How Many Chia Seeds Should I Eat A Day? Chia seeds have been a popular food trend of late. People are consuming them for their added health benefits and often adding them to teas, salads, and soups. But how many chia seeds should you be eating a day? The chia seed has grown to be a popular superfood in the recent years. According to a new report, it is being dubbed as the Super
Seed and being touted as one of the healthiest foods on the planet. But why? What are the health benefits and can you eat chia seeds every day? You’ve probably seen the debate on Twitter and blogs about whether chia seeds are good, bad or neutral. In this article I’ll reveal what they are, where they come from, how many you should eat and review any claims made about their health benefits.
If you are just like me, you love all things chia! Chia, chia, chia! What can’t you do with chia? If I find something, I will let you know. The only thing I don’t love about Chia is the price tag that comes with it. The healthier of us, want to get our daily intake and use but just can’t afford it or the hassle of having to order online or go out of our way to purchase it. That’s because chia seeds are a wondrous little seed that provide many health benefits.
How Many Chia Seeds Should I Eat A Day
If you’ve been contemplating eating chia seeds, you might be thinking to yourself, “I need to know how many chia seeds should I eat a day .” Well, you’ve come to the right place — and you’re also probably really hungry. Chia seeds are tiny little seeds. They come from a plant much taller than a human, but they’ve been chosen to help us become bigger, faster, and stronger. Although tiny in size, chia seeds are packed with high levels of fiber, minerals, powerful antioxidants, protein , and omega-3 fatty acids—and all of these nutrients will contribute to improving your fitness.
But before you start chowing down on the chia seeds by the handful (ahem), you need to know how many chia seeds should be eaten every day in order to reap the most benefits from them.
These tiny seeds have been used as food and medicine for over 5,500 years. They are harvested from Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. What makes them stand out is their unique nutritional profile.
According to a review published in the journal Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny in March 2017, dietary fiber accounts for 23 to 35 percent of their content. Furthermore, these seeds are about 31 to 34 percent fat, 16 to 26 percent protein and 37 to 45 percent carbs. They also provide essential vitamins and minerals as well as potent antioxidants and bioactive compounds.
The dietary fats in chia seeds are mostly polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as omega-3 and omega-6. As the American Heart Association (AHA), points out, these nutrients may protect against cardiovascular problems and lower bad cholesterol levels.
The AHA recommends replacing trans and saturated fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids to keep your heart healthy. Avocado, nuts, seeds, sesame oil and olive oil are all good sources of monounsaturated fats.
Chia seeds also deliver more protein per serving than barley, rice and oat seeds. They are rich in glutamic acid, an amino acid that supports brain health and serves as a neurotransmitter. Arginine, lysine, histidine, leucine and valine are some of the most abundant acids in chia seeds. These nutrients are the building blocks of protein and play a key role in hormone production, metabolic function and cardiovascular health.
In addition to protein, carbs and fat, these seeds boast high antioxidant levels. They provide large doses of beta-sitosterol, quercetin, kaempferol, polyphenols and vitamin E. Antioxidants scavenge oxidative stress and protect your cells from free radical damage, which is a major risk factor for diabetes, cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative disorders.
How Much Chia Seeds Per Day?
In the Mayan language, the word chia means strength. Although the term “super foods” might not have been a part of the language in earlier times, chia seeds and their benefits were recognized and revered. Chia seeds were used for medicinal purposes by the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas. These seeds were actually held in higher esteem than gold.
Salvia hispancia, which is commonly known as chia, is an annual herb that is a member of the mint family. It is grown for its seeds. These seeds vary in color from black to mottled markings. They epitomize the validity of the idea that “great things come in small packages.” These seeds which measure 1mm or 0.039 inches in size are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs for strength, energy and overall good health. You gain an abundance of health benefits by consuming the recommended serving of chia seeds per day. The nutritional punch that chia seeds provide far exceeds the vitamin and mineral values of many of the foods typically found in a health-conscious dietary plan. For example, these tiny seeds have two times more protein than any other grain or seed. They have three times more antioxidant activity than blueberries. There’s three times more iron in chia seeds than in spinach. Per serving, you’ll get three times more omega-3 fatty acids in these seeds than you get in salmon. The power of chi seeds continues to be evident when you consider that they are a good source of calcium, niacin, magnesium, zinc and phosphorous. They are also one of the best sources of fiber. By incorporating these seeds into your diet, you’ll be getting the fiber needed to cleanse your colon and help your digestion system with functions such as digestion, absorption of nutrients and elimination of waste. There are trace amount thiamin, potassium, vitamin A, B-12 and folate in a serving of these amazing seeds. These seeds support heart health, stabilize blood sugar, support bran health, energize your body and can be a vital part of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Chia seeds serving size
Before adopting any new health regimen, it’s advisable to check with your doctor before making any significant dietary changes. If you can begin adding chia seeds to your diet, it’s best to adhere to the recommended serving size. The serving size for adults is 15grams (2 tablespoons) daily. For children and teens ages 5 to 18 years the recommended amount is 1.4 to 4.3 grams daily. The daily serving size for children under the age of 10 should be kept to no more than 1 tablespoon per day.
Black Chia Seeds: 1lb Bag – $3.99 | Bulk Sizes Available
Chia seeds can be a beneficial part of your diet when eaten in the proper amount and when it has been determined that they don’t conflict with a current health problem you may be dealing with. It is imperative that you abide by the recommended serving size of chia seeds so that you don’t experience the possible side effects that can result from an overdose of these seeds. These seeds can act as a blood thinner. They should not be eaten immediately prior to a surgical procedure or by those who are taking a prescribed blood thinner or those on an aspirin regimen. These seeds should not be eaten by anyone with a history of low blood pressure. Typically, doctors recommend that pregnant women refrain from eating these seeds. An overdose of the seeds can cause gastrointestinal discomfort. These seeds contain a high amount of aplha-linolenic acid. Men should be sure to stay within the recommended serving size of these seeds because consuming large amounts of this acid might increase their risk of getting prostate cancer. There is also the danger of a phytonutrient overdose when these seeds are eaten in excess of the serving size recommendation.
How much chia seed per day for weight loss?
Eating one ounce of chia seeds per day can help with your weight loss plan. That one ounce of chia seeds provides 10 grams of fiber. Research shows that eating more fiber can result in weight loss. That 1 ounce serving contains 138 calories, but in that one ounce, you’ll be getting many beneficial nutrients that you might not be getting on a weight loss plan that omits these seeds. The essential fatty acids in these seeds can help boost your metabolism and promote lean muscle mass.
Nutrition in chia seeds
Chia seeds may provide several benefits as part of a healthy diet. There is no RDA for chia seeds. Still, they can be safely eaten in amounts of 50 grams daily, which is about five tablespoons.
The chia plant is a member of the mint family. It’s traditionally grown in South and Central America because it grows in a dry environment. Long before being featured in the popular toy, ‘Chia Pets,’ chia seeds were used in cooking and medicine. Today, chia seeds are touted as a superfood and mostly used for their nutritional benefits.
Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. They contain all nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are amino acids that your body can’t produce, so they have to come from your diet.
Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain:
- Calories: 140
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fiber: 11 grams
- Unsaturated fat: 7 grams
- Calcium: 18 percent of recommended daily allowance (RDA)
- Trace amounts of zinc
- Trace amounts of copper
What Are the Nutrition Facts of Chia Seeds?
Why are chia seeds so popular now? A key reason may be their reputation as nutritional powerhouses: One tablespoon (tbsp) of chia seeds contains about 69 calories, as well as, roughly:
- 2 grams (g) protein
- 5 g fat (1 g saturated, 7 g polyunsaturated, 1 g monounsaturated, and 0 g trans)
- 6 g carbs
- 5 g fiber
Chia seeds also contain a number of vitamins and minerals. One tbsp offers: 2 milligrams (mg) phosphorus (about 11 percent of an adult’s recommended daily value, or DV)
7 mg calcium (8 percent of DV)
8 mg potassium (1 percent of DV)
2 mg phosphorus (11 percent of DV)
5 IU vitamin A
2 mg vitamin C (1 percent of DV)
1 mg vitamin E (1 percent of DV)
As reported by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, chia seeds come from Salvia hispanica, a desert plant that is part of the mint family
Chia seeds as part of a healthy diet
There is no RDA for chia seeds. Still, they can be safely eaten in amounts of 50 grams daily, which is about five tablespoons. Two tablespoons provide all of the nutritional benefits listed above.
Soaked chia seeds
Soaked chia seeds have a gel-like texture. You can soak them in water for 10 minutes and store them in the refrigerator. This mixture can be added to moist foods like:
- Fruit salad
- Cereal with milk
- Tomato sauce
You can also replace up to 25 percent of the oil or eggs in baked goods with soaked chia seeds without affecting the texture of the recipe.
Mix one-fourth cup of chia seeds with one cup of liquid. You can use almond or soy milk or fruit juice. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Top with nuts, cinnamon, or fresh fruit.
Chia sprouts make great microgreens in salads or toppings. Place chia seeds in a single layer on an unglazed clay dish or terra cotta saucer. Spray the seeds with water and cover with plastic wrap. Put them in a sunny spot and spray with water in the morning and evening until the seeds sprout, in about 3 to 7 days.
Chia seed topping
Because chia seeds don’t have much flavor on their own, you can add them to almost any food to boost the nutrition profile. Keep chia seeds handy to sprinkle into breakfast cereal, soups, stews, or salads. You can also add them into salad dressing, sauces, marinades, or batter for baked goods.
Are Chia Seeds Safe?
Despite their potential benefits, chia seeds can cause severe adverse reactions when consumed in excess. First of all, they are high in fiber. Eating too much fiber can lead to digestive distress, constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating and mineral deficiencies. Secondly, these seeds absorb large amounts of water and may cause esophageal obstruction, a life-threatening condition.
To stay safe, stick to one serving of chia seeds per day. Soak them in water, fruit juice, smoothies, almond milk or other liquids before consumption. Add them to soups, oatmeal, puddings and even sauces to get more nutrients in your diet.
Experiment with chia seed recipes, from energy balls and homemade granola to chia seed muffins, chia coconut pudding and chia crackers. You can also add chia seeds to protein shakes. This combo will fill you up quickly and curb hunger instantly.
Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds
I discovered the health benefits of chia seeds by accident. Their nutrition facts are much higher than what a typical person thinks about. In fact, I’m sure you will be shocked by the nutritional value of these seeds in this write-up. Chia seeds are the super food of 2018. It’s no secret that chia seeds have amazing health benefits. A great source of protein and fiber, chia is also high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The nutritional benefits of chia include decreased risk for: heart disease, diabetes, obesity and tooth decay.
1. Highly nutritious
Chia seeds are tiny black or white seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica L. They’re believed to be native to Central America
Historically, Aztec and Mayan civilizations used the seeds in their diets, as well as for medicinal purposes, religious rituals, and cosmetics. Today, people all over the world enjoy chia seeds
Ancient civilizations viewed chia seeds as highly nutritious — a belief that’s backed by modern science. In fact, just 1 ounce (28 grams or 2 tablespoons) of chia seeds contains
- calories: 138
- protein: 4.7 grams
- fat: 8.7 grams
- alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): 5 grams
- carbs: 11.9 grams
- fiber: 9.8 grams
- calcium: 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
- iron: 12% of the DV
- magnesium: 23% of the DV
- phosphorus: 20% of the DV
- zinc: 12% of the DV
- vitamin B1 (thiamine): 15% of the DV
- vitamin B3 (niacin): 16% of the DV
This nutritional profile is particularly impressive considering that it’s for just a single serving of about two tablespoons.
Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are highly nutritious. They’re packed with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and various micronutrients.
Chia seeds are also an excellent source of antioxidants
Antioxidants not only protect the sensitive fats in chia seeds from going rancid but also benefit human health by neutralizing reactive molecules known as free radicals, which can damage cell compounds if they build up in your body
For example, free radical damage contributes to aging and diseases like cancer
The specific antioxidants in chia seeds include chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol. These may all have protective effects on your heart and liver, as well as anticancer properties
For example, chlorogenic acid may help lower blood pressure, while caffeic acid has anti-inflammatory effects
Chia seeds are high in antioxidants. These compounds help protect the seed’s delicate fats while also offering health benefits to humans.
The fiber and protein in chia seeds may benefit those trying to lose weight.
One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds has close to 10 grams of dietary fiber. That means they’re a whopping 35% fiber by weight
Although research on this topic is mixed, some studies suggest that eating fiber may play a role in preventing overweight and obesity
Additionally, the protein in chia seeds could help reduce appetite and food intake.
One study in 24 participants found that eating 0.33 ounces (7 grams) or 0.5 ounces (14 grams) of chia seeds mixed with yogurt for breakfast increased feelings of fullness and reduced food intake in the short term compared with eating chia-free yogurt
Even so, studies examining the effectiveness of chia seeds for weight loss have observed mixed results.
In an older study from 2009 involving 90 people with overweight, consuming 50 grams of chia seed supplements per day for 12 weeks did not affect body weight or health markers like blood pressure and inflammation markers (
In contrast, a 6-month study involving 77 people with overweight or obesity and type 2 diabetes eating a reduced-calorie diet found that those who took chia seeds daily experienced significantly greater weight loss than those who received a placebo
Though adding chia seeds to your diet is unlikely to cause weight loss on its own, it may be a useful addition to a balanced, nutritious diet if you’re trying to lose weight.
Chia seeds are high in protein and fiber, both of which have been shown to aid weight loss. However, studies on chia seeds and weight loss have provided mixed results.
Given that chia seeds are high in fiber and omega-3s, consuming them may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Soluble fiber, the kind primarily found in chia seeds, can help lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood. In turn, this can reduce your risk of heart disease
Consuming ALA, the omega-3 fatty acid in chia seeds, has also been linked to decreased heart disease risk
Still, studies specifically examining the connection between chia seeds and heart health have had inconclusive results.
Some rat studies have shown that chia seeds can lower certain heart disease risk factors, including high triglyceride and oxidative stress levels
A few human studies found that chia seed supplements significantly reduced blood pressure in people with hypertension, or high blood pressure, which is a strong risk factor for heart disease
Overall, chia seeds may benefit heart health, but more research is needed.
Chia seeds may reduce the risk of heart disease, likely due to the fiber and ALA they contain. However, more human research is needed.
Chia seeds are high in several nutrients that are important for bone health, including:
Many observational studies suggest that getting enough of these nutrients is important for maintaining good bone mineral density, an indicator of bone strength
In addition, ALA in chia seeds may play a role in bone health. Observational studies have found that consuming this nutrient could also be associated with increased bone mineral density
Therefore, it’s possible that regularly eating chia seeds could help keep your bones strong.
One animal study found that rats who received chia seeds daily for about 13 months had increased bone mineral content compared with a control group. The authors concluded that ALA may have contributed to this benefit
However, besides animal studies, a limited number of studies have explored this topic, specifically. Ultimately, more human research is needed.
Chia seeds are high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and ALA. All of these nutrients have been linked to improved bone mineral density.
Consuming chia seeds may help with blood sugar regulation, possibly due to their fiber content and other beneficial compounds.
People with diabetes may experience high blood sugar levels. Consistently high fasting blood sugar levels are associated with an increased risk of several complications, including heart disease
Promisingly, animal studies have found that chia seeds may improve insulin sensitivity. This might help stabilize blood sugar levels after meals
Research in humans is sparse, but some older studies have shown promising results.
In particular, older research from 2010 and 2013 suggests that eating bread containing chia seeds helps lower post-meal rises in blood sugar among healthy adults, compared with eating bread without chia seeds
Nevertheless, more research is needed to learn more about the connection between these nutritious seeds and blood sugar regulation.
Animal studies suggest that chia seeds may help with blood sugar management, but more human research is needed.
Chia seeds are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet. They taste rather bland, so you can add them to pretty much anything.
You don’t need to grind, cook, or otherwise prepare them, making them a handy addition to recipes.
They can be eaten raw, soaked in juice, or added to oatmeal, pudding, smoothies, and baked goods. You can also sprinkle them on top of cereal, yogurt, vegetables, or rice dishes. Plus, they work wonders in homemade fritters as a binding agent.
Given their ability to absorb water and fat, you can use them to thicken sauces and as an egg substitute. They can also be mixed with water and turned into a gel.
The seeds appear to be well tolerated. Still, if you’re not used to eating a lot of fiber, you might experience digestive side effects like bloating or diarrhea if you eat too many seeds in one sitting.
A common dosage recommendation is 0.7 ounces (20 grams or about 1.5 tablespoons) of chia seeds twice per day. Remember to drink plenty of water to prevent any digestive side effects.
Chia seeds are easy to prepare and often used as an egg substitute and added to oatmeal or smoothies.
Chia seeds are not only rich in minerals, omega-3 fat, antioxidants, and fiber but also easy to prepare.