Chia seeds have been gaining immense popularity, and even our common mass-market fruit juice brands have caught on and added chia seeds to their new series of juices. So yes, the market has established that chia seeds are good for us. But in what ways, and how should we consume them? Remember, too much of a good thing makes it bad. That is why in this article, we will talk about how chia seeds can supplement your diet, and also the recommended daily intake for this superfood.
Chia seeds are tiny seeds packed with an enormous amount of nutrients, making it “one the world’s best sources of important nutrients, calorie for calorie.”1 Let me break it down for you:
- Almost all the carbs in chia seeds are fiber, which means that it will be passed out of your body. The “true carb content” is only one gram! It is also one of the best sources of fiber, contenting 40% of fiber by weight.
- Its protein content of 14% is higher than a lot of other plants. High protein intake reduces appetite, which makes it beneficial for weight loss.
- Chia seeds "have 15 more times the level of magnesium than broccoli, three times more iron than spinach, six times more calcium than milk, and two times more potassium than bananas."2
Those are just three points that we’ve picked out for what makes chia seeds so nutritious. On top of that, it’s a whole grain food, usually grown organically, non-GMO and naturally free of gluten. Talk about being the perfect health food.
Chia seeds act as the perfect supplement if you already take in the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of fiber and the other minerals present in chia seeds, and also act as a cheat sheet for those of you who don’t like vegetables, or milk – basically the food sources that you typically get your nutrients from.
How should you eat chia seeds?
If you’re convinced that you should be eating chia seeds, how much should you consume? The RDA is 1.5 tablespoons twice per day, and because chia seeds absorb up to 12 times more water than its weight, it has the property to expand quite a bit. These are a few things to note when consuming these super seeds.
Things to take note of when consuming chia seeds
Consume no more than 1.5 tablespoons of chia seeds twice per day
Due to the high amount of fiber in chia seeds, consuming too much can cause distress to the GI tract, leading to dehydration, bloating, gas, constipation and decreased absorption of minerals
Soak chia seeds with a ratio of 1:10 of water for optimal results
1. Chia seeds absorb a lot of water, so you want to let it expand outside of your body than expand in your stomach to prevent bloating
2. Soaking it makes it easier to digest and for your body to access the nutrients packed in the seeds
3. Soaking activates the forming of gelatinous coating of chia seeds that is believed to help sweep the digestive tract, and improve digestion
If you consume your chia seed raw, chew on it first
Especially for people with asthma and a history of swallowing problems, when chia seeds expand in the esophagus, the gel that forms may cause an obstruction
Now that you know what to do and what not to do with these nutritious seeds, it is time to introduce a recipe that you can easily incorporate chia seeds in!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding
(Source: A Saucy Kitchen)
You will need:
- 1 cup dairy free milk of your choice 240 ml
- ¼ cup chia seeds 40 grams
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter for Paleo
- 1-2 tablespoon sweetener of your choice maple syrup, honey etc
- In a jar or container large combine all the ingredients. Whisk until combined.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 2-3 hours or overnight.
- Top sliced banana, chocolate chips, more peanut butter, or whatever you would like.
Share your chia seed recipes with us!
Written by Ange Chua
Edited by Cynthea Lam
Ange Chua is an aspiring bird-watcher trying to fix her black thumbs. When she's not writing, you'd find her drinking tea out of teacups or reading in bed with her dog. She thinks her spirit animal is an alpaca.