All of a sudden, everyone is talking about Chia Seeds! It has become a trendy and popular way to add nutrients with just a sprinkle. Chia seeds have been around for centuries as part of the Mayan, and Aztec diets. The word chia means “strength” and it was used to increase stamina among Aztec warriors. In today’s world, athletes are using these tiny seeds for endurance.
These Super foods are packed with nutrients, including heart protecting omega 3’s, and antioxidants. They are also a complete protein which can help regulate hunger and balance blood sugars. You can add them to many foods & beverages like smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, hummus, soups, and tea. The chia seeds gel up in liquids which make it easier to swallow. Here are 5 of my favorite and healthy reasons to start adding them to your day, or week, or month!
1. Source of Fiber-
Chia seeds are an excellent source of soluble & insoluble fiber, which can be helpful in lowering lipids, and lowering insulin resistance. Insoluble fiber can help with elimination, and problems with constipation. **1 Tbsp. = 5 grams Fiber**
Chia seeds are a great source of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, and Manganese. 1 serving of Chia seeds (1 oz. or 3 Tbsp.) contains about 20% of calcium needs.
3. Omega 3’s-
Boost your Omega 3 intake with just a sprinkle! Omega 3’s benefit your heart, brain, joint, and eye health just to name a few. They also contain anti-inflammatory, antioxidants to protect the body’s cells from the aging process.
4. Gluten Free-
Chia seeds contain no gluten or grain, which can benefit those suffering with celiac, wheat allergies, and wheat or gluten sensitivities.
5. Egg Replacer-
Vegans can use Chia seeds as an egg replacer in recipes. Just mix 1 Tbsp. Chia seeds with 3 Tbsp. water, let it sit for 15 minutes until it gels and then add to recipes.
To get started using Chia Seeds why not try this recipe for breakfast, a snack, or even a dessert! This can be a nice treat for Valentines Day! What’s your favorite way to have chia seeds?
Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding (serves 10)
By Tried & Tasty
12 oz. Greek Yogurt/Plain
1-Cup Coconut Milk or other Unsweetened Alternative Milk
1 ½ Tbsp. Honey
3 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
In a blender, mix together the Greek yogurt, coconut milk, honey, & strawberries. Blend until well combined. Add the chia seeds & mix well once more. Transfer to a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Divide the pudding into 10 (1/2 cup) grab & go portions. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy for only 90 calories per serving!
Janet Brancato is a Registered Dietitian based out of Glen Rock, NJ. She works with clients online, over the phone, and face to face.