Why I Use Chia Seeds Every Day (and How to Use Them)

Title - Why I Use Chia Seeds Every Day

Why I Use Chia Seeds Every Day + 7 Easy Ways to Use Them

Chia seeds are an absolute win. They are SO important to my alkaline life. They’re delicious, versatile, can be used in so many different ways, and can be kept simple too. They’re powerfully alkaline, nutrient-dense, and full of essential minerals, fats, and fibre.

They help keep you alkaline and healthy and have such a huge range of health benefits including helping balance blood sugar and support heart health, as well as being great for digestion and full of anti-inflammatory goodness.

Chia seeds are one of the best plant sources of healthy fats, which are so important for energy, hormone balance, skin health, and brain function.

What Are Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are the edible seeds of Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant in the mint family native to central and southern Mexico, or of the related Salvia columbariae, native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.

The word chia is derived from the Nahuatl word chain, meaning oily. Aztec and Mayan warriors ate chia seeds as a source of energy while they were running long distances or during battle.

Chia seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans, who ground them into flour or used them whole to make a refreshing beverage (we’ll get onto this).

The Goodness in Chia Seeds (and why I use daily)

Chia seeds contain all sorts of good things:

  • Healthy fats: chia seeds are a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. This means they can help to reduce inflammation, support heart health, and improve brain function.
  • Alkalizing minerals: chia seeds are rich in alkalizing minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. This makes them a great addition to an alkaline diet.
  • Antioxidants: chia seeds are also high in antioxidants, which can help to protect your cells from damage and keep your skin looking young and healthy.
  • Fibre: chia seeds are a great source of fibre, which is important for digestive health and can help to keep you feeling full after eating.
  • Protein: chia seeds are a great source of alkaline, plant-based protein, essential for muscle growth and repair.

Nutrient Breakdown:

Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein and essential nutrients, including fiber, manganese, phosphorus and calcium. Additionally, they contain omega-3 fatty acids which provide numerous health benefits.

It also contains polyphenols and anti-oxidants such as caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and others.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1oz (28 grams) of chia seeds contains:

  • protein: 4.7 grams
  • fat: 8.7 grams
  • alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): 5 grams
  • carbs: 11.9 grams
  • fiber: 9.8 grams
  • calcium: 14% DV
  • iron: 12% DV
  • magnesium: 23% DV
  • phosphorus: 20% DV
  • zinc: 12% DV
  • vitamin B1 (thiamine): 15% DV
  • vitamin B3 (niacin): 16% DV

Chia also includes vitamins A, B, E and D, as well as minerals including iron, iodine, magnesium, copper, niacin and thiamine.

Researched Health Benefits of Chia

Support Weight Loss

Chia seeds can help you lose weight in several ways. First, they are very high in fiber, which has been shown to promote weight loss by reducing appetite and food intake.

Chia is also a great source of protein, and studies show that increasing your intake of protein can help promote weight loss by curbing cravings and cutting caloric intake.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005 showed that increasing protein intake by just 15 percent of daily calories led to significant decreases in energy intake and appetite.

Research suggests that consuming chia seeds at breakfast (ideas below!) may also help to regulate ghrelin levels, the hormone that stimulates our feelings of hunger.

Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Being high in fiber and omega-3s, chia seeds may reduce your risk of heart disease.  Soluble fiber, the kind primarily found in chia seeds, can help lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood which has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease in the research literature.

Chia seeds are a rich source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce heart disease risk by reducing inflammation and damage to blood vessels.

Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

Consuming chia seeds may help with blood sugar regulation, possibly due to their fiber content and other beneficial compounds such as ALA and alkaline minerals.

Excess acidity in the diet (causing diet-induced acidosis) has been consistently linked to high blood sugar and poor insulin regulation.

According to several research studies, chia may aid in the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels and diabetes prevention.

Strengthen Bones

Chia seeds are an excellent way to improve bone health and density, and can also help reduce the risk of serious conditions like osteoporosis. This is because they’re packed with calcium and manganese – two essential alkaline minerals for keeping bones healthy.

Our bones are constantly shedding and rebuilding, a process known as bone resorbption. In order for new bone to be created, we need a good supply of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals and chia provides all of this, as well as helping the body to reduce the acid overload that leads to calcium being pulled from the bones.

Lots of alkaline minerals in the diet means strong bones, and a single ounce of chia seeds contains 18 percent of the calcium you need in a day while also meeting 30 percent of your daily manganese requirements.

Soothing & Healing Digestion and Preventing Leaky Gut

The gluey texture of moistened chia seeds is due to the presence of mucilage, and soluble fiber. These fibers may help lower LDL cholesterol and slow down digestion. This can, in turn, prevent blood sugar spikes after eating a meal and promote feelings of fullness.

Early research suggests chia seeds may have a beneficial effect on intestinal health, gut flora, and absorption. The fiber content suggests a possible use for constipation.

As I discuss all the time, the small intestines house finger-like protrusions called microvilli that are responsible for increasing the surface area of the intestines (allowing for greater nutrient absorption). The mucilage in chia seeds can help heal a damaged intestinal lining and soothe inflammation, both of which are necessary for optimal gut health and digestion.

A recent study showed that chia seeds improve intestinal function by increasing the surface area, length, and width of the microvilli, meaning your digestion is more effective, and more nutrients can be used.

The researchers also discovered an increase in the number of goblet cells, which are specialized cells that line the intestines and aid in maintaining intestinal lining – helping recover from and prevent leaky gut.

How I Use Chia Seeds Every Day

I use chia seeds every day, in one way or another. There are SO many awesome ways to incorporate them, or include chia recipes. They are delicious, amazingly textured, and really useful too!

Here are some of my favorite ways to use chia seeds:

In Smoothies:

Adding chia to your smoothies makes them deliciously thick and filling. You only need to add a spoonful per serve and it makes a huge impact on your smoothie’s nutrient punch. The fibre, fat and protein it adds will keep you fuller for longer and balance your blood sugar and insulin response, support your digestive system, your adrenals and more.

In Baking (and as an egg replacement):

When making healthy alkaline baked treats such as my Chia & Banana Bread, or my Ultimate Gluten Free Bread, adding chia brings all the nutrient hit, plus an important ‘gluten-like’ texture to baking.

It also works as a fantastic egg replacement in baking! To start, place one tablespoon of chia seeds in a small bowl or cup. Afterwards, add 3 tablespoons of water and wait for the mixture to turn into a gel-like substance (this should take about 5 minutes). Then, you can use it in your recipe as though it were a regular egg!

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Bread Recipe

Gluten Free Chia & Banana Bread Recipe

In Drinks for a Digestive Cleanser:

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to incorporate chia seeds into your diet, try adding them to water. Soak 1/4 cup (40 grams) of chia seeds in 4 cups (1 liter) of water for 20–30 minutes to make chia water. To add flavor, stir in chopped fruit or squeeze in a lemon, lime, or orange before serving.

Chia Pots:

Possibly my favourite way to get chia into your day, and so delicious it can be a beautiful breakfast, snack or even dessert.

Essentially all you are doing is soaking chia seeds in coconut milk or cream, and waiting for them to absorb (stirring occasionally) and then serving, with extra bits of your choice!

I love to add coconut yoghurt, blueberries, strawberries, cacao nibs, nuts, seeds…take your pick!

Here’s my latest Chia Pot recipe

In Porridge:

SO quick and easy, if you’re already making a porridge, whether that’s with oats, quinoa, buckwheat or a combo – just add a tablespoon of chia seeds! It ramps up that nutrient hit, and makes the porridge even more creamy and delicious!

Here’s my simple Alkaline Oatmeal recipe

Overnight Oats:

Another win for speed and ease and I love overnight oats because it’s like a promise to yourself the night before, that you’re going to be healthy the next day. And what a treat. Leaving oats, chia, coconut milk, berries, nuts and seeds to soak overnight takes just a few minutes and gives you a delicious breakfast no matter how busy your morning is!

Click here to see my latest recipe, Chocolate Overnight Oats

Breakfast Bars:

I absolutely LOVE to knock up a batch of breakfast bars that the adults or kids can grab on a busy morning, or put in their lunchbox. Chia seeds add tons of protein and healthy fat and all of the other goodies discussed above, but they also assist in creating a chewy, moist texture.

See my no-bake breakfast bars recipe here

Blueberry Chia Jam!

Yep, this is a really awesome note to end on – chia JAM! Chia seeds can absorb 10 times their dry weight in water, which makes them a great substitute for pectin in jam. It’s so easy to make.

All you need is:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries (blueberries are best from an alkaline perspective)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice

All you need to do is:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the fruit over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until it is heated through and begins to break down and bubble. Mash the fruit with a spoon or potato masher to your desired consistency.
  2. Stir in the chia seeds and lemon juice until combined.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. And you’re done! If you transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate it will last for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

As with all of my coaching, and something I repeat consistently in my small group private coaching, The Alkaline Base Camp (click here to join the waiting list and find out more), DON’T TRY TO DO IT ALL AT ONCE!

Just focus on ONE THING. Take ONE of these suggestions, and start incorporating that into your life. If it works, it will become a habit (we also talk a lot about habit building in the Alkaline Base Camp – one of the reasons my students get such HUGE results so quickly).

Once it is a habit, you can add the next thing.

Pick the idea that you think will work easiest and most frictionless for you.

If you already have smoothies – easy, just add a spoon.

If you already have oats – easy, just add a spoon.

It is a LOT easier to tag a new behavior onto something you already do in your life, rather than trying to create a whole new step to your day.

So go forth and CHIA!

Let me know how you go in the comments below.

Let’s do this,

Ross

Ask Me a Question or Leave a Comment Here - I'd Love to Hear from You

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  1. Sharon Reply

    Hey Ros
    Does it make a difference if the Chia seeds are white or black. What is the difference between the two of them?
    Thanks
    Sharon

    • ross Reply

      No difference 🙂

  2. Helen Marie Humphreys Reply

    Thanks so much Ross for this amazing information. I have a chia seed porridge for breakfast every morning topped with blueberries. and your granola recipe. Delicious.
    Keeps me full till lunch. Keep up the good work and I love your recipes.

  3. Jenny Sherrell Reply

    Hi Ross, I was following Dr Sebi’s diet and really enjoying it even though the recipes were repetitive. Aches and pains disappeared and I felt really great. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to afford his supplements as they come from overseas. Long story short all my nails have been breaking off deep down in the nail bed. It only happens when I’m using my nails and fingertips to pull at something – but this never happened before and as I’m 70, I don’t want this to be happening to my skin and bones. Can you please advise? (PS I’m re-purchasing your program as I realize I need more information)

  4. T Dooley Reply

    We’ve been using chia in our version of overnight oats for some years now, and also in ‘energy balls’ (nuts, carob, chia, hemp powder, coconut oil and dates).

    My question is when my husband went for a colonoscopy, they had trouble seeing his gut clearly because of the chia (!) and the chia seeds then stuck to the camera! Would you be concerned about that, or the long-term use of chia on the gut in reference to this?

  5. Louanne Kelley Reply

    I use them everyday in plain Greek yogurt with flax meal and hemp seeds and raw honey! 👍

  6. Chloe Edge Reply

    Thank you so much, Ross, for your generous emails and recipes. One of my longest and closest friends asked me the other day about Chia seeds and I told her how I eat them three times a day. It has healed my guts. I sent her this.

  7. Betty Delman Reply

    Hi Ross,
    I have been so busy and didn’t really have the time to invest in paying a monthly commitment. I love all of your emails when I glance at them. A bit of info here and there. I am really enjoying the little bits for right now with your updates. Looking forward to spending more time with you. You are a shining light.

    Betty

  8. Art Reply

    Dr Gundry says Chia seed is high Lectin and substitutes Tulsi Basil Seeds with no Lectin instead.
    Whats your take on Lectins?

  9. Anne Reply

    I love chai too, and already put them in oats and smoothies. The extra information about their goodness in all those other ways just made me love it more! Thank you for the research which underpins what you teach.

    • ross Reply

      My pleasure Anne!

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