You’ve heard that good things come in small packages; well, that could not be truer of the itsy, bitsy super outstanding chia seed. Despite their tiny size, Chia seeds are being hailed as a nutritional giant!
The very word Chia means strength, and it lives up to that name. It contains twice the protein of any other seed or grain, two times the amount of potassium in bananas, three times the antioxidant strength of blueberries and–sorry Popeye–Chia even has three times more iron than spinach. Are you lactose-intolerant and worried about your calcium intake? Don’t fret anymore! Chia seeds provide five times the calcium of milk. They also contain boron, a trace mineral which helps transfer calcium into your bones– a process that milk is lacking.
Perhaps the most distinctive quality of Chia seeds is their omega-3 content. This essential fatty acid is sorely lacking in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Omega-3’s are vital for maintaining heart, brain, skin, and hair health. They also help with the prevention of many diseases. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center: “A healthy diet contains a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and some omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.
The typical American diet tends to contain 14 – 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds contain a higher concentration of omega-3 than omega-6.
Consuming Chia seeds, with their 3 to 1 omega ratio, as part of your daily diet can help to balance your omega intake, thereby, reducing inflammation (i.e. joint pain). Wait, there’s more good news! Chia seeds contain B-complex vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. They also have a very high fiber content. One serving of Chia (1 tbs.) contains 5.5 grams of fiber; that is 21% of the recommended daily value.
WHAT CAN CHIA DO FOR YOU
- increases and maintains energy levels
- provides omega fatty acids to support cardiovascular health
- helps stabilize blood sugar levels
- boosts brain power
- supports healthy immune function
- helps assist with elimination and detoxification