What are chia seeds?

Chia seed pudding is one of my favourite desserts.  Once made up the chia is so mild that it can be flavoured very easily with whatever you fancy.  My favourite is matcha chia seed pudding which is made by simply mixing some matcha green tea into the chia seeds along with almond milk.  Chia is so versatile, it can be sprinkled raw onto salads, sprouted and used in salads even blended into smoothies.

Chia is the ancient Mayan word for strength and these tiny black seeds pack a massive nutritional punch.  Although Chia seeds are a wholegrain and usually organic they are also gluten free!

chia

A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains;

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4.5 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 Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.

Low in calories

The same 1 ounce only has 137 calories!  Making chia a great choice for anyone looking for a low calorie filler upper.

High in antioxidants

Chia has high antioxidant levels, more than blueberries. To name some of the more important antioxidants chia provides: chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol, flavanol glycosides.  Studies have shown that antioxidants play a key role in the bodies defence against free radicals.  Free radicals cause oxidative stress and can kill the bodies cells.

High in protein

Chia seeds consist of 14% protein! very high for a plant. This protein is easily absorbed and digested and contains all 14 amino acids including leucine, lysine, tyrosine and arginine. Combined, these amino acids contribute to chia seed’s considerable protein content, which is about 4.5 grams protein per ounce.

High omega 3 and 6

Omega 3 and 6 are fatty acids that contribute to cardiovascular and heart health.  We all know that salmon is considered high in the healthy omega 3 fatty acids but in fact chia seeds have even  greater levels of omega 3 than salmon.

High energy food

Chia is known to be a food that provides energy.  Atheletes (like runners, climbers, weight lifters, etc.) take it because of it’s prolonged sustained release of energy. It has twice the potassium as bananas.   The steady energy release means that chia is good for diabetics.