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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 May 25, 2019

        20 Spaghetti Squash Recipes For Anyone Who Is Looking For Delicious, Healthy Comfort Food

        20 Spaghetti Squash Recipes For Anyone Who Is Looking For Delicious, Healthy Comfort Food

        Spaghetti squash is similar to cucumber. It has a shell which is difficult to pierce and this hard flesh surrounds a hollow cavity filled with seeds. When you cook this vegetable, the squash flesh falls away from the inner cavity and only the reminiscent of spaghetti remains. You can get surprised and delighted to see how this vegetable transforms with cooking.

        It can act as a great substitute to pasta. It tastes as delicious as the traditional pasta and is equally satisfying but healthier. It is gluten free and contains many nutrients like vitamin A, potassium and folic acid.

        This incredible vegetable can be boiled, baked or steamed. And, a lot of recipes can be prepared with spaghetti squash as the chief ingredient. I’m sure the following recipes will make your mouth water.

        Breakfast

        1. Spiced Coconut Squash Breakfast Porridge

        1

          This unconventional porridge, prepared for breakfast, is a perfect dish to start your day. The ingredients include spaghetti squash, organic coconut milk, ginger, coconut flour, maple syrup, cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla extract. It has a comforting and creamy texture and is best served with fresh fruit topping. (Click here for recipe)

          2. Egg and Avocado Spaghetti Squash Boats

          2

            If you’re looking for a light, healthy, gluten free, vegetarian breakfast then avocado spaghetti squash boats is the best option. Besides chopping the squash, breaking the egg and slicing the avocado, this recipe doesn’t require much effort in its preparation. It tastes amazing with egg yolk and salsa and has a rich decadent texture. (Click here for recipe)

            3. Spaghetti Squash Frittata for One

            3

              This frittata, if prepared perfectly, can be an excellent choice for a healthy meal. It is a combination of lots of spaghetti squash, a few white eggs, some red pepper for color and texture, few onions and garlic for flavor, and some fresh herbs for brightness. This dish is usually served large in size and tastes great with tomato sauce and bean balls. (Click here for recipe)

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              4. Ingredient Spaghetti Squash Brunch

              4

                It’s a fast and easy breakfast that contains a poached egg and feta on a pre-roasted pile of spaghetti squash bed. The yolk from the egg floods through the scraps of squash underneath. It almost tastes like an Italian pasta and the light crumble of feta adds more calcium and protein. (Click here for recipe)

                5. Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns

                5

                  A very healthy take on hash browns in which spaghetti squash is used in place of potatoes and coconut oil in place of butter. This reduces stress, inflammation and starch, making it healthier than traditional hash browns. It helps lose water weight as well which is helpful for weight loss. The final product is fluffy on the inside but crispy on the outside. It is best served alongside some dippy eggs. (Click here for recipe and image source)

                  Lunch

                  6. Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein

                  6

                    Spaghetti squash can not only replace Italian pasta but it can also replace the Chinese noodles. They are a delicious, satisfying dish, prepared by stirring and frying spaghetti squash with a rainbow of other vegetables along with a sweet smelling mixture of fish sauce, rice vinegar and soy. They are gluten free and grease free which makes them healthier. (Click here for recipe)

                    7. Parmesan Zucchini and Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts

                    7

                      This dish is a marvelous combination of garlic, spaghetti squash, parmesan, toasted pine and zucchini nuts. It’s super healthy, gluten free, full of vegetables and delicious. Tossed with olive oil, this dish meets all the dietary needs and is perfect for light lunch. You can also add some chicken to increase protein.  (Click here for recipe)

                       8. Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms Parmesan

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                      8

                        Though spaghetti squash provides low calories, you can add meaty mushroom and a good amount of parmesan cheese to increase the amount of calories. It’s a healthy, full of flavor, vegetarian dish, and has cheap and easy ingredients which you can find in market. The final product is yummy and satisfying and can make your lunch, perfect.  (Click here for recipe)

                         9. Spaghetti Squash with Vegan Fire-Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce

                        9

                          A pile of roasted squash is flavored with a sauce made from five ingredients. The vegan fire-roasted tomato cream sauce is made from the mixture of tomatoes, cashews, basil, salt and water. This spicy sauce makes it more delicious and some small amount of basil adds fresh green color and flavor. (Click here for recipe)

                           10. Thai Peanut Spaghetti Squash

                          10

                            Most of the dishes listed here are either Mexican or Italian. This recipe however will give you a fresh Asian feeling. To prepare this, all you need are spaghetti squash and peanut sauce, then by adding some ginger, lime and vinegar you’ll get one of the most delicious recipes. The texture of this dish reminds you of heavenly beaches in Thailand. (Click here for the recipe)

                            Dinner

                            11. Spaghetti Squash Comfort Bowl

                            11

                              This is the perfect kind of bowl that you want to have on a cold evening, sitting on a couch and watching TV. You’ll enjoy its lightly steamed veggies, allspice beans, and the strands of squash as well. It feels creamy but doesn’t seem too heavy. It’s a great dish with intense indulgence, with our best spaghetti squash, the warm beans, and the comforting steamed veggies. (Click here for the recipe)

                              12. Spaghetti Squash Crust Pizza

                              12

                                As you already know, spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta, but this dish here shows how these chewy shreds can make a great stand-in for pizza. You can add anything like meat or veggies to the base which is bound with egg whites and flour. The end product is a great gluten free dish. (Click here for the recipe)

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                                13. Spaghetti Squash Fried Rice

                                13

                                  Spaghetti squash works as a good substitute to the cauliflower as the base of a fried rice. This recipe includes almost all of the usual ingredients of a fried rice. With green onions, eggs, peanut oil, and some garlic, this dish gives a unique texture that you can never find in your local restaurants. (Click here for the recipe)

                                   14. Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

                                  14

                                    If you’re looking for something delicious for the winter evenings, you’ll get fond of these cheesy spaghetti squash boats. To lighten it up, it is filled with tomato sauce, cheese, chicken sausage, parmesan and ricotta. You can easily complete its arrangement ahead of time and bake it before dinner. (Click here for the recipe)

                                    15. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

                                    15

                                      This Mexican inspired dish has spaghetti squash as a serving bowl and inside it goes enchilada sauce, chicken, cheese, black beans and other veggies wrapped inside a corn tortilla blanket. You can also use spinach in place of the corn and black beans. Topped with sauce galore, this dish can be served as a family fun meal.  (Click here for the recipe)

                                      Dessert

                                      16. Sweet Spaghetti Squash Kugel with Apples and Raisins

                                      16

                                        If you can afford spaghetti squash, coconut sugar, some eggs and few other ingredients, then this dish must be your cheapest choice. This noodle is a delight in all seasons. The addition of some apples and raisins results in its fruity freshness. (Click here for the recipe)

                                        17. Spaghetti Squash Coconut Custard Pie

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                                        17

                                          With the fine sweetness from vanilla extract and coconut, this dessert can be a great hit among guests. The spaghetti squash drowns in an egg batter to make it lighter than a cream pie. You can play and experiment with the ingredients and see surprising results.  (Click here for the recipe)

                                           18. Spaghetti Squash Cake With Cream Cheese Glaze

                                          18

                                            This desert will be a delicious treat to those who are a fan of carrot cake. Spaghetti squash is a vegetable with pleasant taste, lending fiber, potassium and vitamins. So, if you drape it in cream cheese frosting, you will end with this mouth- watering cake. This dessert has so many health benefits and is also great for a Thanksgiving dinner. (Click here for the recipe)

                                             19. Spaghetti Squash Kheer

                                            19

                                              Kheer is a rice pudding made by boiling rice with cow milk and sugar. But this type of kheer replaces boiling rice with noodles swapped out of spaghetti squash and cow milk with coconut milk. By pouring some ghee, you can add necessary richness in it. It is healthier than traditional kheer and can act as a great dessert for your evenings. (Click here for the recipe)

                                               20. Cinnamon Spice Spaghetti Squash Cake

                                              20

                                                By now, you must be surprised by the versatility of spaghetti squash. But your best surprise will probably come after you finish preparing this cake. This cake is a game changer. You’ll have the taste of lots of veggies like cinnamon, allspice maple syrup and ginger, all inside a single cake.  It’s a perfect treat for picky eaters. (Click here for the recipe)

                                                Featured photo credit: Spaghetti Squash with Fire Roasted Tomato, Olive and Baby Spinach Sauce via commons.wikimedia.org

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