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When Making Desserts Are Fun, Delicious and HEALTHY: Chia Seed Pudding

When Making Desserts Are Fun, Delicious and HEALTHY: Chia Seed Pudding

We are now in the era of rediscovering amazing benefits of many super foods that have been around for quite some time now and chia seeds are one of them. The word “chia” actually means “strength” in the Mayan language as chia seeds are powerful energy boosters. Not only do they boost your endurance, but they are also packed with nutrients that have a positive influence on your health on so many levels.

Chia seeds come from a flowery plant of the mint family, Salvia Hispanica, which grows in Mexico, and it was a food of choice for Aztec warriors for providing them with strength to fight. However, it was not very well known in the other parts of the world, until researcher Wayne Coates started studying chia back in 1991. Chia seeds can be of white or black color, and they are rich in omega-3 fats, fibers, proteins, calcium and phosphorous.

Chia seeds: Rich in nutrients, Low in calories

100 grams of chia seeds contain various healthy nutrients [1] :

  • 34.4 grams of fiber
  • 16.5 grams of proteins
  • 17.83 grams of omega-3 fats
  • 860 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 631 milligrams of calcium

With only 486 calories in 100 grams and plenty of proteins, minerals and healthy fats, chia seeds have rightfully earned their place in the super foods. Besides phosphorous and calcium, chia seeds are also a great source of iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese. If you are looking for a great gluten-free source of valuable antioxidants, then chia seeds are the perfect choice for you.

What health benefits do chia seeds provide?

Chia seed can be beneficial for your skin, digestive health, heart, helps with diabetes and makes your bones stronger.

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Chia seeds can prevent skin aging

A study conducted in Mexico [2] has confirmed that chia seeds possess high anti-oxidant capacity, which helps in preventing skin damage. Anti-oxidants remove free radical from our blood thus helping the skin repair faster and prevent premature skin aging.

Chia seeds prevent cardiovascular diseases

Chia seeds have numerous health benefits that can help your heart and prevent various cardiovascular diseases. By lowering blood pressure, chia seeds help in protecting your heart, as researchers from the Department of Nutrition at University of Paraiba in Mexico have proven [3].

Furthermore, chia seeds reduce the risk of heart attack due to the fact that they are a great source of fiber. It has been proved [4] that taking just 10 grams of fiber on a daily basis can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.

Chia seeds control blood sugar levels

Thanks to their high content of fibers, proteins and healthy omega-3 fats, chia seeds can improve your metabolic health, and consequently help you regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. Researchers from Ontario conducted a study [5] that showed how bread made with chia seeds is successful in regulating blood glucose levels.

Chia seeds are successful in fighting cancer

Alpha lineic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, which is found in chia seeds is beneficial in fighting cancer, more specifically, breast and cervical cancers. A study published in the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry [6] demonstrated findings that confirmed that alpha lineic acid limits the growth of cancer cells, without affecting the healthy cells.

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Chia seeds help with weight loss

A diet rich in chia seeds will enable you to feel full without many unnecessary calories. Moreover, chia seeds are rich in fiber and protein, which helps with weight loss, as it has been proven that a diet that contains a lot of protein reduced appetite [7].

Chia seeds make your bones stronger

In order for our bones to stay strong, they need calcium, thus chia seeds are a great choice for people who wish to maintain bone strength and mass. As Dr Marilyn Glenville, a nutritionist, points out [8]: “Chia seeds can give you a real energy kick. One tablespoon has more calcium than a glass of milk.” In addition to calcium, chia seeds contain other minerals that are necessary for promoting bone health, such as magnesium, manganese and phosphorous.

Chia seeds help promote digestive health

Incorporating chia seeds in your diet means you are increasing the intake of fibers, which are beneficial for your digestive health and prevent constipation [9].

Are there any side effects when consuming chia seeds?

There haven’t been any serious cases of adverse effects caused by consumption of chia seeds, yet it is advised to consume plenty of water with chia seeds.

As chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fats, consuming them in large quantities may lead to blood thinning, thus it is advised to consult your doctor if you are taking blood-thinning medications.

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How to pick the best chia seeds?

As with any type of food, you should always buy chia seeds from trusted brands, and of course, organically grown are the best ones. It is also a good practice to buy whole seeds, and not ground chia, since nutrients are best preserved in whole grain seeds.

As far as the color of chia seeds is concerned, always pick black speckled or white. If chia seeds are of brown color, that is probably the sign that the seeds are not mature enough or they haven’t been grown in optimal conditions.

Raw or soaked?

There is no harm in eating raw chia seeds, but soaking them will make it possible for your body to absorb all the nutrients better. When soaking chia seeds, the best option is to use 1:10 ratio chia to water. You can then leave them to sit from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your preferences. If you eat raw chia seeds, they will absorb water from your organism, so you should drink plenty of water.

3 Chia seed pudding you cannot miss (They are easy!)

Chia seed puddings are quite easy to prepare, and the recipes won’t require much of your time. You will have a great dessert that is low in calories and rich in healthy nutrients.

Overnight chocolate chia seed pudding

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    It takes only 15 minutes to prepare this delicious and creamy chocolate pudding with just 6 basic ingredients. It is naturally sweetened and perfect for either healthy breakfast or snack.

    Vanilla-almond chia breakfast pudding

      Perfect way to start your day and fill yourself with energy. For this recipe, you will need to soak chia seeds in almond milk overnight, which will give pudding an amazing texture. You can also add fresh seasonal fruits for richer flavor.

      Pina colada chia pudding

        Taste the delicious flavor of your favorite cocktail in a healthier version. With the taste of pineapple and coconut, you will feel as if you are at the beach, drinking cocktails. It’s great for breakfast or dessert.

        How much chia seed should you eat?

        There isn’t a recommended amount for consuming chia on a daily basis. However, the reasonable amount of chia seed you should consume every day is around 25 grams. Chia seeds are indeed healthy, but you should be moderate in consumption.

        Chia seeds are even safe for women who are pregnant, and is also quite beneficial for their health.

        Reference

        More by this author

        Ana Erkic

        Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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        Last Updated on September 16, 2019

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

        We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

        The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

        Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

        1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

        Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

        For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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        • (1) Research
        • (2) Deciding the topic
        • (3) Creating the outline
        • (4) Drafting the content
        • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
        • (6) Revision
        • (7) etc.

        Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

        2. Change Your Environment

        Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

        One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

        3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

        Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

        Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

        My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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        Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

        4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

        If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

        Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

        I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

        5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

        I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

        Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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        As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

        6. Get a Buddy

        Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

        I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

        7. Tell Others About Your Goals

        This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

        For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

        8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

        What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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        9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

        If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

        Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

        10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

        Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

        Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

        11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

        At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

        Reality check:

        I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

        More About Procrastination

        Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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