Cha cha cha chia! Who remembers that jingle from the 1980’s Chia Pets commercials. Wasn’t it the pottery that grows or am I not remembering this correctly? Over the years, the pottery base morphed into all kinds of crazy bases. I think I may have had one growing up and it lost it’s novelty pretty quick.chia seed health benefits how to eat chia seeds
Who knew at the time that 30 years later we’d all be eating chia seeds hoping to improve our health? How do you eat chia seeds? If you’re not sure, I’m going to share my favorites with you.
The first ‘Superfood‘ I discovered and incorporated into our diet was the Chia Seed.
So what is a chia seed? I commonly refer to it as the snack your mouth saves for later but technically, it is a desert plant called Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant in the mint family and is native to Guatemala and Mexico however, it is commonly cultivated in North and South America and is the ancient Mayan word for strength!
Snack your mouth saves for later? How long after eating something with chia seeds are you still finding those suckers stuck in your teeth? Am I right or am I right?
Chia seeds have been around for a gazillion years, well that’s probably an exaggeration but you get what I mean. From a nutritional standpoint, they pack a powerful punch. Check out the Nutrition Facts.
A single serving (1 Tbsp (15g)) contains:
5g of total fat (0.5g saturated fat)
5g dietary fiber
Chia Seed Health Benefits
These small little seeds pack a powerful punch. From healthy fats to protein and minerals, they provide your body with many of the things we need on a daily basis and super bonus, they are easy to sneak into all sorts of kid friendly foods. So let me lay it out by highlighting the chia seeds super powers:
Healthy Fats – Alpha Linolenic Acid which is an essential Omega 3 fatty acid (great for your brain), Linoleic Acid is an essential Omega 6 fatty acid and Oleic Acid which is an essential Omega 9 fatty acid. Both are good for your heart health.
Minerals – chia seeds provide us with calcium, phosphorus, iron, selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
- Calcium – needed for bone, muscle, and nerve development
- Phosphorus – bone development and tissue maintenance
- Iron – helps in transporting oxygen through the body, kinda important
- Selenium – involved in many processes in the body
- Manganese – metabolism, growth and development
- Copper – important for heart health, plays a role in making red blood cells among other processes in the body
- Magnesium – y’all, this mineral is necessary for like a gazillion processes in the body.
Protein – these little seeds are 19% protein and a great source for vegetarians.
Fiber – chia seeds are 40% fiber so not only does that give you sustainable energy but also can help with digestion and constipation.
How To Eat Chia Seeds
If you’re like me, you’ll stomach quite a few things just because they are healthy. They may not taste the best but meh, who cares. Kids, well that’s another story. My daughter is fairly agreeable to at least trying new foods, especially when I tell her it’s healthy. My son, not so much. So, I’ve been known to hide the little seeds in oodles of things.
- smoothie bowls
- granola bars
- energy bites
They can also be used as an egg replacer if you run out or if you are just avoiding eggs. One egg is equivalent to 1 tbsp chia seeds added to 3 tbsp water. Just add the chia seeds to water and let it sit for about 5 minutes. The chia seeds absorb the water and turn into a gel.
It’s super easy to add chia seeds on top of a smoothie bowl like this one from Heather over at Easy Keto Dishes. For my kids, I would add the chia seeds into the smoothie mixture but I like mine with the seeds sprinkled on top. I also tested this recipe out with some shredded coconut and chocolate chips on top and it was extremely yummy! Healthy dessert for all!
Another option would be chia pudding. Now, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you, I’ve tried to like chia pudding, I really have but I simply just can’t. While I like the taste of the several flavors I’ve tried, my mouth can’t get past the texture. I just can’t do it. By the way, I also can’t do hot oatmeal so there’s some underlying texture issue going on with me but at this age, I’m just gonna let it go. If texture’s not an issue for you, this chocolate banana chia pudding from Shelby at Fit as a Mama Bear is a great one to try. I think it’s fairly impossible to go wrong with cocoa powder and bananas.
I use chia seeds in a lot of the homemade snacks I make. I’ve got a bunch on my Healthier Snacks Pinterest Board, come on over to get hooked up with a bunch more recipes. I’ve tried many of them and many of them have yet to be tried. Raise your hand if you’ve actually tried all the recipes you’ve pinned, anyone, anyone, Bueller?
So that’s what I’ve got for you on chia seeds. Whether the term ‘superfood’ is just a marketing gimmick or really true, you can’t deny that adding these little suckers into your diet can only help you. And come on, who doesn’t love finding a random chia seed stuck in their teeth a few hours later?
Share your favorite recipe using chia seeds in the comments or come on over and share it on Facebook. Don’t keep it to yourself!
Make it a green day!