Cha, Cha, Cha, Chia!
Who remembers the old chia pets that sprouted a plant from their seeds? We received one yearly for Christmas for a while from a Grandpa and they never grew. Worst gift ever! Well chia seeds are back and are so much more than growing a plant on an animal. Ok, so they've been back for a while but I'm going to give you the low-down on these little guys if you have no idea what they are or how and why to eat them.
Chia is a species of flowering plant in the mint family and is native to Mexico and Guatemala. Chia means "strength" in the Mayan language. The Aztecs used to eat chia seeds for energy and endurance.
Chia seeds have many health benefits whether eaten whole, ground or soaked. They provide fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, copper, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. They are also a rich source of anti-oxidants.
Benefits include skin health, digestive health, heart health, bone health and dental health! That's a lot of healthy benefits! This is the food label from my bag of chia seeds. The serving size is 2 tablespoons, which is a lot at once. You can definitely break it down into smaller servings 1-2 times a day or whatever you feel like.
Chia seeds don't have a strong flavor and can be added to pretty much anything you want. Check out this link for 35 ways to use chia seeds https://authoritynutrition.com/35-ways-eat-chia-seeds/. Here are some of my favorite ways of using them:
Add to smoothies or protein shakes
Add to oatmeal or other cereals
Use them in a yogurt parfait
Make chia pudding! There are lots of recipes out there so look for your favorite flavor combo and give it a try.
Baked into a muffin or bread
Chia seeds are an easy way to get some fiber, healthy fats and anti-oxidants in your diet by adding them to foods you love. Chime in if there are other ways you like to use chia seeds. And if you do eat them, always remember to check your teeth when you are done!