3 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds + Easy Chia Seed Pudding
They may be small, but they sure are mighty. We’re talking about chia seeds! Derived from ancient Mayan language, the word “chia” means “strength” – and it’s certainly no coincidence. Chia seeds have long reigned as a vitalizing superfood, renowned for their energy-boosting qualities and high nutritional value.
Are chia seeds a good source of protein?
The short answer? Yes! Harvested from the chia plant, these tiny black seeds boast nearly 2 g protein per tablespoon, making them one of the richest sources of plant-based protein on the planet. That’s why chia protein is one of the most abundant ingredients in our Chocolate Magic Superfood Protein Powder.
1. Improves muscle growth
According to Vandana Sheth, R.D., the high-quality protein in chia seeds provides all of the 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. At that, it greatly exceeds the protein content of most other grains and seeds, being they are 20 percent protein.
While many people turn to animal-based proteins, such as whey, for their gains (likely due to the fact that it’s a complete protein source as well), whey is more one-dimensional in its returns. For example, whey may have a sufficient amount of protein per serving, but it lacks other nutrients. Chia seeds, however, are chock full of protein AND jam-packed with the essential nutrients we need to thrive! So, not only can you achieve your daily protein intake from chia seeds, but you also reap the benefits of Mother Nature’s nourishing vitamins and nutrients
2. High in omega-3 fatty acids
The human body is an amazing thing, and can generate the majority of fats it requires from other fats and raw materials. However, that is not the case with omega-3 fatty acids. Since our bodies can’t produce these on their own, it’s imperative that we get them from certain foods, such as chia seeds.
Omega-3 fats are an integral part of cell membranes and given this, they’re essential in preventing heart disease and stroke, control lupus, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, and may even play protective roles in cancer and other critical conditions. About 75 percent of fats in chia seeds consist of omega-3 acids, making them the top-dog for a plant-based source (even more so than flax seeds!).
3. Supports bone health
Got milk? – said no bone ever... For strong and healthy bones, look no further than chia seeds. Just one ounce of the superfood provides you with 18 percent of your daily recommended calcium intake! When compared gram for gram, that’s an even higher percentage than most dairy products.
Calcium and protein aside, chia seeds are high in phosphorus, magnesium and boron – all of which are nutrients that play a key role in bone health. In fact, boron has been widely utilized as a supplement for treating osteoporosis.
4. Rich in fiber
If you take a glance at the nutrition facts label of a bag of chia seeds, you may first notice the high amount of carbs. But, more than 80 percent of the carb content of chia seeds is in the form of fiber. According to the American Dietetic Association, just a single serving of chia seeds can provide your daily recommended fiber intake..
Although fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy diet, the average American doesn’t consume enough fiber on a daily basis. And that’s a real bummer because fiber promotes gut health, lowers cholesterol levels and helps control blood sugar levels.
So… it’s true! A serving of chia a day keeps the doctor away (that’s how the saying goes, right?!).
Easy Chia Seed Pudding Recipe
What’s better than meal prep? Try this quick overnight chia seed pudding recipe for tomorrow’s breakfast or a quick, healthy dessert. Keep it in the fridge for a convenient grab-and-go option.