Chia seeds rock! Those tiny little powerhouses are packed with health promoting nutrients for body and brain. The low calorie, gluten-free seeds are great in smoothies, salads or many other dishes. They can also be used as a thickener to make delicious and healthy raw jams and puddings (see one of my favorite recipes below).
8 Good Reasons You Should Eat Chia Seeds
1. Nutrient-dense with very few calories
Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. While 1 ounce can pack up to 1/3 of your daily value of these nutrients, it only supplies 100 to 130 calories.
2. Gluten-free whole grain
Chia seeds are gluten-free, unprocessed, and usually grown organically.
3. Antioxidant rich
Antioxidants are super important for your health. They prevent damage to your cells and tissue by highly reactive free radicals. Free radicals are often linked to many life-threatening disease like cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The also protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid.
4. Most carbs are fiber
Although 1 ounce of chia seeds has around 12 grams of carbs, most of them are fibers. Fibers are the vacuum cleaners of your digestive tract and bind excess fat and toxins and they feed your friendly gut bacteria. Fibers are not absorbed and don’t spike sugar levels in your blood.
5. Fill you up
Due to their high fiber content, chia seeds can absorb 10 times their weight in water and form a gel-like substance. This will increase fullness and help you to eat less.
6. High quality protein
Chia seeds provide a good plant-based source of protein. Proteins are needed to build and repair our body. Proteins also help to reduce appetite and cravings.
7. Build stronger bones and teeth
Chia seeds are high in many nutrients essential for bone and tooth health (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein). They are a great addition for people who are off dairy.
8. Can be used as an egg replacement
Due to their ability to absorb water and form a gel-like consistency, chia seeds can be used as an egg replacement in many baked goods. Mix 1 tablespoon with 3 tablespoons water, let set for 15 minutes and your “egg” is ready for use.
Chia seeds have a mild nutty flavor and don’t add much taste and don’t need to be ground, so they can be added to almost every dish.
My Favorite Chia Seed Pudding
Super easy, delicious, and nutrient dense dessert or power breakfast.
Ingredients (serves 4 to 6)
- ⅓ cup chia seeds
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut, almond or hazelnut milk
- 5 pitted Medjool dates or 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- Topping: fresh blueberries and raspberries (or any other fruit of your liking)
- Topping: mint leaves and/or toasted coconut flakes or raw cacao nibs (optional)
- Combine all ingredients, except the toppings, in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times until well combined. (Or combine all ingredients in a jar, cover and shake vigorously)
- Chill for at least 1 hour to let the chia seeds do their magic. They will expand and form a gel-like substance to make the pudding.
- Serve cold and top with your favorite toppings.
You could also blend your fruits together with the other ingredients, but I’m a chunky person and love to eat the whole berries.
Enjoy this sweet and healthy treat.
Also check out my previous article for more chia seed fun: Delicious Guilt-Free Raw Chia Seed Jam (Sugar-Free)