What is Chia?
Chia refers to tiny black and white seeds extracted from a desert plant originating in Central America. The chia plant is part of the mint plant family and is an annual herb whose white & purple flowers turn to seed. Chia seeds are believed to have been a staple in the diet of the ancient Aztecs, Mayans and Incas, even nicknamed “running food” because it supplied their warriors with energy.
Is Chia Good For You?
Yes, Chia seeds are actually packed with nutrition. Chia popularity has risen recently because of the amount of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber contained in the tiny seeds. They are often considered an energy booster. Chia seeds are an unprocessed, concentrated whole-grain food that is easily absorbed by the body. In fact just 2 tablespoons of seeds (one serving) contain 4 grams protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber in about 139 calories.
Because of these great qualities, along with a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, studies are emerging that show consuming chia seeds can help lower cholesterol, triglycerides and even blood pressure. Because these seeds retain hydration, they help maintain electrolyte balances and aid in digestion. There are also some theories that chia seeds can help you lose weight because of their expansion powers that can make you feel fuller, but these have not been scientifically proven.
How to Use Chia Seeds
Chia Seed Recipes
Try one of these recipes to enhance your chia experience.
Coconut Chia Pudding Recipe
- Whip 1 container (about 1/2 Cup) of Coconut Greek Yogurt with 3/4 Cup Coconut Milk (full fat), 1/4 Cup Chia Seeds, 2 Tablespoons Honey, 2 Tablespoons Coconut (shredded) and 1 teaspoon of Vanilla. Cover & place in the refrigerator.
- Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours, stirring once or twice as it sets.
- Spoon into serving cups and garnish with toasted coconut, chopped nuts and/or whipped cream. Or, add some pineapple chunks for a pina colada chia!