London: Chia seeds have a reputation for being a “superfood”—and for a good reason: They may be tiny, but they pack a wallop of a nutritional punch. In fact, just one spoonful of chia seeds—that’s .5 ounces, to be precise—has just 69 calories, but boasts 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of fat, and 2 grams of protein.
The health benefits of chia seeds aren’t exactly new—in fact, people have been eating them for more than 5,000 years. Originally from Mexico and Guatemala, chia—i.e., Salvia hispanica L., a member of the mint family—was used by the Aztecs and Mayans in everything from meals to medicines to cosmetics, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of Food Science and Technology.
Proven Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are loaded with fiber: One tablespoon of chia seeds packs a whopping 5 grams of fiber—about 20 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake. (By contrast, the same amount of brown rice contains just .2 grams of fiber.) Even though dietary fiber can help lower our cholesterol levels and shore up our digestive health, statistics show that most women in the United States are only eating about 15 grams per day—well short of the recommended 25 grams.
Chia seeds may help build strong bones: Chia seeds are high in phosphorus and magnesium—two minerals that can help keep our bones healthy, says Tara Gidus Collingwood, RDN, a dietitian and author of Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies. It is also known as Tukh Malanga in Pakistan and India.
In a 2015 study published in the Nutrition Journal, people who had the highest intakes of phosphorus had a 45 percent lower risk of osteoporosis than those with the lowest intakes.
One tablespoon of chia seeds contains 122 milligrams of phosphorus and 47 milligrams of magnesium—about 17 percent and 15 percent of your recommended daily intake, respectively. source