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     Most nutritious plants are incomplete proteins. Chia however, is a complete protein like meat, but without the high levels of saturated fat. This is good news to people who for health reasons or preference, need to obtain high levels of protein from plants.

     Being a complete protein, chia has all the 9 essential amino acids in proper proportions including other nonessentials. It has an amino acid score of 115%. A complete score is 100%. Those nine essential amino acids are:tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine+cystine, phenylalanine+tyrosine, valine, histidine. See here for more details.

Chia Seeds Amino Acids

Tryptophan has been known for many years for its pronounced calming effects on neurological disorders. Tryptophan is necessary for the production of Vitamin B3, serotonin and melatonin, all of these important in controlling moods, depression, and behavioural disorders. Serotonin (a calming hormone)  and melatonin (a sleepy hormone triggered by the reduction of daylight) have been reported to correct sleep disorders. Melatonin has been associated with deeper and longer sleep.

Read more about how chia can promote healthy sleep.

Threonine builds collagen and elastic tissue (good for preventing wrinkles). Supplemental capsules of threonine is also used to treat depression.

Isoleucine, leucine and valine are crucial in the formation of hemoglobin, the protein molecule in red blood cells. Leucine and valine also improve energy levels and muscle efficiency by expending themselves into energy in muscles being used for physical activity.

Lysine, like most essential amino acids, becomes an integral part of muscle tissue. It also aids in calcium absorption, helps fight cold sores and herpes viruses.

Methyonine+cystine, a combination of an essential + a non-essential amino acid, are involved in metabolic processes in the body. Without these two, vital biochemical functions we normally take for granted will start breaking down -- the removal of waste products from the liver, breakdown of fat, prevention of fatty buildup in the liver and arteries amongst others.

Phenylalanine+tyrosine are responsible for the "I am full" feeling, thus inhibiting appetite. This is of tremendous value to weight watchers. These amino acids also stimulate mental and physical alertness and are important in memory and learning, movement, sex drive, and tissue growth and repair.

Histidine is best known for its efficiency in cell growth and repair. And so, this amino acid is very good for infants, children, teenagers, and athletes who need this ability constantly and in high levels. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in the management of arthritis.

Other nonessential amino acids contained in chia are: arginine, alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, proline and serine.

Perhaps worth mentioning here are two nonessential amino acids which chia seems to have significant quantity of and are extremely important to human health: arginine and glutamic acid.

 Arginine  is famous for its role in stimulating the release of human growth hormone (hGH) or somatotropin. hGH is best known for height growth, calcium retention, and the strengthening and increase of bone mineralisation. hGH also increases muscle mass through creation of new muscle cells, promotes reduction of body fat, and more importantly, stimulates the growth of all internal organs excluding the brain.

Arginine deficiency in children manifest in growth failure and short stature. In adults, deficiency is in strength, energy, bone mass, as well as increased cardiovascular risk.

Glutamic acid is no less important. GA is known for several vital processes: the proper metabolism of carbohydrates, removal of ammonia, a toxic byproduct, from the body, the proper functioning of the body's waste removal system, and is necessary for the production of energy from other essential amino acids.

But perhaps the most exciting discovery about the glutamic acid is its involvement in cognitive functions like learning and memory. Preliminary studies show that GA can be used as brain food, and is one crucial requirement for the detoxification of the brain. More studies are being performed to investigate the future potential of GA in treating nuerological conditions like epilepsy, Parkinson's and mental retardation.

Because of such a high-quality protein, chia seed is excellent for people who prefer to source most of their protein from plants. And no wonder, chia's protein has a higher bioavailability than meat much of whose protein is often destroyed by preparation and processing or contaminated by toxic substances.

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The content in this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your family physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this website.