chia seed benefits, according to a nutritionist
chia seeds are nutrient-rich
in addition to providing healthful fat, plant protein, and fiber, a one ounce portion of chia seeds packs nearly 20% of the daily target for calcium. an essential nutrient for healthy bones, calcium is needed for the proper functioning of muscles, blood vessels, nerves, enzymes, and hormones. calcium plays a role in blood clotting, blood pressure, and maintaining normal heart rhythm and brain function.
that same portion of chia seeds also has about a third of the daily goal for the minerals magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. magnesium helps improve mood and sleep, while manganese plays a role in collagen production and promotes skin and bone health. phosphorus helps form cell structures and works with calcium to keep bones healthy.
one ounce of chia seeds also contains smaller amounts of b vitamins, potassium, and zinc. b vitamins help support energy production. potassium helps maintain heart function, healthy blood pressure, and muscle contractions; and prevents muscle cramps. zinc is required for a number of immune functions, in addition to healing and maintaining appetite.
chia seeds are high in fiber
of the 12 grams of carbohydrate in a one ounce portion of chia seeds, an impressive 10 grams come from fiber. that's 40% of the daily minimum goal for this important nutrient. on top of supporting digestive health, chia fiber helps feed the healthy gut bacteria linked to immunity and positive mood.
that fiber also protects against heart disease by reducing cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats), increasing "good" hdl cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and inhibiting blood clots.
chia seeds are chock full of heart healthy fat
speaking of heart disease, chia seeds are rich in a type of plant-based omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, or ala, tied to anti-inflammation and improved circulation. onestudyfound that consuming 37 grams of chia seeds daily reduced a blood marker for inflammation by 40%. the anti-inflammatory effect also supports skin health, and it plays a further role in protecting the heart.