Chia seeds are medicinal superfoods!
Originated in Mexico and Guatam
My experience: I started eating chia seeds after researching them for my horse. There are so many processes in the body that rely on fat, and chia is one of the healthiest fat sources you can find. I started them in conjunction with many other changes, including lowering my carb intake and adding fresh foods and herbs into my diet.
Chia seeds are approximately 20% protein and 30% fat. Over 60% of chia’s oil is Omega 3, and chia seeds are chock full of antioxidants, flavonoids, and have all 9 of the essential amino acids. They are rich in B vitamins and have a 5 year shelf life due to their high amounts of antioxidants.
I mix chia into almost everything – smoothies, oatmeal, fruit salad, and more. For fruit salad, I soak the chia in a mix of lemon juice and water to soften the seeds up, or almond milk for a thicker, sweeter topping. I keep the softened seeds for up to a week in the refrigerator and top my fruit salad or other foods with 1 tbsp. Chia has a mild nutty flavor and doesn’t overpower the foods it’s added to. When softened, you may not even notice they’re there!
Decadent chia yogurt with blueberries: Greek yogurt is a wonderful base, and can be found in most grocery stores. My favorite brand is The Greek Gods – their Honey Vanilla is perfect for this recipe, but any 24-32 oz. Greek yogurt works great (regular yogurt also works!). Rinse a small container of blueberries, raspberries, and/or strawberries, then add 1/4-1/2 cup of chia seeds (the more you add, the thicker the yogurt will be). Add the yogurt and mix thoroughly, then allow it to chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes – just enough time for chia seeds to soften. This chia yogurt is my mainstay morning ritual along with herbal tea, and Honey Vanilla chia yogurt is an amazing way to start your day!
Thinner mix, good as a topping: Soak chia seeds in almond milk (vanilla flavored is even tastier!) for a quick and easy chia yogurt! Be sure to mix well before allowing to soak for at least a couple hours (I’m not sure why, but this always takes a little longer than the mix above), and keep refrigerated. I use this recipe to top my fruit salad, but you can also mix blueberries in this chia recipe for a little extra flavor and as a stand-alone snack.
Dessert mix: Mix chia seeds into sugar free pudding mixes – I love to mix two – chocolate and caramel; with the chia seed texture it almost tastes like a StarCrunch, which I can no longer have being gluten free! Tips: I make pudding with coconut milk, though I have no known issues with lactose – I just like the flavor. Also, if you like sweeter pudding, you can add sugar free sweeteners instead of the regular pudding mixes in stores if you’d like to keep sugar levels to a minimum. My favorite is Swerve, but be careful not to let your animals eat erythritol sweeteners.
Chia seeds can go bad after being soaked, so use these within 5-7 days.
For horses: My PSSM horse gets between 1/4 – 1 full cup of chia seeds daily. I noticed a huge difference in his comfort levels, ability to keep weight, and fewer symptoms with his muscle disorder. He’s now very healthy and doing well, but I keep him on his smaller daily dose of chia seeds to make sure he stays that way.
Side effects and Interactions: None I could find in research! While flax and fish oil can have allergic and other side effects, none have been reported with chia seeds.
Where to purchase: Can be purchased at most health food stores, Costco, and Sam’s Club. Bulk amounts can be purchased at online bulk stores like IFS Bulk, Nuts.com, and Food to Live.
Research articles about Chia seeds:
Nutritional and Therapeutic Perspectives of Chia: Therapeutic effects of chia in the control of diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-blood clotting, laxative, antidepressant, antianxiety, analgesic, vision and immune improver is scientifically established.
Links for horses:
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Medical Disclaimer: The information here is for informational purposes. I’m not waving any medical degrees around, so any tips, advice, or quirky health facts should be taken with a grain of imagination.
Stay curious, stay healthy, and live your best life!