Among the many health discoveries in today’s health-conscious community is an emergence in popularity of foods that have been around for centuries (I’m talking to you quinoa, coconut and acaí berries). Chia seeds are one of those bountiful natural resources to take note of. Tiny, black seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica, which is related to mint, they grow natively in South America and were an important food staple for the Aztecs and Mayans, who valued them for their ability to provide sustainable energy and endurance. Today, they are touted as a modern day superfood. But what are their health benefits and different ways to use them? Read on to learn our favorite healthy ways to include chia seeds into our diet.
They Offer An Incredible Amount Of Health Benefits:
Chia seeds have, in recent years, exploded in popularity for their plethora of health benefits. These tiny seeds pack a nutritional punch, as they’re rich in fiber, protein, omega-3s, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. They’re loaded with antioxidants, which work to fight the production of free radicals that can damage molecules and cause aging and diseases like cancer. A diet including chia seeds has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, increase HDL cholesterol and reduce inflammation, all of which can work to lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, chia seeds are high in many important bone nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein. Their calcium content comes in at a whopping 18 percent of the RDA in a single ounce, making them a great alternative for anyone who doesn’t eat dairy, as gram for gram, this is higher than most dairy products. Amazing, huh?
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They Are Easy to Incorporate Into Your Diet:
Chia seeds on their own are bland in taste, but this makes it easy to add them to pretty much anything. They don’t need to be ground like flax seeds either, so they’re much easier to prepare. Eaten sprinkled atop toast and salads for added crunch, soaked in juice, incorporated into oatmeal and pudding, or included in baked goods, there are plenty of ways you can play with these super seeds. Since they absorb water and fat well, they’re also great for thickening sauces and even using as an egg substitute for recipes. No matter how you use chia seeds, adding them into your foods will boost nutritional value.
Try Out These Recipes To Get Started
Feeling inspired to boost your health with these tiny nourishing powerhouses? Then let’s get started! We have a variety of fun and easy recipes to help you include chia seeds into your diet.
- For Breakfast: Overnight Oatmeal: Peanut Butter & Honey Chia Oats
Overnight oatmeal is the go-to option for mornings on-the-go. This recipe will fill you up, fuel your day and satisfy you, too, thanks to the combination of peanut butter, honey, chia seeds and oats.
This sweet snack is gluten-free and packed with protein and healthy fats that will keep you energized all day long.
- For Lunch: Power Salad with Lemon Chia Seed Dressing
This salad is vegan, gluten-free and full of healthy ingredients your taste buds will love. Store-bought dressings can come complete with a high calorie count, but this easy-to-make option is zesty and nutritious.
- For Dinner: Quick & Easy Salmon Rub
For a fun and crunchy crust to your salmon, this simple recipe will do the trick. A few pinches of chia seeds mixed with some salt, pepper and olive oil is all you need to spread on your fish before baking or grilling.
- For Dessert: Pina Colada Chia Pudding
A sensational smoothie for dessert, this big, thick and creamy bowl of goodness is packed with healthy ingredients and satisfying for the sweet tooth.