Chia seeds are taking the health food world by storm and for good reason. They are an impressive superfood with many health benefits, and it’s easy to incorporate them into your diet even if you are not a seasoned chef.
What are chia seeds?
Chia seeds come from a desert plant native to South America. A member of the mint family, it is believed that the ancient Aztecs enjoyed chia as a staple of their diet. These tiny black seeds are naturally gluten-free, vegan and raw.
What health benefits do chia seeds offer?
One serving of chia seeds is about two tablespoons and offers about 11 grams of fiber, 5.6 grams of protein, and 179 mg of calcium. To put that into perspective, that’s almost three times as much fiber than a bowl of oatmeal, twice as much protein as most other vegan sources, and fives times as much calcium than a glass of milk. Chia seeds are also a great source of antioxidants, iron, and omega-3s. Perfect for those who are working towards weight loss, they expand when mixed with liquid and can help you stay full longer.
How do you eat chia seeds?
Some health foods are difficult to work into your daily routine because they take so much preparation. Thankfully, chia seeds are a breeze to prepare and can be added to many of the meals you already enjoy. Sprinkle them on top of oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, or salads, or blend them into your smoothie. They’ll provide a pleasant crunch without changing the flavor of your meal. For a vegan egg substitute in baked goods, mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water, and wait about ten minutes for the mixture to form a gel. To make an easy healthy pudding, blend a half cup of chia seeds with two cups of your choice of milk. Add a teaspoon of vanilla and a small amount of sweetener (honey, dates, or stevia are great options), as well as your choice of flavoring. Three tablespoons of cocoa powder will give you a luxurious chocolate treat, while a cup of frozen fruit will create a cool tropical pudding. They are so many great ways to enjoy this versatile food while gaining amazing health benefits in the process.