It seems that we are always hearing about new superfoods. Chia seeds are is one that has been around for ages (first consumed by the Aztecs) but seems to have just recently made its way to our grocery store shelves.
Chia seeds pack quite the nutritional punch (per 1oz serving):
- 11 grams of fiber
- 12 grams of carbohydrate (11 of the 12 grams are from fiber, making the net carb amount 1 gram)
- 4 grams of protein
- 9 grams of fat (which is which are omega-3s)
- Calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B3, potassium, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2
Chia seeds contain a high amount of antioxidants, which fight free radicals that can damage cells and contribute to certain diseases. Chia seeds are also one of the most excellent sources of fiber that you can consume. When added to water (or digested), the seeds for into a gel-like substance. Between the fiber content and the gel like consistency, these seeds can increase satiety.
Ways to add chia seeds to your diet:
- Sprinkled over yogurt
- Mixed into oatmeal or cereal
- Blended into smoothies
- Sprinkled over salads
- Add to bread or baked goods
Chia seed caution: because of the high fiber content of chia seeds, consuming too many chia seeds can cause gastrointestinal distress (gas, bloating, and stomach ache). Also, chia seeds can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water, forming a gel like substance. If too many chia seeds are consumed, this gel like substance can cause a blockage of the esophagus. Our recommendation is to start off with small amounts of chia seeds and work up to no more than 2 teaspoons a day. Also, consuming the seeds when they are already full expanded and wet (see recipe below) can prevent blockages.
Chia Seed Pudding
Recipe from: the Minalamist Baker
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2-5 Tbsp maple syrup if not blending (can sub 5-9 dates, pitted if blending)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional
- Add all ingredients except sweetener to a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. If not blending (which I preferred!), sweeten to taste with maple syrup at this time. If blending, you can sweeten later with maple syrup or dates.
- Let rest covered in the fridge overnight or at least 3-5 hours (or until it’s achieved a pudding-like consistency).
- If blending, add to a blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed. Sweeten to taste.
- Leftovers keep covered in the fridge for 2-3 days, though best when fresh.
- Serve chilled with desired toppings, such as fruit, granola or coconut whipped cream.
Serving size: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 133 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1.2 g Carbohydrates: 17 g Sugar: 9gSodium: 187mg Fiber: 8.6 g Protein: 5.3 g
Eating Well magazine