Have you ever wanted to add more nutrition to your diet? Here are many ways how to fit chia seeds into your everyday diet. Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from a plant (Salvia hispanica). They are native to central and southern Mexico. Chia seeds were an important food to the Aztecs and Mayans in ancient history. However, only recently they have become regarded as a modern-day super-food.
Chia seeds are stoked with nutrients and antioxidants. Not only are they nutritious, they can soak up and retain a lot of water, up to ten to twelve times their size. This keeps your body hydrated and satiated. In addition, this bulking up also makes them good for those who are trying to curb their appetite.
How to Fit Chia Seeds into Your Everyday Diet
Chia seeds are versatile and can be added to a number of your daily food items.
Chia seeds are a super-food to give your smoothie a unique look and texture. Some prefer to soak and blend for a gel-like substance which is easier to swallow, while others prefer to add the chia seeds last for the crunch. Soaked chia seeds are also easier to digest.
This is my go-to smoothie.
Blueberry Chia Seed Smoothie
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 – 1 ½ cups frozen blueberries
- 1 medium apple, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
I fill my Oster 600 ml jar with the above ingredients and add cooled, steeped Green Tea to the top of the container. I give it a whir in my Oster smoothie maker until it is a nice consistency. (Less than 1 minute)
When I want to add more punch, I will add 1 Tbsp LEANFIT completegreen organic protein powder and 1 level Tbsp ground flax seed. Then I would decrease the blueberries to 1 cup.
Add a tablespoon or two to your morning bowl of oatmeal.
You can start with ¼ cup of chia seeds, add 1 cup almond or cashew milk, 2 tsp maple syrup – or other sweetener, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Whisk in a bowl to combine, cover, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, top with sliced fruit, jam, and/or a topping of your choice.
Chia Seeds and Granola Bars
No-Bake granola bars can be made from honey, butter, rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and chia seeds.
As a Substitute for Eggs in Home Baking
Chia seeds work well if you need 1-2 eggs in recipes that call for all purpose flour. It does not work well with gluten free flours. It will also, not work well if you need more than 2 eggs.
For 1 egg replacement use 2 Tbsp chia seeds and ¼ cup of cool water. Mix and let sit 15 minutes.
An alternate egg replacement recipe is: FINELY GRIND 2 Tbsp of chia seeds. Add to ¼ cup of water. Mix ingredients and let it sit for several minutes. This makes a thicker gel.
In Salad Dressings
Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, chia seeds and seasonings make a simple salad dressing suitable for many salads.
In Soups or Gravies
Skip the flour or cornstarch and use chia seeds that have been soaked over night. This will give you a healthier version to your soups and gravies.
Breakfast to Go
You can pair chia seeds with probiotic yogurt and fruit in a small container the night before. You can grab it in the morning on your way out the door.
Baked in Goodness
Add chia seeds to your pancake batter, muffins, or homemade bread. They pack a punch of 11 grams of fiber in 2 tablespoonfuls. With all that extra fiber, your body will be content from meal to meal.
Some people prefer to grind their chia seeds ahead of time and store them in an air-tight container. You should be mindful that they should be stored in a moisture proof container as well, or they will begin to swell and lose some of their quality. Do not scoop them out with a moist spoon or cup measure in order for them to stay dry.
Packed with Nutrition
Chia seeds contain in one ounce (2 Tbsp – 28 grams):
- 11 grams fiber
- 4 grams protein
- 9 grams fat (5 of those are from omega-3s)
- 18% Calcium RDI
- 30% Manganese Mini daily requirement RDI
- 30% Magnesium RDI
- 27% Phosphorus RDI
- Vitamin B3 – niacin
- Vitamin B1 – thiamine
- Vitamin B2
- 137 calories
- 1-gram soluble carbohydrate
Calorie for calorie chia seeds are a super-food that packs a lot of punch! It is a best source of non-GMO nutrients, organically grown, and naturally gluten free.
Disclaimer: Do not eat chia seeds raw. Incorporate them in smoothies or other recipes. If eaten dry-raw, chia seeds can lodge in your esophagus where they can swell and cause a medical emergency.
The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Balances Blood Sugar
Animal studies have found that chia seeds may improve insulin sensitivity. Balanced blood sugar is good for energy and health as well as lowering your risk for Type II Diabetes. You will ensure constant energy throughout the day.
Loaded with Antioxidants.
These antioxidants protect the seeds from going rancid. They also fight the production of free radicals. That means it lowers your cancer risk and has anti-aging factors.
High in Protein
Chia seeds are high in protein and essential amino acids as well as help reduce cravings. About 14% of the weight of chia seeds is protein. No wonder the Mayans in ancient civilization called the seed “chia” meaning “strength”. Chia seeds are great for those on a vegetarian diet.
Full of Fiber
Fiber feeds the friendly bacteria in your intestine.
A spoonful of chia seeds to your favorite drink allows the food to flow easily through the digestive system to battle the bloat. Chia seeds decrease hunger pangs you get just before mealtime.
High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Gram for gram, chia seeds contain more omega-3s than salmon. However, it is an inferior omega-3 compared to fish oil, and chia seeds do not supply DHA.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Chia seeds are rich in essential fatty acids, omega-3s and omega-6s. They minimize inflammation and give you greater “thinking power” or brain function! Many think that chia seeds reduce the risk of depression.
Inflammation is a way your body responds to infection or injury. Inflammation helps your body heal and fight off viruses and infections. However, chronic inflammation is associated with higher risk of heart disease and cancer. One small study found that chia seeds taken daily, may reduce the inflammatory marker. However, more research is needed.
Gets Rid of Toxins
Chia seeds can be used in your smoothie. As with most things, chia seeds should be used in moderate amounts.
Chia seeds are full of calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. These minerals are critical for bone health and blood support.
How Long Can You Store Chia Seeds?
Chai Seeds have a shelf life of 2 to 4 years. Store in a cool, dark place, away from moisture.
Use in Moderation
As with everything, chia seeds need to be used with moderation. Chia seeds may interact with blood pressure medications or blood thinners such as warfarin. Consult your medical practitioner concerning their use in your diet.
In this article we have explored many ways how to fit chia seeds into your everyday diet. Chia seeds are a healthy addition to your diet. Rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fat, and fiber, they are easy to add to your food every day. In your breakfasts, baked goods, gravies, and smoothies – with a bit of creativity you will have fun coming up with new recipes.
Some claim chia seeds are good for weight loss. Research has not proven this to always be the case. Chia seeds do contain calories which must be accounted for in your total daily food intake.
Please Leave a Comment
I would love to hear from you. Do you use chia seeds in your everyday diet? How do you add healthy nutrition to make your diet healthy?
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.