Just 2 tablespoons (30 grams) contain 10 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 138 calories (1).
They're a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and some minerals essential for bone health, including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Chia seeds are also flavorless, making them easy to add to many foods and recipes.
Here are 35 fun ways to eat chia seeds.
1. Chia Water
One of the simplest ways to include chia seeds in your diet is to add them to water.
To make chia water, soak 1/4 cup (40 grams) of chia seeds in 4 cups (1 liter) of water for 20–30 minutes.
To give your drink some flavor, you can add chopped fruit or squeeze in a lemon, lime, or orange.
2. Juice-Soaked Chia
Water isn't the only liquid you can soak these seeds in.
Add 1/4 cup (40 grams) of chia seeds to 4 cups (1 liter) of fruit juice and soak for 30 minutes to make a drink that's full of fiber and minerals.
This recipe gives you several servings of juice. Just make sure to keep your intake moderate, as fruit juice contains lots of sugar.
3. Chia Pudding
You can make chia pudding as you would chia water. For a thicker, pudding-like texture, add more seeds and let the mixture soak longer.
You can make this treat with juice or milk, including flavorings like vanilla and cocoa.
Chia pudding makes a delicious dish that can be eaten for breakfast or as a dessert. If you don't like the seeds' texture, try blending it to give it a smoother finish.
4. Chia in Smoothies
If you want to make your smoothie even more nutritious, consider adding chia seeds.
You can use chia in almost any smoothie by soaking them to make a gel before adding.
5. Raw Chia Toppings
Although many people prefer to soak chia seeds, you can eat them raw, too.
Try grinding and sprinkling them on your smoothie or oatmeal.
6. Chia Cereal
To try something a little different for breakfast, you could swap your usual cereal for chia cereal.
To make it, soak the seeds overnight in milk (or a milk substitute like almond milk) and top with nuts, fruit, or spices like cinnamon. You can also use mashed banana and vanilla extract to make a delicious morning treat.
7. Chia Truffles
If you're often in a hurry, you can use chia seeds to make a great on-the-go snack.
For a quick and easy no-bake snack, try chia truffles that combine dates, cocoa, and oats.
8. In a Stir-Fry
You can also add chia seeds to savory dishes like stir-fries. Just add a tablespoon (15 grams) of seeds and mix.
9. Added to a Salad
Chia seeds can be sprinkled on your salad to give it some texture and a healthy boost. Simply mix them in and add your favorite salad vegetables.
10. In Salad Dressing
You can also add chia seeds to your salad dressing.
Commercially prepared salad dressings are often loaded with sugar. Making your own dressing can be a much healthier alternative.
11. Baked in Bread
It's possible to add chia seeds to many recipes, including bread. For example, you can try a homemade buckwheat bread that's healthy and flavorful.
12. As a Crispy Crumb Coating for Meat or Fish
Another fun way to use chia seeds is as a coating for meat or fish.
Ground into a fine powder, the seeds can be mixed with your usual breadcrumb coating or used to substitute it altogether, depending on your preference.
13. Baked in Cakes
Cakes are usually high in fat and sugar. However, chia seeds can help improve their nutritional profiles.
Adding them to your cake mix will boost the fiber, protein, and omega-3 content.
14. Mixed With Other Grains
f you don't like the gooey texture of soaked chia seeds, you can mix them with other grains.
You don't need a fancy recipe. Simply stir 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of seeds into a cup (180 grams) of rice or quinoa.
15. In Breakfast Bars
Breakfast bars can be very high in sugar. In fact, some contain as much sugar as a candy bar.
However, making your own with chia is quite easy. Just be sure to cut back on the sugar content.
16. In Pancakes
If you like this fluffy breakfast food, you could try adding chia seeds to your pancake mix.
17. In Jam
Chia seeds can absorb 10 times their dry weight in water, which makes them a great substitute for pectin in jam.
Pectin is quite bitter, so substituting pectin with chia seeds means that your jam won't need a lot of added sugar to make it taste sweet.
Better yet, chia jam is much easier to make than traditional jam. Try adding blueberries and honey — and skipping the refined sugar.
18. Baked in Cookies
If you love cookies, chia seeds can give your cookie recipe a nutritional boost.
Both oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies are good options.
19. Chia Protein Bars
Like breakfast bars, many commercially prepared protein bars can be high in refined sugar and taste more like a candy bar than a healthy snack.
Homemade chia-based protein bars are a healthy alternative to prepackaged ones.
20. In Soup or Gravy
Chia seeds can be a great replacement for flour when thickening stews or gravies.
Simply soak the seeds to form a gel and mix it in to add thickness.
21. As an Egg Substitute
If you avoid eggs, keep in mind that chia seeds make a fantastic substitute in recipes.
To substitute for 1 egg, soak 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of chia seeds in 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of water.
22. Added to Dips
Chia seeds are a versatile ingredient and easily mixed into any dip.
You can add them into homemade dip recipes or stir them into your favorite store-bought version.
23. Baked in Homemade Muffins
Muffins are often eaten for breakfast or dessert, depending on their ingredients.
Notably, chia seeds can be added to both savory and sweet versions of this baked good.
24. In Oatmeal
Adding chia seeds to oatmeal requires very little effort.
Simply prepare your oatmeal and stir in 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of whole or ground seeds.
25. In Yogurt
Chia seeds can make a great yogurt topping.
If you like a bit of texture, sprinkle them on top whole. If you want to avoid the crunch, mix in ground seeds.
26. To Make Crackers
Adding seeds to crackers isn't a new idea. In fact, many crackers contain seeds to give them extra texture and crunch.
Adding chia seeds to your crackers is a good way to include them in your diet.
27. As a Thickener for Homemade Burgers and Meatballs
If you use eggs or breadcrumbs to bind and thicken meatballs and burgers, you could try chia seeds instead.
Use 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of seeds per pound (455 grams) of meat in your usual meatball recipe.
28. As a Homemade Energy Gel
Athletes looking for a homemade alternative to commercially produced energy gels could consider using chia.
You can buy chia gels online or make your own.
29. Added to Tea
Adding chia seeds to drinks is an easy way to include them in your diet.
Add 1 teaspoon (5 grams) into your tea and let them soak for a short time. They may float at first but should eventually sink.
30. To Make Tortillas
Soft tortillas can be eaten with a variety of fillings and are a delicious way to enjoy chia seeds.
You can make your own or purchase them pre-made.
31. In Ice Cream or Ice Cream Pops
Chia seeds can also be added to your favorite treats, such as ice cream.
You can blend and freeze chia puddings to make a smooth ice cream or freeze them on sticks for a dairy-free alternative.
32. To Make a Pizza Base
Chia seeds can be used to make a high-fiber, slightly crunchy pizza crust. Simply make a chia-based dough and add your toppings.
33. To Make Falafel
Falafel with chia can be especially enjoyable for vegans and vegetarians. You can combine them with a variety of vegetables for flavor.
34. In Homemade Granola
Making granola is simple. You can use any mixture of seeds, nuts, and oats you like.
If you don't have time to make your own, plenty of commercial granolas include chia.
35. In Homemade Lemonade
Another interesting way to consume chia seeds is in homemade lemonade.
Soak 1.5 tablespoons (20 grams) of seeds in 2 cups (480 ml) of cold water for a half hour. Then add the juice from 1 lemon and a sweetener of your choice.
You can also experiment with adding extra flavors like cucumber and watermelon.
The Bottom Line
Chia seeds are a versatile and tasty ingredient.
They can be added to numerous foods and recipes for a boost of protein, antioxidants, and fiber.
If you're interested in including these seeds in your diet, try out one of the various options above.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Alexandra Rowles
Oregano is a fragrant herb that's best known as an ingredient in Italian food.
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By Emily Grubert
Natural gas is a versatile fossil fuel that accounts for about a third of U.S. energy use. Although it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, natural gas is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Reducing emissions from the natural gas system is especially challenging because natural gas is used roughly equally for electricity, heating, and industrial applications.
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6bd9fda1316965a9ba24dd60fd9cc34d"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3KaMnkmf0tc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
What RNG Is and Why it Matters<p>Most equipment that uses energy can only use a single kind of fuel, but the fuel might come from different resources. For example, you can't charge your computer with gasoline, but it can run on electricity generated from coal, natural gas or solar power.</p><p>Natural gas is almost pure methane, <a href="https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/natural-gas/" target="_blank">currently sourced</a> from raw, fossil natural gas produced from <a href="https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/natural-gas/where-our-natural-gas-comes-from.php" target="_blank">deposits deep underground</a>. But methane could come from renewable resources, too.</p><p><span></span>Two main methane sources could be used to make RNG. First is <a href="https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/inventory-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-sinks" target="_blank">biogenic methane</a>, produced by bacteria that digest organic materials in manure, landfills and wastewater. Wastewater treatment plants, landfills and dairy farms have captured and used biogenic methane as an energy resource for <a href="http://emilygrubert.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/eia_860_2017_map.html" target="_blank">decades</a>, in a form usually called <a href="https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/biomass/landfill-gas-and-biogas.php" target="_blank">biogas</a>.</p><p>Some biogenic methane is generated naturally when organic materials break down without oxygen. Burning it for energy can be beneficial for the climate if doing so prevents methane from escaping to the atmosphere.</p>
Renewable Isn’t Always Sustainable<p>If RNG could be a renewable replacement for fossil natural gas, why not move ahead? Consumers have shown that they are <a href="https://www.nrel.gov/analysis/green-power.html" target="_blank">willing to buy renewable electricity</a>, so we might expect similar enthusiasm for RNG.</p><p>The key issue is that methane isn't just a fuel – it's also a <a href="https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/ghg_report/ghg_overview.php" target="_blank">potent greenhouse gas</a> that contributes to climate change. Any methane that is manufactured intentionally, whether from biogenic or other sources, will contribute to climate change if it enters the atmosphere.</p><p>And <a href="http://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar7204" target="_blank">releases</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2019.07.029" target="_blank">will happen</a>, from newly built production systems and <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-methane-emissions-matter-to-climate-change-5-questions-answered-122684" target="_blank">existing, leaky transportation and user infrastructure</a>. For example, the moment you smell gas before the pilot light on a stove lights the ring? That's methane leakage, and it contributes to climate change.</p><p>To be clear, RNG is almost certainly better for the climate than fossil natural gas because byproducts of burning RNG won't contribute to climate change. But doing somewhat better than existing systems is no longer enough to respond to the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2923" target="_blank">urgency</a> of climate change. The world's <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/" target="_blank">primary international body on climate change</a> suggests we need to decarbonize by 2030 to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.</p>
Scant Climate Benefits<p><a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9335/meta" target="_blank">My recent research</a> suggests that for a system large enough to displace a lot of fossil natural gas, RNG is probably not as good for the climate as <a href="https://investor.southerncompany.com/information-for-investors/latest-news/latest-news-releases/press-release-details/2020/Southern-Company-Gas-grows-leadership-team-to-focus-on-climate-action-innovation-and-renewable-natural-gas-strategy/default.aspx" target="_blank">is publicly claimed</a>. Although RNG has lower climate impact than its fossil counterpart, likely high demand and methane leakage mean that it probably will contribute to climate change. In contrast, renewable sources such as wind and solar energy do not <a href="https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/" target="_blank">emit climate pollution directly</a>.</p><p>What's more, creating a large RNG system would require building mostly new production infrastructure, since RNG comes from different sources than fossil natural gas. Such investments are both long-term commitments and opportunity costs. They would devote money, political will and infrastructure investments to RNG instead of alternatives that could achieve a zero greenhouse gas emission goal.</p><p>When climate change first <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/24/us/global-warming-has-begun-expert-tells-senate.html" target="_blank">broke into the political conversation</a> in the late 1980s, investing in long-lived systems with low but non-zero greenhouse gas emissions was still compatible with aggressive climate goals. Now, zero greenhouse gas emissions is the target, and my research suggests that large deployments of RNG likely won't meet that goal.</p>
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By Charli Shield
When an elephant dies in the wild, it's not uncommon to later find its bones scattered throughout the surrounding landscape.
Elephant Burial Grounds<p>Highly social creatures that form deep familial bonds, elephants have long been observed gathering at the site where a peer or family member has died — often spending hours, even days, quietly investigating the bodies or the bones of other dead elephants.</p><p>Although the popular idea that dying elephants are instinctively drawn to special communal graves — so-called "elephant graveyards" — is a myth, their tendency to go out of their way to visit the bones and tusks of the deceased isn't unlike human rituals at graveyards, says animal psychologist Karen McComb.</p><p>"They spend a lot of time touching and smelling skulls and ivory, placing the soles of their feet gently on top of them, and also lifting them up with their trunks," McComb, who's been studying African elephants for 25 years in Kenya's Amboseli National Park, told DW.</p><p>The most striking part of watching an elephant experience loss, Poole recalls, is the quietude. She still remembers one of the first elephant deaths she witnessed; a mother who birthed a stillborn calf. That elephant stayed with its baby for two days, trying to lift it and defending it from vultures and hyenas.</p><p>"I was so struck by the expression on her face and her body. She looked so dejected. It was really like, 'Oh God, these animals grieve…'. It was just so different," Poole told DW. </p>
Witnessing Emotions in Animals<p>Not all scientists are comfortable concluding that elephants grieve. Among the more than 30 reports of elephant reactions to death that Wittemyer co-reviewed in <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10329-019-00766-5" target="_blank">a study published in November 2019</a> were accounts of "enormous variation and nuance" he says. "It can be incredibly involved and intricate for extended periods or can be relatively cursory checks."</p><p>In Wittemyer's own experience, it can be difficult not to attribute some kind of emotional experience to the more involved interactions between elephants and their dead.</p><p>He shares the story of an "extraordinary event" involving the death of a 55 year-old matriarch in Kenya in a protected area that happened to be near his place of work. She was visited by multiple unrelated families while she was dying, including another matriarch that exerted such enormous effort attempting to lift her to her feet that she broke her tusk, which Wittemyer says, is "like breaking a tooth." </p><p><span></span>"It was a remarkable example of this heightened emotional state, it was very clearly a very stressful interaction," he says.</p>
A Different Sensory World<p>One factor that limits our ability to fully grasp the way elephants process and respond to loss is our markedly different sensory experiences of the world.</p><p>An elephant's world is fundamentally olfactory — based on smell. Ours is visual. Previous <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25053675/" target="_blank">research</a> has shown elephants possess the most scent receptors of any mammal, and can <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17949977/" target="_blank">use smell</a> to discern the difference between different human tribes from the same local area.</p><p>That could explain why elephants exhibit such interest in sniffing the bones and tusks of others, as a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1617198/" target="_blank">2005 study</a> from McCombs highlighted. When presented with the skulls and ivory of long-dead elephants and those from other large herbivores, including rhino and buffalo, McCombs and her team found elephants approached and were specifically attracted to the remains of their own species. </p><p>Without access to the smells an elephant picks up on, Wittemyer says "an enormous amount of stuff" could be missed by humans when studying these behaviors.</p>
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