Back in 2009 we started reporting on this hot new food. Since then, these tiny, crunchy seeds have experienced a popularity explosion. It’s time to catch you up on how far chia has come.
One tablespoon of chia seeds has 55 calories, 2 grams protein and 6 grams of fiber, plus calcium, iron and potassium. They’re also gluten and cholesterol free.
According to the nutrition facts panels, the fat content of different brands of chia seeds varies from 3 to 9 grams per tablespoon. The type of fat found in these tiny seeds is mostly polyunsaturated, specifically the ALA omega-3 type – brands vary from 2,000 to 6,000 milligrams per serving.
Research indicates the ALA form of omega-3 needs to be converted to DHA and EPA forms in order to benefit heart health (something omega-3s are famous for). Some recent reports have indicated that milled chia seeds allow for better ALA conversion, though it’s still unclear if this makes chia better for heart health.