Chia seeds are either white or black (color makes no difference), and they are a member of the mint family. The flavor is nutty and delicious. They are easily digested, and unlike flax seeds, do not have to be ground before eating. If you don’t want to mess with making a pudding, you can simply sprinkle them onto your cereal or yogurt, add them to salads, mix into smoothies or muffins, or simply mix some into a glass of water to drink. The seeds can also be sprouted and used in salads or sandwiches (you know, like on a Chia head!). They can even be used as an egg substitute or a gravy thickener in recipes!
Chia seeds are easy to find online and in health food stores. The ones I buy are organic. The benefits of eating them are far-reaching.
Why Eat Chia Seeds? Here are 10 Reasons!
- Reduces Blood Pressure
Chia seeds can help reduce blood pressure. The seeds contain one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6).
- Lowers Blood Sugar
Chia seeds slows down the absorption of complex carbohydrates. The soluble fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. No big spikes and drops in blood sugar or energy! Perfect for diabetics, or anyone really.
- Increases Energy
Chia seeds have a lovely balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber. Just one tablespoon of Chia will greatly add energy to your day. Athletes have reported that Chia seeds help them perform at peak levels for longer periods of time.
The high amounts of omega-3 helps to lubricate joints.. Additionally, Omega-3s are converted into prostaglandins, providing even more pain relieving and anti-inflammatory support.
- Weight Loss
The essential fatty acids contained in Chia seeds help to speed up your metabolism and increase lean muscle mass. Adding the seeds to your diet will help you feel full and provide nutrients while adding very few calories.
- Detoxes the Body
The swelling action of Chia seeds in the body helps to cleanse the colon and absorb toxins.
- High in Protein
Chia seeds contain 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains. The strontium in Chia seeds helps you body absorb the protein and increase energy.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants. I read that they contain more than blueberries (and they won’t stain your teeth!). Because of the high amounts of antioxidants in Chia seeds, they have a very long shelf life.
- Fiber and Nutrients
Besides EFAs, Chia seeds also provide fiber, iron, calcium, niacin, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus.2 tablespoons of Chia seeds = 7 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, 5 grams omega-3
- Brain Function
The EFAs in Chia seeds are known to make cell membranes more efficient and nutrients more readily available.. This helps to improve memory and focus.
How to Make Chia Seed Pudding
One of the simplest and most delicious ways to eat chia seeds is as a pudding. It literally takes 2 minutes to put whip this up and it will be ready after sitting in the fridge overnight. Here’s how to make it:
Serving size: 2/3 cups
Makes 4 servings.
2 cups of nut milk (I like coconut, but almond, cashew, macadamia, or even oat milk will work)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 tablespoon of honey (or a little more or less according to your taste)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Mix all four ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. I prefer to let them soak overnight.
Add any toppings you’d like (I love my chia seed pudding with fresh berries and granola) and you’ll have a delicious and nutritious breakfast, snack, or even dessert!