As mentioned last week, recent years have found me really focusing on foods and ingredients as a way to optimize health (my round-ups on apple cider vinegar, bee pollen and Manuka honey seen here, here, and here). Another great one to add to the list: chia seed. An unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as whole seeds (unlike flax and other hard-to-digest varieties), chia seeds are a great source of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids, contain lots of protein and fiber and are rich in antioxidants. Additionally, they readily absorb liquid, making them easy to digest, which allows your body to use more of the seed’s nutrients. At the same time, they slow the digestion of carbohydrates to keep you feeling full longer.
When liquid is introduced, the seeds take on a gelatinous form, making them great for adding to foods and beverages such as oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods and smoothies. And because their flavor is so mild (slightly nutty), chia seeds can be added to your favorite meal or snack without really altering its flavor.
I eat them daily sprinkled in my oatmeal, and Elissa Goodman suggested that I put a teaspoon in my green juice in the morning to keep me satiated. But perhaps one of my favorite ways to enjoy: in pudding. Some variations too delicious not to try include this recipe from Elissa, Moon Juice’s on-the-go option, and Pamela’s Vanilla and Chocolate Chia Seed Puddings. XXJKE
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