A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

Chia seeds: A trend worth trying

If hearing “chia seeds” brings to mind images of pottery lambs growing bushy green coats, let us introduce you to the latest health food trend worth trying.

That’s right, you can eat the same seeds used to grow Chia Pets, and they’re really nutritious, said Kari Mizgalski, a Marshfield Clinic registered dietitian.

Made popular recently by Pinterest, these little black seeds usually are found in your grocery store’s natural foods aisle.

Here are eight reasons to try chia seeds if you haven’t already.

Three dishes of chocolate chia pudding topped with raspberries and chocolate pieces

Chia seeds abound with nutritious benefits. Try this chocolate chia pudding recipe for a taste of the latest health food trend.

Eight health benefits of chia seeds

  1. Chia seeds can help with weight loss. They’re not a miracle food, Mizgalski said, but they’re packed with fiber to keep you full longer and improve digestion.
  1. Fiber isn’t the only way chia seeds keep you full. A gel forms around the seedpods when they’re soaked in water, making them expand to multiple times their original size.
  1. One serving is only 2 tablespoons and 137 calories.
  1. Omega-3 fatty acids make chia seeds a heart-healthy food. Omega-3s are associated with improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  1. Chia seeds add a pop of protein to your diet. A serving has 4 grams.
  1. They’re bone-builders. One serving has 18 percent of the recommended daily intake of calcium.
  1. These little black seeds are packed with other important nutrients including iron, magnesium, B vitamins and selenium.
  1. They’re versatile. Add chia seeds to homemade granola bars, baked goods, jams, smoothies and oatmeal. Or, make your own chia seed pudding using the recipe below.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon mini chocolate chips

Instructions

Mix all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Cover the pudding and let it rest overnight, or at least 4 hours. Top with chocolate chips or fresh fruit if desired.

Nutrition information

Each serving has 135 calories; 5 g protein; 5 g fat; 8 g fiber.

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