Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia!

No, not the silly childhood toy that was commonly advertised on TV, chia pets, but chia seeds!
Chia seeds are very versatile and provide a number of benefits if added to your daily diet!
Chia seeds come from a flowering plant that is native to Mexico and Guatemala. In ancient times, the Aztecs, Incans and Mayans used it for medicinal purposes, mostly as a major source of energy!
They provide two times more protein than most grains and five times more calcium than milk. The calcium and phosphorous in chia helps to maintain strong teeth and bones. It also has high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, soluble fiber, potassium and antioxidants. A one-ounce serving of chia has nearly 11 grams of fiber, which is about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults and important for digestive health.

Chia seeds can be used to thicken foods or to add more nutrition to a dish without having to worry about the extra calories. They will also give you a lot of energy but will not keep you awake at night, much like caffeine or sugary snacks. They are great for weight loss because are an appetite suppressant. They can absorb more than 12 times its weight in water. By using chia gel in a meal, this lessens the amount of food consumed. They also help to prevent dehydration as they retain moisture in the body. Chia gel is made up primarily of water so it can be used in place of fats in recipes, even baked goods.
They can nearly be added to anything and everything that you can think of! Some simple ways that you can incorporate chia seeds into your daily diet are sprinkling chia seeds on top of oatmeal or including them in a smoothie. They can be mixed with water overnight to create chia pudding.  They can also be sprinkled on top of sandwiches and salads.

Chia Pudding

-2 cups of milk of choice
-1/2 cup chia seeds
-2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder (optional)
-1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
-1 tablespoon or more of sweetener of choice (optional)
 Put ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth or mix ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine. It will thicken in about 10 minutes but I suggest refrigerating overnight.
Chia pudding can be served with any toppings of your choice!
 Approximate nutritional information:
208 Calories
7g total fat
0mg Cholesterol
200mg Sodium
49g Carbohydrates
7g Dietary Fiber
7g Sugar
3g Protein
Energy Gel
-2 tablespoons of chi seeds
-1 cup of coconut water
Let sit for at least ten minutes!

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