Understanding The Nutritional Value Of Chia Seeds

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Chia seeds have recently come into the public eye as researchers discovered their multiple health benefits. These power-packed seeds can be eaten whole or ground up and the nutritional value of chia seeds is very high. There are a few main components of the seeds which makes health professionals refer to them as “super-foods.”

As a seed, they have a high fat content, specifically omega-3 fatty acids. This type of fat has been linked to increased cardiovascular health, decreased inflammation, and is relatively low in the Western diet. Although fish are also a good source of omega-3s, the nutritional value of chia seeds is that they are a good option for individuals who do not eat fish regularly.

Chia seeds are also a good source of dietary fiber. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which are essential for maintaining digestive health. About 25 grams of chia seeds contains 7 grams of fiber, about a third of the recommended daily value. Due to their fiber content, chia seeds can be easily added to most baked goods and they work to slow down digestion, increasing satiety and improving gastrointestinal functioning.

Antioxidants were recently determined to be beneficial for the human diet. By working to neutralize free radicals int he body, antioxidant containing foods are recommended in the daily diet. The nutritional value of chia seeds is increased by their high antioxidant content. The antioxidants in the chia seeds also means that they have a longer shelf life than similar foods like flaxseeds. Chia seeds can be safely stored without refrigeration, making them easy to buy and store in bulk.

Although the majority of the nutritional value of chia seeds is found in their essential fats, fiber, and antioxidants, they are also a good source of minerals. Chia seeds contain iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and B-complex vitamins. This also makes them a recommended food for vegetarians and vegans who often struggle with vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but also an excellent dietary addition for all people. Many people do not get enough essential nutrients in their diet every day, but by adding chia seeds to foods, can easily increase their intake without having to turn to supplements.

The final major nutrient found in chia seeds is protein. Chia seeds actually contain more protein than most grains or seeds and are composed of approximately 20% protein. Additionally, all protein sources are not equal with some proteins being more difficult for the body to digest and use. The amino acids which make up the proteins in chia seeds is a high quality and was given an amino acid score of 91 on the scale of a 100. Chia seeds contain all essential amino acids except taurine, making them an excellent dietary protein source.

This is a complete listing of the nutritional value of chia seeds. These small seeds contain multiple nutrients that work to boost health by providing essential fat, nutrients, fiber, and protein. They can be easily added to foods and have a slightly nutty flavor that pairs well with most dishes.

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