I know, I know, I can’t get that jingle out of my head either! Believe it or not, those tiny seeds used to grow Chia Pets from the 80’s and 90’s are actually packed with nutrients. Who woulda thought?
Chia seeds are small, but mighty! They are the single best source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, they are full of antioxidants, fiber, protein, and calcium, which are some of the top nutrients that I look for in foods. I love fish, but don’t eat it often enough to get the omega-3’s that I need. I also don’t eat a lot of dairy, so I use chia seeds as one source of calcium. Chia seeds are unique in that they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid. They expand and become almost gel-like, which can help you to feel full for longer.
Let’s quickly break down the nutrients:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – lower risk of heart disease, help arthritis, and may help with memory loss and Alzheimer’s.
- Antioxidants – help fight free radicals in the body.
- Fiber – keep the digestive tract moving.
- Protein – “building block” for the body: think building and repairing muscle, building strong hair and nails.
- Calcium – keep bones strong to prevent osteoporosis.
Chia seeds are virtually tasteless and can be added to just about anything – yogurt, cereal, salads, you name it. Here are a few of the ways that I incorporate chia seeds into my diet:
Mixed into my Overnight Oats.
Sprinkled on top of toast (with peanut butter and banana).
Added to smoothies.
And there ya have it! One of my favorite superfoods.