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.
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As protests are taking place across our nation in response to the killing of George Floyd, we want to acknowledge the importance of this protest and the Black Lives Matter movement. Over the years, we've aimed to be sensitive and prioritize stories that highlight the intersection between racial and environmental injustice. From our years of covering the environment, we know that too often marginalized communities around the world are disproportionately affected by environmental crises.
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With more than 1.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and more than 100,000 deaths from the virus, physicians face unprecedented challenges in their efforts to keep Americans safe.
They also encounter what some call an "infodemic," an outbreak of misinformation that's making it more difficult to treat patients.
When Leaders and Doctors Spread Misinformation<p>When people in charge of towns, cities, states, and countries spread misinformation, the potential for belief in misinformation to result in policies can have harmful effects.</p><p><a href="https://www.northwell.edu/find-care/find-a-doctor?q=Bruce+E.+Hirsch%2C+MD&insurance=&location=&query_type=provider&physician_partners=false&default_view=list&gender=&language=&sort=relevancy" target="_blank">Dr. Bruce E. Hirsch</a>, attending physician and assistant professor in the infectious disease division of Northwell Health in Manhasset, New York, says an example of this is when President Trump informed the public he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure.</p><p>"To approach this enormous challenge, we need some intellectual honesty and clarity, and to disregard expertise and to make decisions and model decisions based on hunches is inviting us to handle challenges on the basis of rumor and uninformed opinion. The magnitude of that error is epic," Hirsch told Healthline.</p><p>Stukus agrees, noting that the harm of this proclamation is documented.</p><p>"Early on when the president touted the benefits of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, people started to hoard this medicine, and state boards had to shut it down because they were getting so many prescriptions for this unproven therapy that it was not available for those who truly needed it, such as those who have lupus and autoimmune conditions," Stukus said.</p><p>He adds that calls to poison control centers increased after the president suggested using disinfectant to prevent contracting the new coronavirus.</p>
Listen to Science, Even When it Changes<p>When recommendations change or evidence flip-flops, skepticism may arise. However, Stukus says change is the beauty of science.</p><p>"That shows us that we can evolve, and if the evidence shows that our prior thoughts were incorrect, we need to be able to change our recommendations and advice based upon the best quality of evidence at the time," he said.</p><p>Pierre agrees.</p><p>"Science is an iterative process, whereby we arrive at facts and truth through repeated and controlled observations. That means that it's inherently self-correcting as we revise conclusions based on ongoing research. Scientific facts aren't immutable dogma chiseled on a tablet. They change based on the best available evidence we have at a given point in time," he said.</p><p>Because research of COVID-19 has only been underway for 6 months, information is evolving rapidly, and new information may contradict old.</p><p>"There's still much we don't know about exactly how [COVID-19] spreads, what effects it has on the body, or how to best treat it. That means that the best available evidence is preliminary, but that doesn't mean that we should ignore it or turn to other sources of information or opinion as if they're just as valid," Pierre said.</p><p>He explains that conspiracy theories based on mistrust lead to vulnerability to misinformation.</p><p>If people mistrust science because it sometimes "changes its mind," Pierre said, "that shouldn't be used to embrace other opinions based on no evidence at all, which are typically selected based on confirmation bias: what we want to believe rather than what the objective evidence supports."</p>
Where to Find the Best Information<p>Stukus says to start with the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html" target="_blank">CDC</a> and <a href="https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus" target="_blank">NIH</a>. Then check with your local health officials, because COVID-19 guidelines may vary depending on where you live.</p><p>If you can't find information you need or have questions specifically related to you, call your primary care doctor.</p><p>"Your personal doctor should always be a resource for individual specific questions because they know best how to apply all the nuances retaining to your health, and how to incorporate all the other general [COVID-19] recommendations," Stukus said.</p><p><a href="https://www.eehealth.org/find-a-doctor/b/boyd-laura-b/" target="_blank">Dr. Laura Boyd</a>, primary care physician at Edward-Elmhurst Health Center in Elmhurst, Illinois, says her clinic receives a lot of calls about COVID-19.</p><p>"Most doctors' offices are receiving calls and answering questions, and doing phone or video visits to help clarify and/or order testing over the phone based on patients' symptoms. It is always best to call your doctor's office first instead of worrying about symptoms and waiting too long to seek treatment," she told Healthline.</p><p>If your primary care doctor has limited testing, she suggests looking on your state's public health website for available testing sites.</p><p>With a lot of unknowns related to this virus and disease, Boyd says many patients are feeling overwhelmed and anxious for a treatment.</p><p>"Unfortunately, there is no specific medication recommended for COVID for outpatient. There are a lot of ongoing studies with various drugs going on within the hospital setting. Patients should always contact their doctors about their specific symptoms as they can treat the symptoms that go along with COVID, but there is no cure," Boyd said.</p><p>While we wait for treatment and a vaccine, Hirsch, who treats patients hospitalized for COVID-19 complications on a daily basis, says everyone can do their part by washing hands, wearing a mask, and staying 6 feet apart.</p><p>"As an infectious disease doctor working in the hospital, I see the damage of the pandemic and the worst cases of what's happening. We are trying to get the best possible outcome and confronting this overwhelming biologic reality of this terrible epidemic the best we can," Hirsch said.</p><p>Everyone at home can help in the fight too, he adds.</p><p>"Follow information that is science- and evidence-based, and avoid that which is not," he said.</p>
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