On September 8, 1977 clay figurines sprouting green “hair” began to take over imaginations worldwide and a spawning a “ch, ch, ch, chia!” craze. Nowadays, it is the tiny black or white seeds of these sprouts that are sparking excitement among d health food enthusiasts.
Although new to many of us, chia seeds were a staple of the Mayans and Aztecs long before Columbus lost his way in search of the East Indies. To these early Amerindians, “chia” meant strength, and they used the seeds as an energy booster for their warriors and as tributes to their gods.
Calories In Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have been established as a superfood, with more and more people realizing that the tiny seed are packed full of nutrients and extremely beneficial to your health. Some persons, however, are wary of the amount of chia seeds being consumed. They have raised an alarm over the possibility of too many calories being taken in by those who enjoy adding chia seeds to practically everything they eat.
So, let’s take a look at how many calories you are really getting when you make chia seeds a part of your diet.
One tablespoon of chia seeds, weighs in at about 14 grams. This amount contains approximately 70 calories. If you prefer to think of it in terms of ounces, then one ounce of chia seeds gives you 137 calories. What’s in those calories making chia seeds so remarkable?
Well, in one ounce (about 2 tablespoons or 28 grams) this is what you get along with the 137 calories
- 1 gram of saturated fat
- 4 grams of protein
- 18% of your calcium recommended daily allowance (RDA)
- 30% of your manganese RDA
- 30% of your magnesium RDA
- 27% of your phosphorus RDA
- 4.9 grams of omega-3 fatty acids
- 11 grams of fibre
- 1 gram of active carbs
Being 40% fibre by weight makes chia seeds one of the world’s best sources of fibre. If you go back to calorie counting, subtracting the 11 grams of fibre (which add zero usable calories but are great for bowel health), then the one ounce of chia seeds is only giving you 101 calories! The low active carb count then makes chia seeds perfect for low-carb dieters.
Chia Seeds Are Full Of Fat, But …
It is true that over half (57%) of the calories in chia seeds come from fat. It isn’t reason to freak out, however, since most of the fat in chia seeds are heart-healthy fats. These include polyunsaturated, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and cholesterol lowering monounsaturated fatty acids.
Along with all those good fats, the calories in chai seeds are also giving you
- vitamin B3 (niacin)
- vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Chia seeds also contain incredible amounts of antioxidants to protect against cancer and aging. They also keep the sensitive fats in chia seeds from becoming rancid.
So you see why calorie for calorie chia seeds are one of the best nutrient sources around. They are a totally vegan, gluten-free superfood. Adding them to any diet assures you of a healthy boost in your nutrient intake.