Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein, fat, fiber and calcium.1 Specifically, they are a great plant source of omega 3’s which are helpful for the brain, nervous system, and kidneys as well as a great anti-inflammatory.2
Chia seeds are associated with helping many conditions including blood pressure, cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and constipation.3 A typical serving is 1-3 tablespoons/day, although like any food, it can vary depending on your body size, health goals and activity levels, among other things.
They don’t have much flavor so they can be great added to lots of different things (without changing the taste).
However, there’s a caveat with chia seeds which is that they naturally absorb water/liquid…that means it’s important to hydrate them before they’re consumed. If you don’t, instead of adding water to your body, it will absorb water from your body. You can do this by either soaking them before eating or if you’re putting them in something liquidy, just add them 15 minutes before you eat them. Recognize that they will absorb lots of water, so you’ll need more liquid than if you were making something without chia seeds. For example, if you’re putting chia in your oatmeal, you will need to use more liquid than you’d normally use.
Chia can easily be added to smoothies, oatmeal or even water to improve nutrient density.
Here is a simple base recipe that you can easily tweak according to your taste buds and health needs.
Chia Porridge (basic recipe):
-2 Tbls. chia seeds- soak in 1/2 c. water for 20 minutes (they will expand as they absorb the water)
-1-2 Tbls. chopped nuts (whatever you like)
-Fresh chopped fruit (half to full cup)- (anything you like)
-Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice
-A few drops of stevia or 1 tsp of whatever natural sweetener you like
-Pinch of pink salt
Mix together and enjoy. This is a good base recipe. You can add chopped dates, chopped celery, oatmeal, raw vanilla, nut milk etc. for variety.
For those of you who are super busy (aka EVERYONE), this can be used in a similar way to overnight oats in that you can make it ahead/the night before and have a healthy quick meal when you need it. Of course based on what all you add and what quantities, this could be a small snack or a complete meal replacement.
1. Hrnčič MK, Ivanovski M, Cör D, Knez Ž. Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica L.): An overview-phytochemical profile, isolation methods, and application. Molecules. 2020. doi:10.3390/molecules25010011
2. Din Z ud, Alam M, Ullah H, et al. Nutritional, phytochemical and therapeutic potential of chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.). A mini-review. Food Hydrocoll Heal. 2021. doi:10.1016/j.fhfh.2021.100010
3. Khalid W, Arshad MS, Aziz A, et al. Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.): A therapeutic weapon in metabolic disorders. Food Sci Nutr. 2023. doi:10.1002/fsn3.3035
Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. It does not take the place of a qualified health care practitioner and is intended for educational purposes only.