Did you know that chia seeds are widely considered a super-food? Today, you'll learn more about these tiny seeds and their health benefits. And, of course, we'll pay close attention to how you can take advantage of those benefits to build healthier, stronger bones.
You'll also get an easy-to-prepare delicious bone-building recipe, so let’s get started!
All About Chia Seeds
The chia plant is native to Mexico and Guatemala, where it's been a staple food for around 5,500 years. Chia seeds were used by Aztec and Mayan cultures for medicines, crafts, and as a source of nutrition.
The seed is often used whole and offers a delightful crunch. Ground chia seeds are also popular, as is the oil extracted from them.
Chia seeds are excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, high quality protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and a variety of antioxidants.1. And in addition, chia seeds are alkalizing, which is great news for Savers.
The Chia plant has been a source of food for around 5,500 years. Chia seeds are alkalizing and contain many valuable nutrients.
Nutritional Breakdown Of Chia Seeds
A one-ounce serving (28 grams or two tablespoons) of chia seeds contains:
- Fiber — 11 grams
- Protein — 4 grams
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids — 5 grams
- Calcium* — 18% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
- Manganese* — 30% of the RDI
- Magnesium* — 30% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI
Chia seeds are also a great source of:
*denotes Foundation Supplement
That same serving of chia seeds contains only 137 calories and a single gram of digestible carbohydrates. This makes chia seeds very nutrient-dense. Few other foods offer this much nutrition per calorie.
Chia seeds are excellent sources of fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus, among other nutrients. They contain a high density of nutrients per calorie.
Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds
The rich nutritional content of chia seeds translates to numerous health benefits. Here are a few of the ways that chia seeds can help you stay healthy:
- Lower Risk Of Heart Disease — The fiber, protein, and Omega-3s in chia seeds help reduce your risk of heart disease. Studies have found that chia seeds lower risk factors including inflammation, insulin resistance, and belly fat.2
- Reduce Blood Sugar Levels — Studies with animals have found that chia seeds can improve insulin sensitivity. They also help regulate blood sugar levels, so you can avoid after-meal blood sugar spikes.3,4
- Reduce Chronic Inflammation — Chronic inflammation causes harm throughout the body, and is primarily detected through inflammation markers found in blood. A three-month study with diabetic participants found that those who ate chia seeds each day had reduced inflammatory markers.5
- Antioxidant Protection From Cancer And Aging — Free radicals damage cells and contribute to both aging and the development of cancer. Antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, helping to slow the aging process and prevent cancer.6,7 Studies have confirmed the positive health effects of antioxidant rich foods, like chia seeds.8
Chia seeds provide health benefits including reduced risk of heart disease, blood sugar levels, chronic inflammation, and effective antioxidant protection from aging and cancer.
Bone Building Nutrients In Chia Seeds
Chia seeds contain high levels of several nutrients that are essential for building strong bones. The following four Foundation Supplements are excellent examples. They illustrate just how useful chia seeds are for a bone-healthy diet.
- Calcium — Calcium is directly involved in the process of bone formation and maintenance. It’s the most prevalent mineral in your skeleton, so it’s crucial for building bone. Calcium also facilitates the transport of oxygen throughout your body, making it necessary for cardiovascular health as well.
- Magnesium — Magnesium plays a role in more than 300 processes throughout the body, including in the regulation of the parathyroid gland. That gland controls the mineralization of new bone. Since magnesium is a necessary component of the bone matrix, it both regulates the process of mineralization and is one of the minerals present in that bone-building process.
- Manganese — Manganese is a Foundation Supplement that often gets overlooked. But this mineral is the primary antioxidant enzyme, protecting your cells from oxidative damage. It also plays a role in collagen production, meaning you need manganese to create the building blocks of both your skin and bones.
- B Vitamins — The B Vitamins work together to offer benefits ranging from nervous system function to protein metabolism, to the production of red blood cells and immune cells.
Many of the nutrients in chia seeds play an important role in bone health. They're a great source of minerals that comprise bone, including calcium and magnesium. The manganese in chia seeds helps you produce collagen. And B Vitamins work system-wide to improve health and reduce fracture risk.
A Recipe Featuring Chia Seeds
If you've never used chia seeds before, then you're in for a treat. This recipe is a great start to your love affair with these crunchy seeds.
No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Delight
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¾ cup almond or coconut milk
- ¼ cup plain unsweetened yogurt
- 2 teaspoons honey (adjust to taste)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Slivered almonds for garnish
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients with a whisk.
- Place in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- Garnish with slivered almonds before serving
What This Means To You
If you don't have chia seeds in your pantry, make sure you add them to your shopping list. This superfood is easy to use as a topping for salads, yogurt bowls, and oatmeal, or in smoothies, bread, cookies, muffins, and more.
To get recipes like the one above, check out Bone Appetit, the Save Institute's cookbook and meal planner. Bone Appetit helps you incorporate scores of bone-building ingredients into delicious daily meals.
Adding variety to your diet is a great way to add adventure to your bone-healthy lifestyle. When you try new bone-building foods, you enable yourself to stay strong and independent, able to enjoy your life to the fullest.