Chia Seeds: More Than Just a Chia Pet!

August 6, 2013

A few weeks ago, Nutritioulicious contributor Rosemary Squires told you all about the health benefits of flaxseeds – plus she shared a delicious recipe for a strawberry banana flax smoothie! Today she’s filling you in on those little chia seeds you may have seen popping up everywhere!

“Ch-ch-ch-chia!” Anybody remember this catchphrase? Remember planting seeds in a chia pet and growing “fur?” Well those same seeds used to grow the sprouts on your chia pet are now being consumed for their nutritional qualities!

Like flaxseeds, chia seeds are high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and minerals.  The fatty acids in chia seeds can help decrease the risk of inflammatory diseases, and the soluble fiber can help decrease cholesterol and slows digestion, which means you’ll be energized for longer after eating them.

Chia seeds are most commonly found in their whole seed form. Unlike flaxseeds, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order for your body to obtain their nutrients!

Due to their high antioxidant content, chia seeds can be stored at room temperature for over two years! Compare that to the limited 4 months you can store whole flaxseeds at room temperature. If you’re planning on buying flax and chia seed in their ground form, they should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent oxidation and loss of nutrients.

Chia seeds can be eaten plain but it has become very popular to blend them with yogurt, milk, or oatmeal. Another very common use of chia seeds is to make a pudding with them. When combined with water, the chia seeds turn into a gel-like substance, which is perfect for pudding.

Have you tried chia seeds yet? If so, what’s your favorite way to use them?

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