Chia seeds are a highly nutritious food that are a great addition to your daily menu.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds.
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants.
The whole seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for longer periods without becoming rancid.
The seeds do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. That means, less time in the kitchen!
Chia seeds also provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
They soothe the gastro-intestinal tract – when added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. This gel is less abrasive to the gi tract than ground flax seeds.
They help balance blood sugar levels. Researchers suggest that the reaction described in #6, also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down the carbohydrates and convert them into sugar.
A simple way to add chia to your diet is to add a tablespoon or 2 per day to smoothies, soups or salads. If you are looking for something a little different and healthfully decadent, try the following pudding recipe. This pudding is nutritious enough to have for breakfast!
- 1/4 cup chia seeds (purchase them whole, not ground)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut, almond, hemp or any nut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- Unsweetened coconut
- Pumpkin seeds
- Optional: wild orange essential oil, maple syrup
- Place whole chia and milk into a bowl and soak overnight or at least 20 minutes.
- Top with anything you like. Try berries, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, coconut, dried fruit, or even granola.
You can store it for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Serve it cold or at room temperature, topped with fresh fruit, if desired.
Linda Ljucovic, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Oakville