Health Food Finds: Chia Seeds
By now you’ve probably heard of chia seeds. It turns out we should have been eating them all along rather than sprinkling them on kitschy ceramic figurines. These little seeds became hugely popular in 2013, with everyone from celebrity doctors to the cashier at your local health food store proclaiming them to be the best new superfood. Unlike many health food fads, chia seeds seem to be sticking around. Their health benefits hold water, with many independent studies confirming their superfood status.
If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, now is the time. Chia seeds are great sources of omega-3s and antioxidants, and are also high in fiber, protein, and calcium. They’re also easy to find these days and are becoming more and more affordable, particularly if you can find somewhere to buy them in bulk. You can buy them in most mainstream grocery stores. Health food stores almost always have them, and they’re readily available online. Bob’s Red Mill sells a big bag that will last you months.
Incorporating these little guys into your diet is actually really easy. They’re basically tasteless, and unlike flax seeds, can be eaten whole without grinding. You only need to eat 1-2 tablespoons per day to reap the benefits. Try mixing them into oatmeal or yogurt. Sprinkle them on a salad, or blend them into a smoothie. Chances are you won’t even notice they’re there.
You don’t have to hide chia seeds in other foods, though. They also work great as the star of a dish. The coolest thing about flaxseeds is their ability to hold ten times their weight in water. When you soak the seeds in liquid, they expand and take on a tapioca-like consistency. You can make delicious puddings just by soaking them in fruit juices. Or try this delicious recipe for chocolate chia pudding. It will satisfy your sweet tooth and help you burn fat!
Chia seeds are great fuel for workouts. In addition to being nutritional powerhouses, their unique absorbing properties help you stay hydrated. If you’re willing to endure a few sideways glances at the gym, you can make your own energy drink out of them. Try this recipe. And maybe invest in a water bottle that isn’t see-through so people don’t think you’re drinking bugs.
Chia seeds are one of my favorite health foods. I eat them almost every morning and can definitely feel the difference in my energy levels when I skip them. Do you have a favorite superfood? Let me know in the comments; recipes are always appreciated!