Chia seeds: How much nutrition do I get from a teaspoon or 2 in oatmeal?
November 8, 2017 6:09 PM   Subscribe

I eat oatmeal for breakfast every day (overnight oats). How much nutrition do I really get if I add a teaspoon or two of chia seeds to it? Can you help put it in perspective? It seems like I'd have to eat more like 2 tablespoons to really see a benefit, or am I reading the nutritional info wrong? And am I already getting those benefits by taking a multivitamin?

I'm not trying to lose weight. I just like the idea of making my oatmeal super healthy since it's become a daily meal for me (I use old fashioned oats, not instant, soaked overnight).

Oh, and is there a way to buy them online in bulk? Even on amazon they seem pretty expensive.
posted by 2oh1 to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Oatmeal is already a pretty healthy food, but 2 teaspoons of chia seeds won't make it super healthy. You'll get a couple of grams of fiber, which is nice. That said, I have a jar of chia seeds in my fridge right now, and I often eat it as a quick snack or breakfast (2 T chia seeds, 4 ounces soy milk, and about 1/2 cup of berries). I get a nice, filling little tapioca-style fruit pudding without losing the chia texture to the texture of oatmeal.

Cost: I buy chia seeds at the local Bulk Barn when they have it on sale and they offer a coupon ($3 off when buying $10 or more).
posted by maudlin at 7:33 PM on November 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

I add nuts, seeds, hemp seeds, and berries to my oatmeal or yogurt. Delish, and at least healthier than the oatmeal/yogurt alone. (I know this didn't really answer your question, but I guess my point is that chia seeds are not your only option.)
posted by greermahoney at 12:06 AM on November 9, 2017

If you have a scale and can give the mass of the two tablespoons of chia seeds it would be rather simple to determine exactly what nutrition you are adding. Assuming that 2 tbsp is about 1 oz or 28 g then you would be adding:

Amount Per 1 oz (28.4 g)
Calories 138
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9 g 13%
Saturated fat 0.9 g 4%
Polyunsaturated fat 7 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.7 g
Trans fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 4.5 mg 0%
Potassium 115.4 mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 12 g 4%
Dietary fiber 10 g 40%
Protein 4.7 g 9%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 17% Iron 12%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 23%

. If you want a closer approximation just tell me in g how much those 2 tbsp weigh and I'll do the math and say exactly what you would be adding. (but it also isn't hard to do yourself from here)
posted by koolkat at 1:28 AM on November 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

IMHO, if you want a super healthy breakfast, you should start with something better than oatmeal. It has some fiber, a bit of protein, a bit of iron, and not much else. Chia seeds have plenty of fiber, some protein, calcium and Magnesium, so it's an improvement to the oatmeal. Other things to consider adding would be raisins, blueberries, walnuts, and wheat germ.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:58 AM on November 9, 2017

There’s a lot more to nutrition than what koolkat lists. Chia seeds are very high in omega 3s and antioxidants. Adding chia seeds is much better than taking a pill. Pills do not replicate what is in whole plant foods. For instance, people who ate foods with beta carotene had a decreased risk of cancer, but beta carotene supplements increased risk. That’s because the foods that contain beta carotene had hundreds of other things in them in the correct ratios.

Also, oatmeal is very good for you, though adding fruit would be a great idea. I add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed and a half cup of frozen blueberries to mine.
posted by FencingGal at 6:43 AM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I use the fast cook oatmeal. 1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 rounded tablespoon of walnuts, 1 rounded tablespoon of craisins and 1 teaspoon of chia seeds. Add 1/2 cup hot water. Microware 1 minute, add 1/4 cup skim milk. Every day. Best breakfast ever.
posted by JayRwv at 8:53 AM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

For instance, people who ate foods with beta carotene had a decreased risk of cancer, but beta carotene supplements increased risk.

If you have an actual source for this I would like to read the article.
posted by koolkat at 6:13 AM on November 10, 2017

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