Thanks to Chia Pets, the classic Secret Santa gift, you have probably heard of chia seeds.
But did you know they can do more than just sprout grass?
Chia seeds are actually packed with nutritional benefits and are considered by many health experts to be a “superfood.”
One delicious and easy way to enjoy these little seeds is in a fruity smoothie. Keep reading to learn more about how to make your own super healthy chia seed smoothies at home!
Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are packed with nutritional benefits.
Want strong bones?
These seeds contain even more calcium per gram than milk!
According to cookbook author and New York Times food columnist Martha Rose Shulman, soaking chia seeds “aids in digestion and contributes to their low glycemic index.” (3)
Having a healthy digestive system will give you more energy and help your body absorb the nutrients from your food.
Similarly, chia seeds help thin the blood, lowering your blood pressure and ensuring blood clots don’t form. All of these things support a healthy heart and cardiovascular system.
Finally, chia seeds offer a natural, drug-free energy source. If you are trying to quit coffee, energy drinks, or other energy-boosting beverages, add some chia seeds to a smoothie or juice instead.
Chia seeds can even act as a natural pain reliever, especially for joint pain or skin irritations.
Dietary Restrictions and Chia Seeds
These tiny nutritional powerhouses are great for everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions and allergies.
A natural, plant-based source of omega fatty acids and easy to digest, lean protein, chia seeds are ideal for vegetarians and vegans who often have trouble getting the recommended values of these nutrients.
You can even soak the seeds in water to create an egg substitute for baking and binding foods like burgers.(6)
Chia seeds are also gluten-free and when ground into a powder can be used in place of regular wheat flour.
Chia Seeds For Weight Loss
Adding some chia seeds to your meal is a great way to get your weight under control. With their high fiber content, you will feel fuller for a longer amount of time.(7)
This leads to fewer cravings between meals and less snacking on unhealthy foods!
As mentioned above, chia seeds also have a very low glycemic index. This means that they release their glucose (a sugar) content slowly and steadily into your bloodstream.
Unlike high glycemic foods like simple carbohydrates and sugary treats, chia seeds help keep your blood sugar and therefore your overall energy at a more consistent level.
No more blood sugar spikes and then crashes that make you feel sluggish later.
This extra energy is great for productivity at work and for motivating you to hit the gym. In fact, a low glycemic diet has even been shown to decrease your risk for obesity.(8)
When and How To Enjoy Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a delicious addition to meals and snacks any time of day!
Adding them to a smoothie ensures you get a delicious and nutritious snack or breakfast on-the-go. If the idea of drinking your breakfast sounds unappealing, try a smoothie bowl instead.
Eaten with a spoon, they are slightly thicker than regular smoothies and are topped with tasty additions like sliced fruit, granola, and grated coconut.
Chia seeds smoothie bowls make a filling and healthy substitute to the same old morning cereal.
Sprinkling these little superfoods onto a salad is a fast and easy way to add some crunch to your lunch.
However, a more common way to enjoy chia seeds is to mix them with a liquid and let them soak. This process forms a gelatinous mixture that mixes easily into dressings, yogurt, and of course smoothies.
You can even buy or make your own ground chia seeds. This powder form makes them super easy to incorporate into nearly any food from oatmeal to soups.
5 Best Chia Seed Smoothie Recipes
Because chia seeds have a very light flavor, it is easy to incorporate them into any smoothie. If you already have favorite smoothie recipes you prepare, just toss a handful of the seeds into your blender for some added fiber.
Not sure where to begin?
Check out the tasty smoothie ideas below.
Whether you want to lose weight, improve your digestive function, or keep your heart healthy, chia seeds are the perfect little nutritional powerhouse for everyone.
They are gluten-free and vegan so even those with dietary restrictions can enjoy them. Adding chia seeds to your smoothie adds some extra fiber to your breakfast or snack time smoothie.
You will fight off cravings for hours but all you will taste is the delicious fruity creations you blended up!
The best part is, chia seed smoothies only take a few minutes to make and you can take them with you as you run out the door.