Ok, so you already know about it, sort of. You have heard of it. Chia, it’s a mega-superfood from the Central and South Americas. You are sold on the health & weight management benefits of adding chia to your daily diet. It comes from the mint family, been used for thousands of years, yada, yada, yada. You pick up a bag at your local organic market and buy the best chia that you can. But, aside from a sprinkle in a salad or a yogurt topping you haven’t explored the many uses of chia. Sound familiar? But, still you are not ready for the science experiment that is about to take place in your kitchen. Well, break out your mason jars and check out the following reasons to add chia to your diet today!
5 Reasons to Incorporate Chia Seeds into Your Diet
1. Blood Sugar Stabilizers
Chia seeds help to slow down the digestion process and the “jelly” coating that develops when they’re exposed to liquids is thought to prevent blood sugar spikes, which can lead to weight gain.
2. Omega-3 Rich
Chia seeds are an excellent vegetarian source of omega 3 fatty acids. With almost 5 grams per 1 oz serving, chia seeds are a more potent omega-3 source than flax seeds. In fact, they are so abundant in healthy fats, that the word chia comes to us from the Nahuatl word chian, which means “oily.”
3. Fortifies Bones
In just 1 oz of Chia seeds, you receive nearly 20% of your recommended daily allowance for calcium, which is essential for supporting bone health and preventing osteoporosis.
4. Better Protein Synthesis
Chia seeds are abundant in the mineral phosphorus, which is critical in protein synthesis and vital to healthy cell and tissue function and growth.
5. Banishes Belly Fat
Chia seeds exert a stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels and also insulin resistance which can be tied to excess belly fat and metabolic syndrome.
When you find out how fabulous chia really is, you will ask yourself “what have I been waiting for?!” Seriously. We have shared with you some of the benefits of Chia in the past and we hope to spark a new found appreciation for this mega-superfood we truly love.
Chia seeds dissolve in water and create a gel. When this happens in your stomach, it slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, making chia a great long-term fuel for athletes. This can also help curb your appetite and help you eat less at meals. Also, unlike flax seed, chia seeds don’t need to be ground up to get at the omega 3 fats. They also don’t go rancid the way flax seed does.
Chia seeds can be stored for quite a while in your refrigerator or pantry without going rancid.
Some ideas to get you hooked on chia:
- Create a Mexican “style” chia fresco by soaking chia seeds in 100% fruit juice or seltzer water (we especially love cherry & pomegranate)
- Add two tablespoons to cooked oatmeal or grain of choice
- Blend into your smoothie for a little crunch
- Sprinkle onto Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for some added fiber
- Create a delicious pudding by mixing 1/4 cup chia with 1 cup almond or coconut milk, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Let sit in the fridge overnight (or for just 15 minutes) and enjoy!
- Whip up a quick salad dressing with chia seeds, vinegar, oil and honey
- Add seeds to stews and soups
- Add to homemade energy bars or balls
- Mix into homemade hummus or other dips
- Sprinkle onto salads (or sprout them!)
- Make a breakfast parfait like our favorite one below
1. Chia Gel
I like to use mason jars. They are cheap, sustainable, highly functional, and add that nostalgic edge that makes me happy. There are numerous models and some with handles. But, use any glass container of your choosing, as long as you have a tight lid for refrigerator storage if you are not consuming your chia immediately. I make a batch at the beginning of the week and throw it in everything.
4 Tabelsoons Chia in a mason jar
Fill jar with pure filtered water-Let stand for 15 minutes, or cover and refrigerate.
Chia Breakfast Parfait
The base of our breakfast parfait is chia gel and home made almond milk. Check out our recipe for almond milk here.
Add a few tablesoons of chia gel
Cover with fresh almond milk
Layer with the following:
Add berries or fruit of choice. We used blueberries, raspberries and goji berries. But, the sky is the limit here.
Add a tablespoon of raw cacao nibs (optional)
Add nuts or seeds of choice (optional)
There are so many variations on this parfait. It needn’t just be for breakfast, it makes a great “ice cream” substitute or any time you need to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Eat right away or cover and store in refrigerator overnight and you have a ready made perfect breakfast parfait that is great on the go.
If you are still not sold on chia check out these 5 tips for use in your beauty routine
The oil extracted from Chia seeds has incredible beauty benefits, too. Not only are they rich in precious omega-3 fatty acids − they’re also intensely anti-inflammatory, calming and antioxidant rich, which means that chia oil is a good bet for restoring vital moisture, diminishing redness and inhibiting wrinkles. Here are a few tips for using Chia oil serum.
1. Use it everywhere:
After applying Chia Oil Serum on your skin, rub excess into dry spots elsewhere − cuticles, dry split ends and even elbows.
2. Enhance your moisturizer:
If your skin is feeling abnormally dry, try adding a few drops of Chia Serum into your favorite moisturizer for enhanced hydration.
3. Touch-ups with Chia Serum:
If you tend to be on the dry side, keep Chia Serum in your purse for touch-ups during the day. Simply apply 1 − 3 drops onto clean hands and press into skin (this works if you have makeup on as well). This will help to give you a dewy glow and prevent makeup from creasing or settling.
4. Look younger tonight:
Add 1-3 drops of Chia Serum to your décolleté before you go out. Even sun damaged skin will appear less “red” and lined and immediately take on a luminous glow.
5. Revive Your Lips:
For an instant S.O.S. for thinning lips, try massaging a lip plumper on and around the contours of the lips. Allow to dry shortly and follow with Chia Serum. Your lips will appear less lined, more full and well hydrated.
We hope you will explore the many benefits of chia and let us know how it goes!