The chia seed has become a very popular superfood. These tiny black seeds are so amazingly nutritious and versatile. They are easy to digest too.
The seeds are originally grown in Mexico. It was an important staple for the Aztecs and Mayans. The seeds were important for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. They were so important and valuable that they even got used as currency. Chia means strength in Mayan. It was believed that just one spoon of chia seeds could sustain the warriors for 24 hours.
Health benefits of Chia seeds
Don’t let the size of these seeds fool you. Recent research has found that the benefits of chia seeds are far greater than just providing energy. A small list of the health benefits of these tiny black nutrition bombs:
– They are very nutrient dense
Two table spoons of chia seeds (28 grams) contain:
- Fiber: 11 grams.
- Protein: 4 grams.
- Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
- Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
- They also contain a good amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.
– They are a great source of protein
Chia seeds contain around 14% of protein by weight and have a provide essential amino acids.
– They are high in essential Omega 3 fatty acids.
This is especially great to rebalance the ratio between Omega 6 and 3 in the body. Too much omega 6 leads to inflammation and when eating a modern diet, most people lack Omega 3 and obtain too many Omega 6. The ratio Omega 6 to 3 should be 1:1 to 1:3 max.
– Chia seeds are high in anti-oxidants like natural lipid anti-oxidants
Anti-oxidants help fight free radicals in the body who damage cellular molecules which can lead to degenerative diseases like cancer.
Chia Seed Pudding recipe
These little tiny seeds are also very easy to incorporate into your diet. The chia seeds become gelatinous when mixed with water. This makes it a fun staple to work with. It’s great for creating pudding or using it as an egg replacer.
You won’t believe how easy it is! Here is a super easy, delicious recipe to create a super quick chia seed pudding.
Serves 2 cups
• 6 Tablespoons of chia seeds
• 2 cups unsweetened coconut or almond milk
• Optional: sweetener of choice, mashed ripe banana and/or ground cinnamon.
• Fruit for topping: blue berries, raspberry, papaya, strawberry, melon, passion fruit etc.
1. In a bowl or jar, mix together chia seeds, milk and the optional sweetener.
2. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and then stir or shake it one more time to break up the clumps. Cover it and let the mixture sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours to form a pudding texture. Or leave it in the fridge overnight.
3. Serve with fruit on top or layered in a jar with chocolate pudding like in the picture below. Click here for the chocolate pudding recipe.