Despite their small size, chia seeds are full of important nutrients. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke. Remember the chia pets that were popular in the 1990s? Chia seeds are the same small seeds you used to grow an Afro in your Homer Simpson terracotta vase.
Fast facts on chia seeds:
Here are some key points about chia seeds. More detail is in the main article.
- Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium.
- A 28-gram, or 1-ounce, serving of chia seeds also contains 5.6 grams of protein.
- Mixed with water, they can replace egg in vegan cooking.
- Chia seeds can be eaten cooked or raw, but they should be added to another food or soaked before eating.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, a 28-gram, or one-ounce serving of chia seeds contains:
- 131 calories
- 8.4 grams of fat
- 13.07 grams of carbohydrate
- 11.2 grams of fiber
- 5.6 grams of protein
- No sugar
Eating once ounce of chia seeds each day would provide 18 percent of daily calcium needs, 27 percent of phosphorus, 30 percent of manganese, and smaller amounts of potassium and copper.