I have been noticing that chia seeds are everywhere these days…except in my kitchen. I have always been aware of their yummy taste, but have been simply too lazy to get involved. But I think it’s time for things to change. To get myself fully informed on this trend, I did a little research and found that the health benefits of these tiny treats are truly endless. While they are best known for their high omega 3 fatty acid content and their protein-filled punch, their list of healthy features doesn’t stop there:
- Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds.
- Chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body
- Chia seeds provide fiber (a serving of 25 grams gives you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
- When added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar.
How to incorporate these babies into your next snack or meal, you ask? Sprinkle ground or whole chia seeds on cereal, in yogurt or on salads. Eat them plain as a snack. Add to a smoothie or a juice to give your normal drink a boost. Basically, any way you add these to your diet will be beneficial! I spoke with my go-to Health Coach Lauren Unger from Hint of Greens who gave me this beyond amazing Apple Cinnamon Chia Pudding recipe that is the perfect morning breakfast, and is quick, easy and, most importantly, very glowingly healthy.
¼ cup unsweetened all-natural applesauce
1 cup dairy free milk (I like to use almond milk)
3 tablespoons chia seeds
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or other natural sweetener)
1/3 cup cup diced apple
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
MIX THE INGREDIENTS. Place applesauce, milk, chia seeds, cinnamon and sweetener in a sealed jar (mason jars are great). Shake well. Place in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Serve topped with diced apple and walnuts and a dash of cinnamon.