Chia: The Power of a Complete Protein - dummies

Chia: The Power of a Complete Protein

By Barrie Rogers, Debbie Dooly

Chia is a great source of protein — not only is chia made up of 21 percent protein, but it’s a high-quality complete protein that our bodies crave. Protein is an important nutrient that is essential for building, maintaining, and replacing the cells in your body, as well as making enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.

You need to take in good-quality proteins to keep up with this manufacture of body tissue. The most common sources of protein are meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, and seeds.

Chia is a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids that are needed for building complete cells. Amino acids are the building blocks of life. Scientists have identified 22 amino acids as important to human health, but human bodies can make only 13 of these, which means you need to get the remaining 9 from foods.

This is why these nine amino acids are called essential amino acids. Often, plant proteins are missing some of these essential amino acids, so your body needs to get them from other sources — but not with chia! Chia is one of the few non-meat, non-dairy foods that has all nine essential amino acids.

Chia is a great food for anyone following a plant-based diet because it provides the body with the complete proteins that it needs to build and maintain body tissues without the saturated fats that come with eating meats. So, not only is chia a fantastic source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, but it’s a great source of protein for everyone!