Chia Seed Superfood Research
What is in your Superfood?
100 grams of Chia Seeds contain 16.54 grams of protein, 30.74 grams of fat/lipids, 42.12 grams of carbohydrates, and 34.4 grams of fiber. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
What do Those Nutrients do for your Body?
Protein helps build & repair our tissues, fat/lipids store energy and provide insulation, carbohydrate provide energy, and fiber helps send out waste. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, and help lower risks of getting heart disease, cancer, or arthritis.
What Other Foods Have These Same Nutrients?
I researched and found that 100g of sunflower seeds also contain these nutrients. Sunflower seeds have 4.24 grams more protein than chia seeds, (16.54 vs. 20.78 grams). However, chia seeds contain 20.72 grams less fat than sunflower seeds, (30.74g vs.51.46g), chia seeds contain 22.92 more grams of carbohydrates than sunflower seeds, (20.00g vs. 42.12g), and chia seeds contain 25.8 grams more fiber than sunflower seeds, (8.6g vs.34.4g). At walmart,16 oz. of sunflower seeds sell for $3.18, while 14oz. of chia seeds sell for $6.77.
I also researched and found that flax seeds have the same nutrients as chia seeds. Flax seeds are another so called,”Superfood”. I found that chia seeds contain less calories than flax seeds, (69 calories vs. 79 calories). I found that chia seeds contain more fiber than flax seeds, (20% vs. 15%). I found that flax seeds contain 0.3 grams more protein than chia seeds, (2.3g vs. 2.6g). Flax seeds also contain less carbohydrates than chia seeds (6g vs. 4g).
Are there Any Issues with Chia Seeds?
I researched and found that when chia seeds absorb water, they can expand up to 75% their size. This was a problem for a 39 year old healthy man, as he experienced swallowing problems after swallowing a cup of raw chia seeds. He did not let them expand in water before swallowing so they started expanding in his throat, causing him to have swallowing problems because it was blocking his esophagus. He proceeded to go the emergency room, and he needed to have endoscopic extraction. Chia seeds can also make your blood pressure go down, and thin out your blood if you already have blood issues. Chia seeds can cause bloating, and gastrointestinal issues. Lastly, chia seeds can cause abdominal cramps due to slow moving fiber.
What’s an Issue with the Term Superfood?
I believe that the term ‘Superfood’, is to sell you products, because some foods have more nutrients than other superfoods, and yet they aren’t considered superfoods. I would also recommend that you eat flax seeds over chia seeds for protein, and also because they are safer. Lastly, I would prefer to eat chia seeds over sunflower seeds for all the nutrients except for protein.
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“Basic Report: 12006, Seeds, Chia Seeds, Dried.” Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Seeds, Chia Seeds, Dried. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28, May 2016. Web. 19 Apr. 2017. <https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3610?manu=&fgcd=&ds=>.
“BetterBody Foods Organic Chia Seeds, 32 Oz.” Walmart.com. Walmart, 27 Oct. 2016. Web. 19 Apr. 2017. <https://www.walmart.com/ip/BetterBody-Foods-Organic-Chia-Seeds-32-oz/47375930>.
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Ehrlich, Steven D. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids.” University of Maryland Medical Center. University of Maryland Medical Center, 5 Aug. 2015. Web. 18 Apr. 2017. <http://www.umm.edu/Health/Medical/AltMed/Supplement/Omega3-fatty-acids>.
Oaklander, Mandy. “Which Is Healthier: Chia Seeds or Flax Seeds?” Prevention. Prevention, 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 18 Apr. 2017. <http://www.prevention.com/content/which-healthier-chia-seeds-or-flax-seeds>.
Sandoval, Danelle. “5 Chia Seed Side Effects That You Probably Were Not Aware Of, Because It’s Possible To Overdo It With This Miracle Food.” Bustle. Bustle, 14 Sept. 2016. Web. 12 Apr. 2017. <https://www.bustle.com/articles/88621-5-chia-seed-side-effects-that-you-probably-were-not-aware-of-because-its-possible-to>.
“12 Chia Seed Health Benefits + 1 Nasty Side Effect.” Superfoodly. Superfoodly, 06 Apr. 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017. <https://www.superfoodly.com/chia-seeds-benefits-side-effects/>.