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How To Eat Chia Seeds | 21 Chia Seed Uses

Featured  | Healthy Chia seeds in a wooden spoon | How To Eat Chia Seeds | 21 Chia Seed Uses

Want to learn how to eat chia seeds in a variety of ways? Consider using them with these ideas! Keep reading to find out more.

RELATED: Chia Seeds: An Ancient Food Rediscovered

How to Eat Chia Seeds and Use Them in Different Ways

What Are Chia Seeds?

Chia Seeds | How To Eat Chia Seeds | 21 Chia Seed Uses

Chia seeds are tiny, nutrient-dense powerhouses or superfood that the Aztecs used to feed their people, armies, hunting parties, and runners. Thankfully, we’ve rediscovered this little seed, and you can put its energy-boosting abilities to use in your life today without the need for time machines, those pesky paradoxes, or braving the jungle.

The mild seeds make them an easy addition to recipes where they help kick the nutrition into high gear. They are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids.

But, chia seeds hide an additional secret; they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Each seed can absorb a great deal of liquid.

The seeds lend its special thickening powers in recipes and aids digestion and hydration, too.

1. Egg Substitute

The thickening power of chia lets you replace an egg with 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water when baking. It only works with baking though. Sorry, no purely chia omelets any time soon.

2. Porridge

Simply combine ground chia seeds with warm-to-hot almond milk to create a thick, gooey, warm, delicious, and nutritious porridge. Sprinkle it with cinnamon and some freshly grated nutmeg for a divine breakfast.

3. Thickener

Add ground chia seeds or even the whole seeds to soups and sauces to thicken them without using cornstarch or flour. No gluten or GMOs to worry about, plus added nutrition.

They won’t alter the flavor either.

4. Juice Addition

Chia Seed lemonade | How To Eat Chia Seeds | 21 Chia Seed Uses

Chia seeds provide interesting texture and nutrition to fresh juices, much like bubble teas but these bubbles are mini.

5. Salad

Sprinkle the seeds directly into a salad or add them to the dressing to make those greens even healthier and make any fat-soluble vitamins more absorbable.

6. Pudding

Chia seeds create a smooth, velvety pudding without dairy or gelatin. Simply combine: 2 cups almond milk, 1/2 cup chia seeds, 2–3 tablespoons raw cacao or cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon honey or other natural sweeteners.

Blend this until smooth and then let it set up in the fridge for about ten minutes.

Don’t feel like eating chocolate chia seed pudding? Leave the cacao out for vanilla, or go ahead and throw a banana in or a few berries.

RELATED: Vanilla Chia Pudding Recipe

7. Sprouted

Sprouting chia unlocks some of the nutrition inside and makes a great addition to sandwiches and salads. Simply soak the chia seeds in water for a few minutes, drain them, and then rinse and drain them every 12 hours for about 2 days.

8. Smoothies

Young woman drinking smoothie in the kitchen | How To Eat Chia Seeds | 21 Chia Seed Uses

Since they are so mild, you can toss chia seeds into just about any smoothie recipe for a smooth, thick, delicious, and nutrient-dense beverage every time.

9. Baking

Add little ground chia seeds into just about any baked recipe, from breads to cookies, to amp up the nutrition.

10. Crackers

Get gluten-free crackers by making a thin batter out of chia seeds and almond milk. Bake them slow and low until crisp and only lightly browned.

You can add in pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, garlic, and/or herbs to make a super-energizing snack.

11. Energy Gel

You don’t need the high-fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring, and artificial flavors to provide instant and long-term energy. Combine 2 teaspoons chia seeds with 1 cup coconut water, and in ten minutes, you have your own energy gel that will supply plenty of stamina for any run.

If you want it sweeter, just add in a bit of honey or other natural sweeteners.

12. Granola

Granola bars on wooden background | How To Eat Chia Seeds | 21 Chia Seed Uses

Chia seeds are perfect in any granola recipe, and they’ll make any hike easier as they boost your energy levels.

13. Gel Topping

Soak chia seeds in fruit juice instead of coconut milk to make a flavorful gel that readily tops your favorite desserts.

RELATED: Chia Pudding | Sunwarrior Raw Food Recipes

14. Mashed Potatoes

Swirl some ground chia seeds into mashed potatoes to make them thick, creamy, and more nutritious than they could ever be on their own. This also helps bring fluffy peaks back if you added too much water or almond milk.

15. Nut Butters

Make your spreads healthier by adding chia seeds to your favorite nut butter, from peanut to almond. Just combine 1 tablespoon chia seed or chia meal with 4 tablespoons of peanut butter or other nut butter.

16. Oatmeal

Oatmeal porridge | How To Eat Chia Seeds | 21 Chia Seed Uses

These seeds can provide more texture and nutrients to your oatmeal or thicken it up if it gets too runny.

17. Pasta Sauce

Blend chia seeds, vegetable stock, and cooked cauliflower to make a creamy non-dairy base for many pasta sauces. Add in some garlic and herbs to make a delicious Alfredo.

Use pine nuts, garlic, and basil to make pesto. Chia seeds also thicken up tomato pastes for a chunky feel many people enjoy.

18. Quinoa

Sprinkle chia seeds into quinoa dishes for a polka dot effect while amplifying the nutrition of each.

19. Lentils

Stir chia seeds into cooked lentils for a thick, healthy, and hearty meal.

20. Pancakes and Waffles

Pumpkin waffles | How To Eat Chia Seeds | 21 Chia Seed Uses

You can make a gluten-free and vegan version of these using chia to replace some of the all-purpose flour and eggs. Use cornmeal and/or ground oats to supplement the rest of the flour.

21. Straight Up

Chia seeds alone make a healthy, filling, and satisfying snack. They take some getting used to when you first try to eat them alone, since they are so tiny, but you’ll get the hang of it.

You will also enjoy an energy boost that will last for hours.

The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Aside from the energy-boosting abilities of chia seeds and being a powerhouse of essential nutrients, there are more to them that are worth highlighting. The following are chia seeds health benefits you can take advantage of:

1. May Help Lessen Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation occurs when your body reacts to injury or infection, and you will typically experience red, swollen skin. The problem with swelling is it can cause your body harm, especially if it's recurring.

This is why you need to reduce the levels of inflammation in your body, so you can be safe from any health complications. Consuming chia seeds can be a good solution to fight inflammation.

A study among 20 participants with diabetes revealed that consuming 37 g of the seeds every day significantly lowered the inflammatory marker by 40%.

2. May Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Consistent high blood sugar levels are commonly a sign of Type 2 diabetes, but temporary spikes after meals may be alarming, especially if they are really high on a regular basis. One way of helping you lower it naturally is through eating chia seeds.

One study showed that consuming bread with chia seeds reduces levels of blood sugar after meals than eating bread without the seeds.

3. Are High in Bone Nutrients

Ambassador Hobi Call | How To Eat Chia Seeds | 21 Chia Seed Uses

Our bones get weaker as we age or when we suffer from serious injuries, and these add to the reasons why we need to strengthen our bones with nutrients.

Chia seeds happen to have the essential bone nutrients we need: protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.

The seeds are high in calcium, so you may consider them a good source of the nutrient for people who do not eat dairy products.

4. May Aid in Lowering the Risk of Heart Disease

Dry chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, plant-based protein, and fiber, which are all essential nutrients for the heart. One study found out that the seeds lowered blood pressure levels in people with hypertension, which is a risk factor for developing heart disease.

Eating chia seeds only may not be enough for improving your heart health. This should be paired with eating a well-balanced diet and following a healthy lifestyle.

5. Rich in Antioxidants

One great benefit of chia seeds worth mentioning is it is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that can damage your cells, which lowers the risk of developing unwanted diseases.

Here’s a great chocolate chia breakfast pudding recipe you can try from Sunwarrior:

With these ideas on how to eat chia seeds, you’ll never run out of ways to incorporate them into your diet. So, start including chia seeds in your meals now and experience the benefits yourself!

With these ideas on how to eat chia seeds, you’ll never run out of ways to incorporate them into your diet. So, start including chia seeds in your meals now and experience the benefits yourself!

Do you have other tips on how to take chia seeds? We want to know in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 17, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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