Understanding The Nutritional Value Of Chia Seeds

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Chia seeds, a main food crop for indigenous people, for example the Incas, Aztecs and Mayans, has emerged as an important nutritional supplement in the recent years. Chia seeds, also referred to as a ‘superfood’ by people in the natural food industry, are packed with the essential minerals, vitamins and other nutrients, providing a powerful nutritional improvement in small, versatile package. These small edible seeds provide nutrients like fiber, calcium, protein and omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for good digestion and heart health. One is not required to ingest a large amount to acquire these benefits and this makes them easier to integrate into a meal. Here is a look at the nutritional value of chia seeds.

Chia seeds contain dietary fiber. A 1 oz. chia seeds serving has 42% of the recommended every day allowance of dietary fiber. A diet that is high in fiber provides a lot of benefits for the overall health and digestive system. This nutrient helps in normalizing bowel movements and lowering your possibility of developing hemorrhoids. Because dietary fiber goes by through the colon and stomach intact, it masses up the stool, which makes it easier to pass. This becomes especially helpful when you are having watery stools. Besides, dietary fiber lowers the levels of LDL blood cholesterol, which can cause heart disease when elevated. Dietary fiber can also help in balancing of blood sugar levels, reduce cases of colorectal cancer and help with weight loss.

Chia seeds also have Omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds are among the best vegetable sources of these fatty acids and they provide these nutrients without any cholesterol content. The omega-3 fatty acid is essential for good health but is not readily made within the body. Also referred to as polyunsaturated fatty acids, these fatty acids are needed for growth and development and proper brain functioning. Besides, this essential fatty acid helps in the prevention of several risk factors linked with cancer, heart disease, and other persistent health conditions.

Chia seeds also contain calcium. You get 18% of the recommended every day calcium allowance from a 1 oz. serving of chia seeds. Calcium is a very essential nutrient in the body and it plays a major role in cardiac health, formation of teeth and bones, cellular health and milk production in expectant women.

Another valuable nutrient found in chia seeds is protein. Protein is very essential in the body and 15% of the average person mass consists of protein. The bones, muscles, hair, skin and most tissues of the body contain protein. The protein found in chia seeds, unlike most vegetable proteins, is a complete one. Protein makes up the enzymes that are responsible for hemoglobin that transports oxygen through the blood and for powering chemical reactions.

Other essential nutrients found in chia seeds include a number of antioxidants like myrecetin, kaemferol, caffeic acid, quercetin, vitamin C and chlorogenic acid. Manganese is also present in chia seeds. This mineral is generally found in animal and plant matter, but it is only found in minute amounts in human sources. Manganese assists with the formation of bones, connective tissue, sex hormone functioning and blood coagulation.

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