bones, where most of the magnesium in your body is settled in bones.
Magnesium helps in strengthening bones and making teeth harder and also plays a key role in absorbing & metabolizing calcium.
4) For Brain Health
Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) in chia is an omega-3 that promotes brain & nervous system development, memory and reduce the risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, and cancer to protect brain health.
Chia is also a rich source of iron (daily value = 38%) which carries oxygen to the brain and is essential for mental health & better cognitive function.
While phosphorus in chia supports proper neurotransmission and brain functions, zinc, manganese, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B1, vitamin B3 found in chia are all nutrients that help in maintaining a healthy brain.
5) A Rich Source of Antioxidants and May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
Antioxidants guard against free radicals which are byproducts of bodily processes that are known to cause damage to the cells and can contribute towards aging and various other diseases.
Manganese in chia is an important element for the antioxidant system being part of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD).
Also the antioxidant, selenium in chia works to neutralize excess free radicals and help control oxidative stress.
Copper in chia also has a role working as an antioxidant which may help reduce the availability of free radicals.
6) Reduce The Risk Factors for Heart Disease & Stroke
According to studies, ALA in chia is linked to reduced risk of heart disease, and monounsaturated fats in chia may decrease blood cholesterol and triglycerides that further reduce the risk of heart disease.
Selenium in chia may help keep your heart healthy since selenium levels and the most common heart disease (coronary artery disease) seem to have an inverse relation.
7) For Better Immunity
The essential amino acids in chia such as threonine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine are important for immune response & function.
Chia is also abundant in iron which plays an essential role in strengthening your immune system.
8) For Aging & Healthy Skin
The essential amino acid threonine in chia is a primary constituent of structural proteins such as collagen and elastin, which are elemental parts of the skin and connective tissue. Other essential amino acids such as lysine and niacin are also important for the production of collagen & elastin, protecting skin from sun damage and may help prevent some types of skin cancer as well.
Zinc in chia may also be effective in treating acne according to one study.
9) May Reduce The Risk of Diabetes and Aid Diabetics
Studies have found that almost half of the people with type 2 diabetes showing low levels of magnesium and also people with low magnesium in their diets tend to have a higher risk of developing diabetes. Chia is a rich source of magnesium.
Chia also has manganese which is shown to have low levels in people with diabetes. Manganese may play a role in regulating blood sugar since it is a primary part of the pancreas that is involved in releasing insulin, which promotes the absorption of glucose from your blood.
10) For Healthy Digestion & Gut Health
Chia is a rich source of fiber which helps prevent or treat constipation, maintain normal bowel function, improve the management of irritable bowel syndrome and aid in digestive issues such as duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, and hemorrhoids.
Any Side Effects of Chia Seeds?
Most people enjoy chia without any concerns and side effects if at all, tend to occur due to over-consumption.
Stomach discomfort can be a potential side effect with chia, due to the high fiber content, especially when high quantities are consumed hurriedly without water.
Chia seeds may also interact with some medications such as blood sugar or blood pressure medications.
Allergic reactions are quite uncommon, and if you were to experience any allergic symptoms, stop consuming chia and consult your doctor.
Chia is no doubt a superfood that can be added as part of a balanced diet, but as with many other foods, have it in moderation with water to enjoy all the great health benefits chia has to offer.
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