Love eating but also concerned about the nutrients that may be missing in your daily diet? Make way for the superfood – chia seeds! Some people may wonder “what is chia seed?” Chia seeds are edible seeds from a desert plant originating from southern Mexico and have been a staple food of the ancient Aztec’s, Mayan and Incan cultures.
Chia seeds offer a powerhouse of nutrients. Taken in its raw form, or sprinkled on oatmeal, cereals, or added to soups, salads, smoothies or meals, the wonder food can supply amino acids, fiber and folic acid. When going for chia seeds, omega 3 fatty acids are also obtained. With some creativity, you can find lots of other ways how to eat chia seeds.
Chia seed nutrition benefits can be enjoyed by both humans and animals. A bagful of chia is often used in these two ways – to whip up a chia seeds nutrition-packed breakfast or healthy snacks; and to add a fiber & protein blast to drinks. In a nutshell, here’s 15 great uses for chia seeds.
15 Uses for Chia Seeds
1) Add some chia seeds to a smoothie
2) Mix some chia seeds with your favorite muesli
3) Simply eat chia seed raw as a snack
4) Add chia seeds to a salad dressing
5) Add some to a soup (helps thicken too!)
6) Throw some chia seeds in with a stir-fry (e.g. tofu, chia seeds and vegetables)
7) Mix some in with your favorite yougurt
8) Ad some chia seeds to brown rice
9) Use as an egg substitute in baking (just mix with water) – not suitable as an omelette!
10) Make a chia seed pudding – a chia seed pudding is very easy to make and filling too. It is great as a breakfast, snack or even dessert and is delicious served with fruits and nuts.
11) Add chia seeds to stew
12) Mix in with spreads and dips
13) Add some to mashed potatoes
14) Why not add some chia seeds when making fish cakes?
15) Simply sprinkle on a salad
Benefits of Chia Seeds include:
• High in vitamin C – 7 times more than oranges
• Boasts 20% protein
• Great source of calcium – 5 times higher than milk
• High in iron – contains 3 times more iron than spinach
• Contributes to healthy skin, hair and nails
• Supplying the body a great amount of antioxidants
• Great source of omega 3 – 8 times higher than salmon
Three other chia seeds health benefits are maintaining electrolyte balance; aiding in weight loss (since they make people feel fuller longer); and helping maintain normal blood pressure. In the popular Dr. Oz Show featuring Dr. Mehmet Oz, the health benefits of chia seeds has been highlighted. Dr. Oz has given a 15-gram chia seeds weight loss prescription as part of a healthy daily meal plan.
Other uses & health benefits of chia seeds include controlling blood sugar, which makes the superfood highly suited for diabetics. Other uses of chia is treatment of itchi skin through use of chia seed oil.
So as you can see, the benefits are many and you get a heaping of essential nutrients the body needs through regular intake of chia seeds. Simply putting a spoonfull of chia seeds in water and leaving them there for several minutes or about half an hour will create a solid gelatin. You may enjoy the superfood in this form, or as part of your favorite beverages such as a fruit smoothie or protein shake to keep your fluids up. All it takes to reap the health benefits of chia seeds is to add a couple of tablespoons of authentic chia seed to your water or detox smoothie together with fruits.
Chia Seed Recipes:
There are many easy-to-follow chia seed recipes online. Whether you love healthy porridges and natural cereals, or are a bodybuilder intending on benefiting from the protein, antioxidants and fiber content of the mighty chia, you can find recipes using the wonder seeds shared by food lovers online. Craving for some pudding? Here’s my favorite tasty chia seeds pudding recipe adapted from Huffington post:
Chia Seed Pudding Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup walnuts
Directions: Add almond milk, maple syrup, and chia seeds to a jar and stir well (or shake). Seal the jar and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir the pudding and if the consistency is not thick yet, place it back in the refrigerator for another hour or so. Pour pudding into bowls or glasses and serve with walnuts and maple syrup on top.
Green Chia Seed Smoothie
Want a chia seeds recipe that makes a healthy drink? Try green chia seed smoothie. Add a tablespoon of chia seeds to a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, half a banana, a cup of spinach, a half cup of unsweetened almond milk, and a dash of cinnamon, mix in a blender, and drink up. The spinach, whey protein powder, fruit and chia seeds calories supplied will be a little over 240. The chia seeds protein will get people doing intense workouts going.
Wondering where to buy chia seeds? Health food and all-natural products stores are your best bets. Organic chia or chia seed oil may also be purchased online. Leading e-commerce sites likewise offer organic chia. There are also chia seed drink options touted for high fiber & protein sold by online health food stores. Large retail chains in the US likewise carry such health foods.
What’s your favorite way to use chia seeds?
References: Natural News | Dr Oz | Foodmatters
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