You may have heard a lot of buzz around this little seed recently, and I like to think of chia seeds like...flax seeds on crack!
Chia seeds were an ancient staple in the diet of Mayans and Mexicans, and were used for sustained energy while hunting, as well as in religious ceremonies. Today, they are gaining popularity due to their unending nutritional benefits, and can be found in many health food stores.
I could make a laundry list of the benefits of chia seeds, but here are a few of my favorite:
1. Chia seeds are great for weight management. They absorb up to 12 times their own weight, and they expand in liquid, curbing your appetite, giving you a full feeling.
2. Chia seeds contain a high concentration of omega-3, as well as omega-6, which is needed to support heart health, and may lessen your risk for cancer and arthritis.
3. Your digestive system will start movin' and groovin' thanks to the high fiber content of the chia, which also has a beneficial effect on cholesterol.
4. Chia seeds are a complete source of plant protein and contain all nine amino acids, great for vegetarians/vegans.
5. Per ounce, chia seeds provide three times more calcium than skim milk, preventing osteoporosis.
I use chia seeds in smoothies, baked goods, granola, salads, etc...but my favorite snack when I need an energy boost that keeps me feel full is...
It's super simple to make...just combine 1 cup of almond, hemp, or coconut milk with 2 Tbsp of chia seeds. Stir mixture every 10 minutes or so as the chia seeds expand and create a tapioca-like pudding. Add cinnamon and agave to taste!