Chia Seeds: The Tiny Superfood

Chia Seeds: The Tiny Superfood


 

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Chia seeds have been a staple for me lately. Once you start reaping their benefits and incorporating them into fun dishes, it’s hard to not use them. These small, but mighty seeds are PACKED with nutrients. 

 

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant related to the mint family called the Salvia hispanica. The plants can grow to almost 6 feet high, the petals fall off, the flowers are picked and dried out, and then the seeds are separated from the flower. Voila, chia seeds. 

 

Here are just a few reasons to start using chia seeds in your diet:

 

1.    Reduces blood sugar and inflammation in the body

Chia seeds are known for stabilizing blood sugar levels in the body.  This is important for Type 2 Diabetes. Consuming chia seeds after a meal has been found to prevent spikes and crashes. With the normalization of blood sugar levels, chia seeds may fight diabetes and insulin sensitivities. 

 

Inflammation in the body can be a risk for chronic diseases (heart diseases and cancers). Supplements do not reduce inflammation as much as whole foods can. Seeing as how chia seeds are high in antioxidants and omega 3s fatty acid, they are great at lowering cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure levels, and reducing inflammation. 

 

2.    Fights free radicals 

Aside from fruits and vegetables, chia seeds are a great source of antioxidants. The high level of antioxidants stops several free radicals in the body. We all encounter free radicals either from the food we eat or our environment around us. In return, the reduction of free radicals in the body will reduce the signs of aging. 

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3.    Supports a healthy digestive system

If there’s one thing that humans could potentially be lacking in their diet its fiber. Fiber is important for many reasons, but is needed for a healthy microbiome in the gut.  In one ounce of chia seeds there are 10g of fiber (as opposed to flax seeds that have 2.8g)!  According to the American Heart Association, about 25 g of fiber is needed daily. So, one ounce of chia seeds is almost 40% of your daily needs!

 

4.    Supports strong bones

Calcium and Manganese are both found in chia seeds and both needed for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Chia seeds contain 17% of your daily calcium needs and almost 30% of your manganese needs. Strong bones will reduce your chances of osteoporosis later in life. 

 

5.    Easy to add into recipes

Because of their neutral flavor, chia seeds can be added to nearly any dish. Throw them in smoothies, on acai bowls, in yogurt, on fruit, and my personal favorite, chia pudding. Chia pudding is extremely simple to make, versatile, and easy to travel with. Below are a few ways to make chia pudding.

 

 

All you (technically) need for chia pudding is non-dairy milk and chia seeds. I don’t mind this, but I know some consider it too bland. To sweeten you could use, vanilla extract, pure maple syrup, agave, honey, or molasses. 

 

The three pictured are:

-Cinnamon and nutmeg

-Peanut butter and chocolate

-Matcha

 

 

-Cinnamon and nutmeg

Pour 2/3 of the jar with non-dairy milk

Add in 1 tsp vanilla extract

Add in ¼ cup chia seeds

Put lid on and shake up

Add in 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg powder

Shake up and store in fridge for 2-6 hours before consuming

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-Peanut butter and chocolate

Pour ½ of the jar with non-dairy milk

Add in ½ tsp vanilla extract

Add in 1/8 cup chia seeds

Put lid on and shake up

Mix in 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter (or other nut butter)/raw seems to work the best since it’s a little more oily and smoother to mix

Add in more chia seeds if need be

Store in fridge for 2-3 hours before adding chocolate

Once bottom peanut butter part has hardened, add in more non-dairy milk and ½ tsp vanilla extract

Add in 1/8 cup more chia seeds and shake up

Mix in 1 tbsp raw cocoa powder and shake up

Shake up and store in fridge for 2-6 hours before consuming

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-Matcha

Pour 2/3 of the jar with non-dairy milk

Add in 1 tsp vanilla extract

Add in ¼ cup chia seeds

Put lid on and shake up

Add in 1-2 tbsp of matcha powder

Shake up and store in fridge for 2-6 hours before consuming

 

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Previously I have mixed chia pudding with muesli and overnight oats!


 

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Nutrition Facts: per oz/28.4g

 

Calories 138

 

Total Fat 9g 

-5g of fat is from the Omega 3s 

 

Cholesterol 0

 

Sodium 5mg

 

Potassium 115mg

 

Total Carbohydrate 12g

-Dietary fiber 10g

 

Protein 4.7g

 

Calcium 17%

Iron 12%

Magnesium 23%

 

Zinc, B(1,2,3) vitamins, Potassium

 

 





Needless to say, chia seeds are packed with a healthy punch. They are full of vitamins and minerals and great for many things including workout recovery! 

 

I hope you are inspired to go buy some chia seeds (or even grow them)!

 

Much love, 

 

Lo