What to Eat Wednesday: Chia Seeds

chia seeds

Cha Cha Cha Chia! Never had a chia pet, but I sure remember the commercials. Anyway, pet aside.. the seeds are heart healthy and considered a superfood.

What makes chia seeds a pleasure for the heart?  They are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3’s help reduce triglycerides, blood pressure, and inflammation in the body.  Omega-3’s are also good for brain health and help in reducing depression.

What makes chia seeds a so-called superfood? It has been touted as a nutrient-rich food full of health benefits for centuries. Chia seeds have been used by the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas (much like quinoa).

Other fun facts about chia seeds:

  • Chia means strength in the language of the Mayans
  • Unlike flaxseed, the seeds do not have to be milled to receive its health benefits
  • Chia seeds are a complete source of protein
  • Chia seeds are rich in fiber, which helps keep you fuller longer
  • Iron-rich, the seeds have more than spinach
  • The seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels

I just read an interesting article about the many different uses of chia seeds in a Huffington post article, but my use of choice is as a breakfast topper. I am not so sure I would use chia seeds when making grilling sauces or jams/jellies.  But never say never.  I do like making things as healthy as possible, while NOT compromising flavor.  Taste is important, as well all know.

So, here is how I have been using chia seeds lately:

Cinnamon-y Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup stone ground oats (you can substitute with rolled oats)
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or more… I like a lot of cinnamon)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Mix the above in a container that you can easily take with you in the car.  Refrigerate overnight. Then top with raisins or cranberries.. or whatever other topping strikes your fancy.

I love this breakfast because if I am running out of time in the morning, I can easily grab and eat it in the car. I like mine somewhat thick too so if you like your oats a little more on the runny side, feel free to add more milk.

What is your favorite way to eat chia seeds?