The Right and Wrong Way to Eat Chia Seeds For Health

There’s good reason chia seeds have been on everyone’s minds these days. These tiny seeds are high in protein, fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s, but there is a right and wrong way to eat them, and one man recently learned the hard way.

In one patient case study, one man experienced intense dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, after ingesting a tablespoon of dry chia seeds and chasing it with water. One of the reasons chia seeds are touted for weight loss is because they expand multiple times their size in water and help you feel full for longer. However, taking down a dry tablespoon and chasing it back with H2O is not going to lead to a comfortable experience, since they don’t have time to reach your stomach to expand.

Soaking chia seeds in water before you eat them is safe; after they’re soaked, chia seeds develop a gelatinous coating which some raw foodists believe helps them to move swiftly through the digestive track. Other evidence suggests that consuming ground chia seeds, rather than whole seeds, allows significantly more ALA (the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids) to reach the bloodstream. With all that said, there is limited scientific research to which method is truly the best when it comes to nutrient absorption.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

When they’re included in a recipe, our bodies can digest chia seeds whole (an appropriate quantity, of course), soaked, or ground in order to reap their healthy benefits. If you’re ready to get these nutrient-rich seeds into your diet, these recipe ideas will help you out.

Chia pudding: Chia seeds and coconut milk marry for a Paleo-friendly make-ahead pudding that works great for breakfast. Mix together the ingredients the night before, pop it in the fridge, and look forward to a special treat the next day. It’s that easy.

Debloating beverage: If you’ve been feeling sluggish and bloated, it’s time for a new morning ritual that includes chia. Celebrity trainer Valerie Waters starts the day with this before-breakfast, pre-workout drink that only calls for three ingredients. These chia seeds are combined with water, making this a much safer alternative to consuming chia and chasing it down with water.

Blueberry chia muffins: Blueberry muffins get an upgrade with this chia-filled recipe for extra nutrient power. They’re baked into the batter, so you can’t even taste them.

Antioxidant berry smoothie: If you find their crunchy texture a little off-putting on their own, try tossing them into this refreshing morning smoothie. High in vitamin C and boasting more than 10 grams of fiber, this antioxidant breakfast blend will become your new favorite recipe.

Sprinkled on yogurt: If you’re looking for a quick omega-3 punch in your snack, you can simply sprinkle a teaspoon of seeds on your fruit, mix them into your yogurt, or make a delicious combination of the two!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lizzie Fuhr

The Right and Wrong Way to Eat Chia Seeds For Health

There’s good reason chia seeds have been on everyone’s minds these days. These tiny seeds are high in protein| fiber| calcium| antioxidants| and omega-3s| but there is a right and wrong way to eat them| and one man recently learned the hard way.

In one patient case study| one man experienced intense dysphagia| or difficulty swallowing| after ingesting a tablespoon of dry chia seeds and chasing it with water. One of the reasons chia seeds are touted for weight loss is because they expand multiple times their size in water and help you feel full for longer. However| taking down a dry tablespoon and chasing it back with H2O is not going to lead to a comfortable experience| since they don’t have time to reach your stomach to expand.

Soaking chia seeds in water before you eat them is safe; after they’re soaked| chia seeds develop a gelatinous coating which some raw foodists believe helps them to move swiftly through the digestive track. Other evidence suggests that consuming ground chia seeds| rather than whole seeds| allows significantly more ALA (the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids) to reach the bloodstream. With all that said| there is limited scientific research to which method is truly the best when it comes to nutrient absorption.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

When they’re included in a recipe| our bodies can digest chia seeds whole (an appropriate quantity| of course)| soaked| or ground in order to reap their healthy benefits. If you’re ready to get these nutrient-rich seeds into your diet| these recipe ideas will help you out.

Chia pudding: Chia seeds and coconut milk marry for a Paleo-friendly make-ahead pudding that works great for breakfast. Mix together the ingredients the night before| pop it in the fridge| and look forward to a special treat the next day. It’s that easy.

Debloating beverage: If you’ve been feeling sluggish and bloated| it’s time for a new morning ritual that includes chia. Celebrity trainer Valerie Waters starts the day with this before-breakfast| pre-workout drink that only calls for three ingredients. These chia seeds are combined with water| making this a much safer alternative to consuming chia and chasing it down with water.

Blueberry chia muffins: Blueberry muffins get an upgrade with this chia-filled recipe for extra nutrient power. They’re baked into the batter| so you can’t even taste them.

Antioxidant berry smoothie: If you find their crunchy texture a little off-putting on their own| try tossing them into this refreshing morning smoothie. High in vitamin C and boasting more than 10 grams of fiber| this antioxidant breakfast blend will become your new favorite recipe.

Sprinkled on yogurt: If you’re looking for a quick omega-3 punch in your snack| you can simply sprinkle a teaspoon of seeds on your fruit| mix them into your yogurt| or make a delicious combination of the two!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lizzie Fuhr

Low-Calorie and Filling, This Chia Pudding Is a Perfect Breakfast

Chia seeds and coconut milk marry for a Paleo-friendly pudding that works great for breakfast. High in anti-inflammatory omega-3s, this sweet chia pudding is a make-ahead recipe that will save you time, fill you up on fiber, and help you debloat. Mix together the ingredients the night before, pop it in the fridge, and look forward to a special treat the next day. It’s that easy.

Coconut Chia Pudding

From Lizzie Fuhr, POPSUGAR Fitness

Coconut Chia Pudding

Notes

This recipe includes 1/4 cup of diced mango and pepita seeds, but feel free to top the pudding with your favorite fruit and nuts.

Low-Calorie and Filling, This Chia Pudding Is a Perfect Breakfast

Chia seeds and coconut milk marry for a Paleo-friendly pudding that works great for breakfast. High in anti-inflammatory omega-3s| this sweet chia pudding is a make-ahead recipe that will save you time| fill you up on fiber| and help you debloat. Mix together the ingredients the night before| pop it in the fridge| and look forward to a special treat the next day. It’s that easy.

Coconut Chia Pudding

From Lizzie Fuhr| POPSUGAR Fitness

Coconut Chia Pudding

Notes

This recipe includes 1/4 cup of diced mango and pepita seeds| but feel free to top the pudding with your favorite fruit and nuts.

If You’re a Fan of Sleep, This White Chocolate Raspberry Overnight Chia Oatmeal Is a Dream Come True

Are you looking to make your morning routine a little less stressful? If so, you’ll definitely want to try this overnight oatmeal recipe from our friends at Sprouted Routes!

This overnight chia oatmeal recipe is based on two breakthroughs I’ve had recently: 1. that white chocolate is little more than a secret magical ingredient (I’ll get to that later) and milk and 2. that chia makes overnight oatmeal a million times creamier and better, and oatmeal makes chia pudding a million times heartier and more textured and that they shall henceforth live together in harmony and be called choatmeal. Yes, choatmeal. I’ve seeded it in urban high schools across the country and a few of the Kardashian’s cell phones, so keep an eye out for it to become the new cool word in 4 ¨C 5 months or so. Choatmeal will be on fleek. If you don’t know what that means, your life is probably better for it.

So what’s the secret ingredient, you ask? It’s cacao butter, probably previously known to you as that ingredient in the lotion you slather on your dry elbows and hands during the cold winter months. Let’s learn about our new little friend, shall we?

Cacao Butter

Cacao butter is the pressed oil of the cacao bean (responsible for cacao nibs and cacao powder). To extract the cacao butter, you essentially press the nibs (which are broken up cacao beans), to separate the oil from the fiber. It’s used in almost all chocolate recipes, which are typically cacao butter, cacao or cocoa powder, and some kind of sweetener (or milk, if you’re making milk chocolate). Like cacao, which is long recognized as a superfood, cacao butter is rich in antioxidants, as well as oleic acid, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, and theombromine, which raises energy and alertness levels.

When I discovered that white chocolate is made from a simple mix of cacao butter, milk, some kind of sweetener and vanilla, and I knew I had to try to incorporate it’s silky sweet flavor in a recipe. Choatmeal (ah, it feels so natural) felt like an easy place to start, and guys ¡ª it worked out so much better than I even expected. This breakfast is sweet but not too sweet, rich, creamy. It tastes, seriously, exactly like white chocolate. Layered in with the juicy strawberries ¡ª it’s so divine, I can’t even tell you. It feels like cheating to call it breakfast.

White Chocolate Raspberry Overnight Chia Oatmeal

From Sprouted Routes

White Chocolate Raspberry Overnight Chia Oatmeal

Overnight Chia Oatmeal Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I used a homemade blend of almond and cashew that worked beautifully)2/3 cup rolled oats2 tablespoons chia seeds3 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water for 10 min, then drained1 teaspoon vanilla extractGenerous pinch sea salt1 ¨C 2¡å cube cacao butter, about 3 tbsp melted (can be purchased in Whole Foods, most health food stores and on Amazon)1/2 cup fresh raspberries

If You’re a Fan of Sleep, This White Chocolate Raspberry Overnight Chia Oatmeal Is a Dream Come True

Are you looking to make your morning routine a little less stressful? If so| you’ll definitely want to try this overnight oatmeal recipe from our friends at Sprouted Routes!

This overnight chia oatmeal recipe is based on two breakthroughs I’ve had recently: 1. that white chocolate is little more than a secret magical ingredient (I’ll get to that later) and milk and 2. that chia makes overnight oatmeal a million times creamier and better| and oatmeal makes chia pudding a million times heartier and more textured and that they shall henceforth live together in harmony and be called choatmeal. Yes| choatmeal. I’ve seeded it in urban high schools across the country and a few of the Kardashian’s cell phones| so keep an eye out for it to become the new cool word in 4 C 5 months or so. Choatmeal will be on fleek. If you don’t know what that means| your life is probably better for it.

So what’s the secret ingredient| you ask? It’s cacao butter| probably previously known to you as that ingredient in the lotion you slather on your dry elbows and hands during the cold winter months. Let’s learn about our new little friend| shall we?

Cacao Butter

Cacao butter is the pressed oil of the cacao bean (responsible for cacao nibs and cacao powder). To extract the cacao butter| you essentially press the nibs (which are broken up cacao beans)| to separate the oil from the fiber. It’s used in almost all chocolate recipes| which are typically cacao butter| cacao or cocoa powder| and some kind of sweetener (or milk| if you’re making milk chocolate). Like cacao| which is long recognized as a superfood| cacao butter is rich in antioxidants| as well as oleic acid| which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease| and theombromine| which raises energy and alertness levels.

When I discovered that white chocolate is made from a simple mix of cacao butter| milk| some kind of sweetener and vanilla| and I knew I had to try to incorporate it’s silky sweet flavor in a recipe. Choatmeal (ah| it feels so natural) felt like an easy place to start| and guys ¡ª it worked out so much better than I even expected. This breakfast is sweet but not too sweet| rich| creamy. It tastes| seriously| exactly like white chocolate. Layered in with the juicy strawberries ¡ª it’s so divine| I can’t even tell you. It feels like cheating to call it breakfast.

White Chocolate Raspberry Overnight Chia Oatmeal

From Sprouted Routes

White Chocolate Raspberry Overnight Chia Oatmeal

Overnight Chia Oatmeal Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I used a homemade blend of almond and cashew that worked beautifully)2/3 cup rolled oats2 tablespoons chia seeds3 Medjool dates| pitted and soaked in boiling water for 10 min| then drained1 teaspoon vanilla extractGenerous pinch sea salt1 C 2¡å cube cacao butter| about 3 tbsp melted (can be purchased in Whole Foods| most health food stores and on Amazon)1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Why It’s Time to Start Loving Chia Seeds

If the word chia brings up a mental image of a clay creature sprouting hair, you are not mistaken. But the seeds responsible for sprouting fuzz on Chia Pets are also an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Who knew?

For women, the RDI of omega-3s is 1.1 grams (1,100 mg) a day, so if you’re looking for a new source that’s vegan, gluten-free, and easy to consume, you’ll want to pick up some of these seeds immediately. One ounce of chia seeds (about two tablespoons) contains 137 calories, one gram of saturated fat, 11 grams of fiber, four grams of protein, 177 milligrams of calcium, and 4.9 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Aside from offering omegas, when chia seeds come in contact with water, they bulk up just like flaxseeds do. So when you eat them, they make you feel full. This means not only will they prevent you from overeating, but they’ll also improve your digestion.

A 16-ounce bag of chia seeds costs around $14 and will last a long time. They have a mild flavor and don’t require much prep, so with a little creativity, chia seeds can easily be incorporated into your diet.

Drink and debloat: Celebrity trainer Valerie Waters recommends all her clients drink this debloating chia seed drink to start their day. By boosting levels of fiber and aiding in elimination, you’ll be feeling free of bloat thanks to chia.Blend into breakfast: High in vitamin C and boasting more than 10 grams of fiber, this refreshing antioxidant smoothie bulks up breakfast with some chia power.Dress up your salad: Chia seeds and poppy seeds are similar in stature, so amp up the fiber and protein in this lemon salad dressing with chia seeds; the flavors are a riff on classic poppy-seed dressing.Bake them into muffins: Versatile chia seeds are easy to toss into a classic baking recipe like these gluten-free blueberry muffins that are low in calories but full of tasty flavor.Enjoy a sweet treat: Chia seeds and coconut milk marry for a Paleo-friendly pudding that works great for breakfast but feels like an indulgence. Mix together the ingredients the night before, pop it in the fridge, and look forward to it tomorrow. It’s that easy.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lizzie Fuhr

Why It’s Time to Start Loving Chia Seeds

If the word chia brings up a mental image of a clay creature sprouting hair| you are not mistaken. But the seeds responsible for sprouting fuzz on Chia Pets are also an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Who knew?

For women| the RDI of omega-3s is 1.1 grams (1|100 mg) a day| so if you’re looking for a new source that’s vegan| gluten-free| and easy to consume| you’ll want to pick up some of these seeds immediately. One ounce of chia seeds (about two tablespoons) contains 137 calories| one gram of saturated fat| 11 grams of fiber| four grams of protein| 177 milligrams of calcium| and 4.9 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Aside from offering omegas| when chia seeds come in contact with water| they bulk up just like flaxseeds do. So when you eat them| they make you feel full. This means not only will they prevent you from overeating| but they’ll also improve your digestion.

A 16-ounce bag of chia seeds costs around $14 and will last a long time. They have a mild flavor and don’t require much prep| so with a little creativity| chia seeds can easily be incorporated into your diet.

Drink and debloat: Celebrity trainer Valerie Waters recommends all her clients drink this debloating chia seed drink to start their day. By boosting levels of fiber and aiding in elimination| you’ll be feeling free of bloat thanks to chia.Blend into breakfast: High in vitamin C and boasting more than 10 grams of fiber| this refreshing antioxidant smoothie bulks up breakfast with some chia power.Dress up your salad: Chia seeds and poppy seeds are similar in stature| so amp up the fiber and protein in this lemon salad dressing with chia seeds; the flavors are a riff on classic poppy-seed dressing.Bake them into muffins: Versatile chia seeds are easy to toss into a classic baking recipe like these gluten-free blueberry muffins that are low in calories but full of tasty flavor.Enjoy a sweet treat: Chia seeds and coconut milk marry for a Paleo-friendly pudding that works great for breakfast but feels like an indulgence. Mix together the ingredients the night before| pop it in the fridge| and look forward to it tomorrow. It’s that easy.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lizzie Fuhr

The 9 Best Ways to Harness Chia’s Power

The 9 Best Ways to Harness Chia’s Power

They might be an ancient superfood, but chia seeds are having a moment. High in protein, fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s, the little seeds have a lot of qualities to love. Just one ounce (about two tablespoons) provides 11 grams of fiber, four grams of protein, and five grams of omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re not sure how to get chia into your diet, here are some healthy and creative ideas.

| Debloating Beverage

If you’ve been feeling sluggish and bloated, it’s time for a new morning ritual that includes chia. Celebrity trainer Valerie Waters starts the day with this before-breakfast, pre-workout drink that only calls for three ingredients.

| Antioxidant Smoothie

If you find chia’s crunchy texture a little off-putting on its own, try tossing them into this refreshing, fiber-filled morning smoothie. After soaking up the liquid, the chia seeds take on a more gel-like texture.

| Coconut Chia Pudding

Chia seeds and coconut milk marry for a Paleo-friendly make-ahead pudding that works great for breakfast. Mix together the ingredients the night before, pop it in the fridge, and look forward to a special treat the next day. It’s that easy.

| Chia Jam and Yogurt

This simple raspberry lime chia combination is the perfect starter recipe for healthy eaters who want to make their own jellies and jams. Serve yours up with your favorite Greek yogurt for a filling breakfast that feels like a treat.

| Overnight Oats

Meet the easiest breakfast of all time: overnight oats. It does not get any better than combining a few ingredients together before bed and grabbing a spoon when you’re ready to eat. My favorite combination adds chia and almonds to the mix for even more fiber and protein to keep you full all morning long.

| Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins get an upgrade with this chia-filled recipe for extra nutrition. You’ll be glad to know that these tasty muffins are also gluten-free.

| Yogurt- and Chia-Covered Frozen Grapes

Freeze a batch of these yogurt- and chia-covered grapes to curb ice cream cravings the next time they strike. Refreshing, sweet, and chia-powered, these are the perfect calorie-conscious Summer treat.

| Chia-Seed Pizza Crust

Bring chia’s power to everyone’s favorite dinner: pizza. This whole-wheat chia-filled crust has a garlicky flavor you’ll love.

| Lemon Dressing

This lemon chia dressing is a riff on flavors of classic poppyseed dressing u2014 only amped up with the addition of chia.

The 9 Best Ways to Harness Chia’s Power

The 9 Best Ways to Harness Chia’s Power

They might be an ancient superfood| but chia seeds are having a moment. High in protein| fiber| calcium| antioxidants| and omega-3s| the little seeds have a lot of qualities to love. Just one ounce (about two tablespoons) provides 11 grams of fiber| four grams of protein| and five grams of omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re not sure how to get chia into your diet| here are some healthy and creative ideas.

| Debloating Beverage

If you’ve been feeling sluggish and bloated| it’s time for a new morning ritual that includes chia. Celebrity trainer Valerie Waters starts the day with this before-breakfast| pre-workout drink that only calls for three ingredients.

| Antioxidant Smoothie

If you find chia’s crunchy texture a little off-putting on its own| try tossing them into this refreshing| fiber-filled morning smoothie. After soaking up the liquid| the chia seeds take on a more gel-like texture.

| Coconut Chia Pudding

Chia seeds and coconut milk marry for a Paleo-friendly make-ahead pudding that works great for breakfast. Mix together the ingredients the night before| pop it in the fridge| and look forward to a special treat the next day. It’s that easy.

| Chia Jam and Yogurt

This simple raspberry lime chia combination is the perfect starter recipe for healthy eaters who want to make their own jellies and jams. Serve yours up with your favorite Greek yogurt for a filling breakfast that feels like a treat.

| Overnight Oats

Meet the easiest breakfast of all time: overnight oats. It does not get any better than combining a few ingredients together before bed and grabbing a spoon when you’re ready to eat. My favorite combination adds chia and almonds to the mix for even more fiber and protein to keep you full all morning long.

| Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins get an upgrade with this chia-filled recipe for extra nutrition. You’ll be glad to know that these tasty muffins are also gluten-free.

| Yogurt- and Chia-Covered Frozen Grapes

Freeze a batch of these yogurt- and chia-covered grapes to curb ice cream cravings the next time they strike. Refreshing| sweet| and chia-powered| these are the perfect calorie-conscious Summer treat.

| Chia-Seed Pizza Crust

Bring chia’s power to everyone’s favorite dinner: pizza. This whole-wheat chia-filled crust has a garlicky flavor you’ll love.

| Lemon Dressing

This lemon chia dressing is a riff on flavors of classic poppyseed dressing u2014 only amped up with the addition of chia.