By now you’ve likely heard about chia seeds, the hot new superfood that’s taken the world by a storm. For years chia seeds were overshadowed by flaxseeds—both are teeny seeds that pack so much nutrition. But with flaxseeds, you have to grind the seed to get the nutrition. Not so for chia–and you don’t have to do anything to prepare it! Still, if you’re like most of our clients, you know chia seeds are supposedly good for you, but you’re not really sure why or how to get them other than if they happen to be in a granola or another healthy food you’ve purchased. Here we’ve got the Chia 411 as well as an easy breezy, no intimidation recipe!
Why are chia seeds so good for you?
- Chia is rich in omega 3 fats, outranking all other plant foods. These fats that typically are found in fish help fight inflammation, support brain health and mood. We like Gourmet Nut (http://www.gourmetnut.com/) chia seeds; they keep the seeds and omega 3s fresh with their resealable bags and they don’t have preservatives.
- Just 1 tablespoon of chia has 6 grams of fiber! Some (20%) of the fiber is soluble, which means when you drink water with it, it swells in your stomach like a sponge, so it helps to keep you satiated, helps to lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar! The other 80% is great for preventing constipation and the belly bulges that come with it—goodbye puffy tummy!
- Chia seeds are 20 % protein and contain all eight amino acids– and in vegan form! Just 1 tablespoon has 3 grams of protein.
- 1 tablespoon has nearly 10% of your daily calcium needs for strong bones and teeth.
Chia is also rich in iron (needed to help transport oxygen for energy), magnesium (helps to relax you from the inside– to save your energy for other tasks), potassium (helps regulate blood pressure and helps to restore normal fluid balance in the body—good bye bloat!).
- Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants like vitamin E that help fight inflammation and help in reducing cell damage and slowing the aging process.
Note: You can make a quick snack of a spoonful of chia with a glass of water. Just be aware, that while packed with nutrition, you’ll also get 70 calories!
Easy ways to get more chia:
Add some to your smoothie, yogurt, on top of cereal or a salad.
And for a simple and beyond scrumptious recipe that will have you using chia daily, try these:
No Bake Chocolate Coconut Chia Balls
We used Gourmet Nut chia seeds (http://www.gourmetnut.com/). Each of their nutrient-packed super seeds comes in a convenient, resealable bag that locks in freshness and makes them easy to use on the go. They’re preservative and gluten-free.
Makes 9 Servings
- 10 medjool dates (about 1-1/4 cups)
- 2 tsp. 100% cacao (unsweetened)
- 2 Tbsp. chocolate chips
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp shredded coconut, unsweetened
- Soak dates in water for a couple minutes if at all dry.
- In a food processor or blender, blend dates and cacao until smooth and a paste-like consistency is formed. You may have to add a little water and pulse to get the right consistency.
- Push down all of the paste from the sides and transfer into a small bowl. Using a spoon, stir in chocolate chips and chia seeds.
- Measure out one, flat tablespoon and roll into a ball. Make 9 balls, place them on a plate.
- On a separate plate, spread the coconut sparsely. Roll each ball lightly in a few pieces of shredded coconut and place back on the plate without the coconut. Repeat with the remaining 8 balls.
- Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to chill.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 76 Calories, 1g Fat, 0g Saturated Fat, 23g Carbohydrate, Protein 1g, 3g Fiber, 1mg Sodium, 0mg Cholesterol
The Nutrition Twins work with Gourmet Nut to help people get more nutrients.