They've been around for centuries, but chia seeds have only recently been recognized for their nutritional and health benefits. Native to South America, chia seeds were used by the Aztecs and Mayans as a source of sustainable energy and endurance.
What Are Health Benefits of Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are a source of protein, dietary fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Incorporating chia seeds into one's diet has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce inflammation, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
Studies have also shown that chia seeds contribute to feelings of fullness and satiety because of their combination of fiber and protein. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds contain about 10 grams of fiber.
How Can Chia Seeds Be Incorporated in My Diet?
Chia seeds are a bit bland in taste on their own, but they can be added to a variety of foods. Unlike flax seeds, they don't have to be ground up. Here are ways to include chia seeds in your diet:
From yogurt and applesauce to smoothies and oatmeal, chia seeds can be added to virtually any dish. They will take on a gel-like texture after they mix with liquid, so sprinkle them on just before eating if you prefer a crunch.
2. Peanut Butter & Honey Chia Oats
Looking for ways to fuel up your day? This combination of peanut butter, honey, chia seeds and oats is the perfect morning kick-start.
Chia seeds can easily be used as a healthy and delicious replacement for bread crumbs. Blend them with finely ground nuts and your favorite spices as part of a gluten-free breading for fish, meat or vegetables.
4. Lemon Chia Seed Salad Dressing
Store-bought dressings can be high in calories and fat, but this easy recipe will add zest - and nutrition - to your favorite salad.
5. Salmon Rub
This simple and quick recipe will add a crunchy crust to your salmon. Mix chia seeds with olive oil, salt and pepper as a rub before baking or grilling.
6. Homemade Jam
Blend chia seeds with berries and Stevia sweetener for a healthy homemade jam. You won't need pectin to make the jam gel-up because chia seeds will do the job on their own.
Create an excellent dessert with this Pina Colada Chia Pudding recipe. It will satisfy your sweet tooth and is loaded with healthy ingredients.
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