Chia seeds are an ancient grain but a newer fad in the healthy eating world. At least I discovered them about a year ago in my health journey. Who would have thought we could eat the same very seeds that we used to grow these strange chia pet creatures when we were kids. I love to put them in every smoothie that I have. They have no taste at all and I don’t even know they are there. So for this super food post I will highlight some of the benefits of Ch-ch-ch chia seeds.
Benefits of Chia
1. They may be a natural treatment for type 2 diabetes. This is because they can slow down the process of digestion in our body. They also contain tryptophan that helps with sleep, mood, and appetite.
2. Chia is full of antioxidants and omega 3 fats. The Omega 3 fats in chia can help to reduce inflammation, and also may reduce cholesterol as well. Another thing that omega 3 fatty acids are good for is our mind, they can make your cognitive skills sharper.
3. FULL of fiber- we don’t have to talk about the benefits of fiber right? So for people who really try to pack in a lot of fiber Chia is a good way to do so, it’s a great alternative to wheat bran!
4. Helps with insulin stability, which can help with stomach fat and also bloating. It helps your body manage its insulin levels.
5. Along with lowering cholesterol, it can help with blood pressure as well. If you have metabolic syndrome, you need to put Chia into your diet.
6. Chia seeds help you to feel full after you eat them, which is a good reason to put them in smoothies!
7. Chia are a great source of calcium which can help your bones and teeth. They also have other nutrients manganese and phosphorus as well.
Ways to use Chia seeds
Chia seeds can be compared to flax seeds in their benefits, but a positive of chia seeds is you can eat them whole, you don’t have to ground them as you do Chia. As I stated earlier I always put them in my smoothies. That is the simplest way I know to use them. Here are a few recipes that I will be trying VERY soon!
This one is from http://www.thegraciouspantry.com
Clean Eating Strawberry Chia Seed Spread
• 2 cups strawberries – cleaned and chopped
• 1 cup water
• 1/4 cup chia seeds
• 1/4 cup honey
1. Place all ingredients into a metal pot and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat slightly so the contents of the pot don’t splatter all over your stove, but still bubbles in the pot.
3. Stir constantly! The chia seeds burn on the bottom of the pot very easily. So keep stirring (I had to change pots half way through because the seeds burned so easily).
4. Stir and boil until the mixture has reduced by half and has thickened. Again, it will not be as thick as jam, but it sill definitely thicken.
5. Pour into a clean glass jar and allow to cool for 1 hour. Place in the fridge overnight to continue cooling.
Note: There is no way for me to know exactly how far you will boil down the spread, and therefore I have no idea how many servings this will end up being for you. The below numbers are for the entire recipe. Simply divide by the number of servings you end up with.
Total Fat: 35 gm
Saturated Fats: 4 gm
Trans Fats: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 28 mg
Carbohydrates: 142 gm
Dietary fiber: 48 gm
Sugars: 84 gm
Protein: 20 gm
Estimated Glycemic Load: 50
Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding Pops
Servings: 4 Size: 1 popsicle Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 74 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 6.8 g • Fiber: 4.6 g • Protein: 1.8 g • Sugar: 0.6 g
Sodium: 27 mg
• 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
• 3/4 cup raspberries
• 2 tbsp chia seeds
• 1 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
• 8 drops Nu-Naturals liquid stevia (or sugar/honey to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a large container. Mix well and close container; refrigerate 4 hours so the chia expands.
Mint Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
(inspired by and adapted from A Dash of Compassion)
Makes two 8-ounce servings
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup water
• 1 handful whole mint leaves
• 1/3 cup whole chia seeds
• 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• pinch of sea salt
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
• In a small pot, mix together sugar, water and mint leaves
• Bring to a boil and remove from heating, allowing to cool before using (it will thicken as it cools)
• Remove mint leaves from syrup before using
• In a high-speed blender or bowl, mix together chia seeds, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sea salt, almond milk and two tablespoons of cooled mint simple syrup (you will have extra — pour it on ice cream or more fresh strawberries!)
• Divide mixture into two 8-ounce mason jars and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving
• Serve chilled
I hope you enjoyed this information on Chia seeds. I’m finding it easy to put this super food into my diet every day. I hope you will try some of these recipes and incorporate Ch- Ch- Ch- Chia into your life too.