While we do want to incorporate every healthy food in our diet, it is always good to have complete knowledge of food before consuming it. Almost all edible items, no matter how healthy, come with a set of side effects. In this post, we will discuss the benefits, side effects, and ways of adding chia seeds to our diet with a featured recipe – Healthy Peanut Butter Chia Seed Pudding
Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are plant-based seeds that are rich in many micro as well as macronutrients and form a good source of protein for vegetarian/vegan diets. For vegans, this is primarily a great ingredient owing to its high composition of calcium. Let’s dig into some of the major health benefits that chia seeds offer.
1. High in antioxidants
These little seeds are rich in antioxidants which means beautiful skin as you age. Antioxidants are linked to multiple health benefits, including lowering the risk of cancer. Regular consumption of chia seeds ensures a good amount of antioxidants in our bodies.
2. Packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids
It is a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are perfect for brain health and development. They help in calming a disturbed mind and help to get a relaxed sleep. Chia seeds are one of the very few sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids other than walnuts and flax seeds.
3. Good source of plant-based protein
We all know what struggle it is to get your protein intake right if you are a vegetarian/vegan. Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain as much as 4 grams of protein. Including this seed in your breakfast helps to kick-start the day on a healthy note.
4. High in dietary fiber
These are a rich source of fiber, thus keeping hunger pangs, digestion issues, and bowel movements in check. Adding chia seeds to your morning smoothie will give you a good amount of fiber and will keep you full for a longer time. This is one reason that chia seeds are also linked to weight loss, no research available to back this statement, though.
5. Its got calcium too
It is loaded with calcium which extends its nutritional value to another level. Calcium is a vital nutrient for our bones, and chia seeds keep it in check.
Side Effects of Chia Seeds
With all these wonderful benefits, chia seeds are one of those foods which help combat multiple health issues in a single go. Although the list is not long, let’s have a look at a few of the side effects it may have:
- Chia seeds are known to reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Respective patients should consult their doctor before consuming it.
- Chia seeds should best be consumed by soaking them first. Having them without soaking can, in few cases, cause problems in the food pipe and stomach.
- Too much dietary fiber can upset digestion and cause pain in the abdomen.
- It is always good to check to make sure you are not allergic to any food item.
Ways to consume Chia Seeds
Consuming chia seeds is not that different from consuming flax seeds. We have an entire post on flax seeds and how we can add them to our diet.
Here is a list of different ways you can add this superfood to your regular diet:
- Add to your breakfast bowl or smoothie
- Add to your yogurt (leave for 15 mins to soak) and enjoy.
- Add to your overnight oats jar.
- Make your very own powder-packed chia seed pudding for breakfast.
Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds should be paired with another food to consume. It is not preferred to eat them by themselves.
Now, if you’re not sure how to make a pudding out of these seeds, we have a recipe for you.
Healthy Peanut Butter Chia Seed Pudding
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 4-6 hours
- One cup Milk Dairy/Non-dairy(almond, coconut). As you like.
- 3 tbsp Chia Seeds
- pinch cinnamon powder
- 1 1/2 Banana the riper, the better
- 1-2 Strawberries Chopped
- 2 tbsp Peanut Butter
- 1 tbsp Honey/Maple Syrup Skip this if your peanut butter has sugar
- 1 tsp Sliced Almonds
- 1 tsp Crushed Walnuts
- In a bowl, add honey, 1 tbsp peanut butter, cinnamon powder, and give this a good mix, so all the ingredients are mixed nicely. Add mashed banana and mix.
- Add Milk (I have taken coconut milk) to this and mix thoroughly, so no lumps are left, and a smooth mixture is there. Now add chia seeds to this and mix nicely, ensuring all the chia seeds are immersed.
- This mixture needs to be kept (refrigerated preferably) so that chia seeds can soak up the liquid. Normally, it needs a minimum of 3-4 hours to soak and reach the desired consistency. I prefer to leave them overnight.
- The next morning, you would notice that chia seeds have swelled up, and the mixture has taken a jelly-like consistency. That’s it. We just need to add toppings and assemble everything together now.
- In a mason jar, add a spoonful of chopped Banana. Add a layer of chia mixture. Now add a layer of chopped strawberries followed by a layer of chia pudding. Repeat this till the jar is full. At the top, add some peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, and more fruits if needed. And voila!
- You can always customize this recipe with your choice of fruits and Milk. You can even use almond butter or Nutella in place of peanut butter for variety.
- Coconut flakes. Chocolate chips and granola also make fabulous, yummy, and healthy topping options.
- You can always add a couple of tbsp of Milk if the chia jelly feels too dry or thick. This adds more creaminess to the recipe as well.