You might know chia seeds from the well-known chia pet featured in informmercials, but these seeds are also nutritious and make good eating. The seeds are high in protein and other healthy nutrients. Adding them to your diet can up your intake of fiber, healthy unsaturated fats and high-quality protein. content.
Chia seeds contain a provide a modest number of calories, with about 140 calories in 2 tablespoons, or 1 ounce. You get 12 grams of carbohydrate in this about, with 11 grams of fiber, most of it soluble fiber that helps keep your blood sugar on an even keel. A 1 ounce serving of chia seeds also contains 9 grams of fat, with only 1 grams in a less healthy, saturated form.
One ounce of chia seeds contains 4.4 grams of protein, which all your cells need as an important energy source. Chia seeds also contain all nine amino acids in proper ratios, making them a form of complete protein. If you're eating a vegetarian diet, they make a good alternative to soy-based products for a different source of protein.
Chia seeds are especially rich in several minerals. A 1 ounce serving provides 18 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for calcium, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Calcium is extra-important for women and helps maintain strong, healthy bones. A 1-ounce serving of Chia seeds also provides 27 percent of the RDA for phosphorus, 7 percent for zinc, 3 percent for copper and 30 percent for manganese.
Consuming chia seeds regularly can also help reduce your risk of heart disease, because of their rich content of omega-3 fatty acids. These unsaturated fats may also help ward off other illnesses, including cancer and arthritis. Chia seeds can also help keep your body tissues well-hydrated when exposed to water for a few minutes before you consume them, because their high content of soluble fiber absorbs about nine times its volume in water. Soluble fiber also slows absorption of high-sugar foods, helping keep your blood glucose from spiking after a crab-rich meal.
Blend chia seeds into smoothies, or add them to homemade granola. Sprinkle them over cold or hot cereal, add them to salads for a crunch, or bake them into crackers. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds don't need grinding to release all their nutrients. It's best to soak chia seeds in water for about 10 minutes before consuming them, because this helps prevent them from absorbing water from your body during digestion, which can potentially lead to some dehydration.
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.