Ch-ch-ch-chia! The Power of Chia Seeds

It’s almost impossible to talk about chia seeds without getting the catchy 80s jingle stuck in your head. These days you hear about chia all the time, but it has nothing to do with the beloved green ‘pet that grows’. So what’s the fuss about? What are the health benefits of chia seeds and what exactly are they?

Chia is ancient superfood dating back to the Aztecs and Mayans. The word “chia” comes from the Mayan word “strength”, which is quite fitting considering the Mayans believed a single tablespoon of chia seeds could sustain a warrior for a full day. The edible seeds are packed with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and fiber. A single ounce of chia seeds contains 137 calories, a whopping 11 grams of fiber, and 18% of the recommended amount of calcium. [Source.]

Perhaps the coolest thing about chia seeds is that they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. When chia seeds are combined with water it makes a gelatinous mixture that can be used as a binder in place of eggs in baked goods, used to thicken dairy-free pudding or smoothies, or used as an energy gel or drink. Chia seeds can also aid with weight loss as they soak absorb liquid in your digestive system, expanding to make you feel fuller. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds do not need to be ground to be absorbed by the body.

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  • 11 Delicious Chia Seed Recipes 1 of 12
    11 Delicious Chia Seed Recipes
    Curious about how to eat chia? Try one of these fun and tasty chia seed recipes.
  • Veggie Burgers 2 of 12
    Veggie Burgers
    Chia seeds are the perfect mix in for veggie burgers. They help hold the burger together while adding omega-3s, calcium, and fiber.

    Try chia seeds in this veggie burger recipe.

    Photo credit: Kathy Patalsky
  • Chia Fresca 3 of 12
    Chia Fresca
    An all-natural alternative to chemical-laden energy drinks. Perfect for athletes during a tough workout!

    Test out this natural energy drink recipe.

  • Chia Spelt Banana Bread 4 of 12
    Chia Spelt Banana Bread
    Bake up a loaf of this yummy banana bread packed with chia seeds.

    Try this spelt citrus banana bread.

    Photo credit: Kathy Patalsky
  • Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits 5 of 12
    Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits
    A fun twist on favorite dessert, this blueberry cheesecake parfait is vegan and gluten free. Chia seeds help thicken the blueberry compote.

    Don't feel guilty about dessert with this blueberry vegan cheesecake recipe.

  • Chocolate Chia Raspberry Pudding 6 of 12
    Chocolate Chia Raspberry Pudding
    This dairy free pudding is packed with chocolate, raspberries, and you guessed it- chia seeds!

    Here's the recipe for this chocolate chia seed pudding.

    Photo credit: Kathy Patalsky
  • Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin Pancakes 7 of 12
    Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin Pancakes
    Using chia seeds in place of an egg in baked goods like these banana muffin pancakes helps bind them together, while adding a nutritional punch.

    Try chia seeds in these banana muffin pancakes.

  • Peanut Butter Protein Bars 8 of 12
    Peanut Butter Protein Bars
    Amp up the omega-3s in your snacks by adding chia seeds. These chocolate peanut butter protein bars are delicious and nutritious.

    Whip up a batch of homemade peanut butter protein bars.

  • Raw Caramel Sauce 9 of 12
    Raw Caramel Sauce
    This raw caramel sauce takes chia seeds to a whole new level.

    Check out the recipe for this raw chia caramel sauce.

    Photo credit: Kathy Patalsky
  • Chia Granola 10 of 12
    Chia Granola
    Adding chia seeds to granola gives it an extra satisfying crunch.

    Find the recipe for chia granola here.

  • Berries-n-Cream Pudding 11 of 12
    Berries-n-Cream Pudding
    Use chia to create a dairy free alternative to pudding. This version is especially creamy.

    Here's this berries n cream chia pudding recipe.

  • Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl 12 of 12
    Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl
    Think outside the oatmeal for breakfast and give this chia seed bowl a chance.

    Change up your morning meal with this chia seed breakfast bowl.

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