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5 Health Benefits Of Chia Seed + Delicious Recipes

5 Health Benefits Of Chia Seed + Delicious Recipes

The chia seed has long been an important part of traditional Mayan and Aztec diets. It is native to certain areas of Mexico and Guatemala. In the early ’90s, it became popular as an entertaining household plant – Chia Pets. Recently, nutritionists confirmed what Maya and Aztec cultures have always known: the chia seed is full of nutrients and antioxidants.

Why exactly should you add this little seed to your diet? Take a look at some of the many health benefits of the chia seed.

1. Rapid Skin Repair

According to Nutritionist Vicki Edgson, the chia seed contains omega-6 LA, antioxidants, and protein. [1] All of these come together in the perfect skin-rejuvenating combination. Not only do antioxidants slow the aging process, but the protein is perfect for rebuilding and repairing skin tissue. Each serving of chia seed contains 20% protein, making it an excellent source.

2. Reduces Skin Inflammation

If you struggle with inflamed and irritated skin, the chia seed might be perfect for you. This is because it contains both omega-3 and fiber, both known to to reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids work to maintain cell membrane health. [2] Healthy cell membranes allow nutrients to be absorbed and wastes to be expelled. Omega-3 also reduces the production of inflammatory compounds.

3. Boosts Digestive Health

A 1-ounce serving of chia seed contains 11 grams of dietary fiber, which is approximately 33% of the daily recommended serving. Dietary fiber helps increase and soften your stool, reducing the risk of constipation. [3] Adding chia to your diet can help improve your digestive health.

4. Strengthens Bones

That same 1-ounce serving of chia seed also contains 18% of your daily recommended intake of calcium. [4] Calcium is vital for strong bones and teeth. Getting enough in your diet can also help prevent osteoporosis.

5. Promotes Healthy Teeth

The calcium found in the chia seed is also excellent for the health of your teeth. Try to get at least a serving a day to prevent tooth loss and decay.

Introducing Chia Seed to Your Diet

So, now you know some of the many health benefits of the chia seed and you’re really interested in adding it to your diet. But how?

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Luckily for you, chia is really easy to include in your daily diet. It’s relatively tasteless so it won’t affect the flavor of whatever you add it to. Sprinkle seeds on top of your yogurt, salads, and smoothies. Some people even add a few teaspoons to their drinking water.

One of the most delicious ways to include chia, however, is by preparing puddings. Below are some popular chia pudding recipes.

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    Source

    Vanilla-Almond Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

    If you usually start your day with a handful of nuts, don’t miss out on this recipe. [5] The best part about it? It takes only five minutes to prepare!

    Ingredients

    2 cups unsweetened almond milk

    ½ cup chia seed

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    ½ teaspoon vanilla

    1 – 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

    Mix everything together, cover it, and place it in the fridge overnight. That’s it! The chia seed will expand and thicken in the milk. If it’s too thick in the morning, just add a little water to thin it out. Top with fresh fruit and nuts before serving.

    chocolate-chia-seed-pudding

      Source

      Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

      Prefer to start your day with a little chocolate? Definitely try this vegan, gluten free chia seed pudding. [6]

      Ingredients

      1 ½ cups almond milk

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      ⅓ cup chia seed

      ¼ cup cocoa powder

      2 to 5 tablespoons maple syrup

      ½ teaspoon cinnamon

      ¼ teaspoon salt

      ½ teaspoon vanilla

      Mix all of the ingredients together and place covered in the refrigerator for at least 3 to 5 hours. It’s probably easiest to leave it overnight. When you’re ready to serve the pudding, you can serve as is or place it in the blender for a smoother texture. Top it with fresh fruit, granola, or whipped cream.

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      coconut_mango_chia_pudding_1024x1024

        Source

        Low-Calorie Mango Chia Pudding

        If you’re looking to reduce your calorie intake, give this easy-to-prep recipe a shot. [7]

        Ingredients

        ¼ cup chia seed

        1 cup coconut milk (or low-fat to reduce calories even more!)

        ½ tablespoon honey

        Place all the ingredients in a glass jar, cover it, and put in the fridge for the night. In the morning just throw some fresh mango and pepita seeds on top. For a unique presentation, layer the pudding with mango puree. Enjoy!

        Featured photo credit: Mumumío via flickr.com

        Reference

        [1]http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/uncategorised/new-superfood-alert-why-you-need-to-make-chia-seeds-a-part-of-your-life-117542
        [2]http://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/want-healthy-skin-feed-well#1
        [3]http://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/want-healthy-skin-feed-well#1
        [4]http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/03/chia-seed-benefits-_n_3379831.html
        [5]http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/chia-breakfast-pudding/
        [6]http://minimalistbaker.com/overnight-chocolate-chia-seed-pudding/
        [7]http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Chia-Pudding-Recipe-34333463

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        Last Updated on September 20, 2018

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

        If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

        1. Breathe

        The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

        • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
        • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
        • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

        Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

        2. Loosen up

        After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

        Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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        3. Chew slowly

        Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

        Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

        Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

        4. Let go

        Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

        The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

        It’s not. Promise.

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        Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

        Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

        21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

        5. Enjoy the journey

        Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

        Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

        6. Look at the big picture

        The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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        Will this matter to me…

        • Next week?
        • Next month?
        • Next year?
        • In 10 years?

        Hint: No, it won’t.

        I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

        Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

        7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

        You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

        Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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        8. Practice patience every day

        Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

        • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
        • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
        • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

        Final thoughts

        Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

        Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

        Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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