Chia Seeds Spotlight: Magnesium
Over the next few weeks we’ll be discussing in detail the many benefits of chia seeds, the nutrients obtained from them, how to use them best and other interesting chia facts you might be surprised to learn. Today we highlight one of chia’s unknown, but most valuable nutrients: Magnesium.
Chia seeds are so full of amazing nutrients, how can magnesium be considered one of the MVP’s? The reason is because most Americans are magnesium deficient. Magnesium is not an easy mineral to obtain, since only a handful of foods include it. On top of that, stress depletes the body of magnesium stores, and sadly, many of us suffer from over-worked, stressful, busy lives. Magnesium expert, Dr. Carolyn Dean M.D., N.D. thinks that magnesium is one of our most essential minerals and even suggests that the Recommended Daily Allowance or RDA should be double to triple what it currently is – 320-420mg/day.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include low energy, anxiety, tension, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, diabetes, inflammation, migraines and constipation. Fluoride in drinking water binds to magnesium in the body, preventing it from being absorbed properly. Some specialists even fear our modern farming is depleting the mineral content in soil, resulting in crops with lower then normal magnesium levels. Alcohol consumption has a detrimental effect on magnesium levels as well by lowering the minerals availability to the body’s cells. All these reasons combined have set a growing number of Americans up to experience the many symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
This where our tiny little super-seed comes into play! Few foods on the planet are higher in magnesium then chia seeds. In fact, chia contains 335mg of magnesium in 100g serving (28g=1oz ; 100g=4oz ; 4oz=8tbs). If you eat chia seeds on a regular basis, consuming 4 TBS a day, that’s half of the RDA for magnesium! To compare, consider that leafy greens like spinach are also considered a good source of magnesium. One cup of raw spinach has about 25mg of magnesium. Basically you will need 6.5 cups of spinach to give you the same magnesium value as 4 TBS of chia seeds!
If you know what to do with them, it’s easy to consume even more then 4 TBS of chia a day. Chosen Foods has a bevy of great chia seed recipes on the blog; all use a high density of chia seeds for the best nutrient value. Other foods that are high in magnesium include kelp, halibut, mackerel, cocoa, wheat germ, leafy greens, and most nuts and seeds. Adding a few tablespoons of chia seeds to your diet, combined with these other healthy ingredients is a sure fire way to avoid magnesium deficiency.