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Chia Seed Benefits and Nutrition

Updated on August 4, 2012

Chia Seeds

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What Are Chia Seeds?

Chia seed has been cultivated and eaten in Mexico, Central America and South America by the Mayan, Incan and Aztec cultures for centuries. It has been known to be used to provide high levels of energy that can be sustained for long periods of time, which is why it is also know as the "Indian Running Food". Chia seeds are harvested from the plant, Salvia hispanica, and are an amazing superfood. Chia seed is growing in popularity due to its multiple benefits and nutritional properties.

People consume chia seed for a variety of reasons, such as, to induce weight loss, level blood sugar, enhance energy levels and promote healthy intestines. Chia seed is very affordable and can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 years or more, and still provide nutritional and physical benefits. It is comparable to other well known healthy seeds such as flax seed and sesame seeds.

Chia Seed Nutrition (Based on Bob's Red Mill Chia Seed)

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 Tablespoon (13 grams)
Calories 60
Calories from Fat45
% Daily Value *
Fat 5 g8%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Carbohydrates 5 g2%
Sugar 0 g
Fiber 5 g20%
Protein 3 g6%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Chia Seed Nutrition

Chia seed is a natural antioxidant and it is gluten-free. It contains an array of essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that promote and enhance good health. Some of the beneficial components include the following:

  • protein
  • phosphorous
  • calcium
  • potassium
  • iron
  • essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6)
  • manganese

Physical Benefits From Eating Chia

Chia seed provides physical benefits in addition to the nutritional benefits. Chia seed is known for:

  • leveling blood sugar
  • prolonging hydration during physical exertion
  • enhancing intestinal healthy and regular bowel movements
  • inducing weight loss by adding bulk with minimal calories when added to meals
  • providing energy for sustained periods of time

How Do You Eat Chia Seed?

Chia seed can be consumed in a variety of ways. Typically the dried seeds are eaten raw. The seeds can be added to foods simply by sprinkling the seeds on the prepared meal. Try sprinkling chia on toast, oatmeal, yogurt and salad.

Chia seed can also be added whole to water or juice to make a nutritious gel. After soaking the seeds in liquid for approximately 10 minutes the seeds will have absorbed the liquid and can be drank.

Dry chia seed can also be ground and used when baking. The chia flour made from seeds can be added to recipes in addition to, or in place of, the existing flour that a recipe calls for.

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