You might know chia seed from the infomercials for the funny clay pets that grow crazy green hair, but they are a serious source of nutrients for active people. The Mayan and Aztec people ate the the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. Nutritionists today say they are a concentrated food rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.
Chia seeds has a similar nutritional profile to flaxseed, but are more convenient to eat and even better for you. Chia seeds offer both fiber and omega-3s in whole form, while flaxseed must be ground for your body to absorb the omega-3s. Here is a brief comparison between the two.
|CHIA SEEDS1 tablespoon (13g)||FLAX SEEDS1 tablespoons (13g)|
|Calories: 60||Calories: 55|
|Fat: 4.5 g||Fat: 4.3 g|
|Carbohydrates: 5 g||Carbohydrates: 3 g|
|Fiber: 5 g||Fiber: 2.8 g|
|Protein: 3.0 g||Protein: 1.9 g|
Consider these easy ideas for adding chia seeds to your diet.
Sprinkle a tablespoon onto your salad.
Mix them into a chicken or shrimp stir-fry.
Blend them into your morning smoothie.
Top your oven-baked casserole with them.
Mix them into a nonfat Greek yogurt.
Chia seeds expand in liquid and give many foods a creamier, thicker consistency. That makes them the perfect ingredient for this nutrient-packed treat.
Vanilla Cashew Chia Pudding
2 cups of raw cashew pieces
3 cups of water
2 tablespoons of honey
2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup of chia seeds
1. Add 2 cups of raw cashews, 3 cups of water, honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust flavors to your taste with additional honey, cinnamon or vanilla.
2. Add chia seeds to blender and do a quick blend mixing the chia seeds evenly.
3. Pour equally into 4 small glasses.
4. Refrigerate until cold and congealed (usually an hour or so). Enjoy!