I’m always trying toconvince my clients to try chia seed. Some of them are already on board and some look at me like I have two heads. Chia is your friend! It’s so easy to incorporate into your diet and once you get used to the texture, you’ll be adding it to everything. But first….
What is Chia?
Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family and are native to Central America. They’ve been considered a superfood dating back to the Mayans and Aztecs. Chia seeds dissolve in water and create a gel. When this happens in your stomach, it slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, making chia a great long-term fuel for athletes. This can also help curb your appetite and help you eat less at meals. Also, unlike flax seed, chia seeds don’t need to be ground up to get at the omega 3 fats. They also don’t go rancid the way flax seed does.
Why Should You Eat It?
Emerging research suggests that chia can help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, they also contain protein, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. Adding just two tablespoons of chia seeds to your daily diet will provide about seven grams of fiber, four grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, and five grams of omega-3.
But don’t take my word for it, try some yourself! Here’s how:
10 Ways to Add Chia to Your Diet
- Create a Mexican chia fresco by soaking chia seeds in 100% fruit juice or seltzer water
- Add two tablespoons to cooked oatmeal. They are a staple ingredient in my morning muesli bowl!
- Blend into your smoothie for a little crunch
- Sprinkle onto Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for some added fiber
- Create a delicious pudding by mixing 1/4 cup chia with 1 cup almond or coconut milk, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Let sit in the fridge overnight (or for just 15 minutes) and enjoy!
- Whip us a quick salad dressing with chia seeds, vinegar, oil and honey
- Add seeds to stews and soups
- Add to homemade energy bars or balls (like these)
- Mix into homemade hummus or other dips
- Sprinkle onto salads (or sprout them!)
Chia seeds can be stored for quite a while in your refrigerator or pantry without going rancid, so it makes sense to save money and buy them in bulk. I’ve found organic chia at my local Costco!
What’s your favorite way to use chia?