Chia seeds recently hit the spotlight. I like to call them “the new flax” since their properties are similar to that of flax seed and they can be used in a similar fashion. The main difference you’ll notice, texturally is that chia seeds, when left to soak (in your smoothie, yogurt, water, etc), will expand quite a bit! In fact they take on a tapioca like consistency and this is why many people use them to make chia seed pudding (don’t you fret, we included a recipe below that is de-li-cious). Here are some other rocking benefits of ch-ch-ch-chia! seeds. And YES, those little seeds are the same ones popularized by that lovely 90s fad, the chia pet. It’s essentially sprouted chia seeds, similar to the idea of growing wheat grass, instead you were growing chia grass (and naming him Fred… or whatever). Onward, upward!
- Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
With 5 grams in a one ounce serving, it is an excellent source of these omega 3’s. They are very important in supporting brain health!
- Fight type 2 diabetes
Chia seeds prevent blood sugar spikes due to their ability to slow down digestion.
- Packed with fiber
Chia supports digestive health because of their high fiber content. A one ounce serving of chia is equivalent to 11 grams of fiber which is a third of the recommended daily intake for adults!
- Get full real quick!
An amino acid called tryptophan is found in chia seeds and it regulates appetite, sleep and also improves your mood!
- Loaded with protein
Chia seeds are an excellent substitute for meat for all of you vegetarians! A 28 gram serving contains about 4.4 grams of protein. They also do not contain any cholesterol!
Vanilla Chia Pudding
An interesting and unique thing about chia seeds is they expand when they are exposed to liquid and develop a gelatinous coating. You can even make a healthy pudding out of chia seeds for dessert! Below I included a simple vanilla chia seed pudding recipe from peanutbutterandpeppers.com. Feel free to modify it and make it your own by adding you favorite toppings and flavors!
- 2 cups of coconut milk, almond milk or milk of choice (non-dairy is best)
- 1/3 cup of chia seeds
- 1 tbsp of maple syrup, honey or sweetener of choice
- ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- In a bowl, add milk, chia seeds, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk together. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Divide the chia pudding between 4 bowls and top with fruit.
- The chia pudding will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
You can also add chia seeds to your smoothies for a quick boost of protein and omega 3’s. This will keep you fuller, longer. I add a tablespoon to my morning smoothies. You can get the recipes for these along with all the lunches, dinners, desserts, and snacks I ate to lose 8 lbs in 7 days, in my clean-eating cleanse, the 7-Day Cleanse & Reboot! Check it out here! Yummmm!