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Do you remember chia pets?! I used to have one as a kid, and I thought it was the best thing ever! I no longer have my chia pet, but I am still wowed by these tiny chia seeds.

Here are 5 reasons why I love chia seeds and why they can be a staple in the diet

1. Healthy Fiber & Healthy Stool - chia seeds are an amazing source of fiber; 1 ounce of chia seeds has 10.6 grams of fiber! That’s nearly half the daily recommended dose of fiber! Chia seeds can help regulate bowel movements because of their mucilaginous properties. Chia seeds help to cleanse, soothe, and lubricate the colon and strengthen movement in the colon to regulate bowel movements.

2. Strong bones & teeth – that’s right, milk is not the only source of calcium! Chia seeds have 177 miligrams of calcium per ounce (that’s 18% of the daily recommendation!). Chia seeds are also a great source of manganese, which helps maintain healthy bones.

3. Heart Health – chia seeds are a great plant-based source of omega-3s. Diets rich in omega 3s help to increase good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol, and prevent heart attacks and strokes. Plus chia seeds help decrease inflammation in the body, which helps take extra strain off the blood vessels.

4. Blood sugar balance – because chia seeds have so much fiber, they help to slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This means you feel fuller for longer and you don’t get blood sugar spikes! Balanced blood sugar = diabetes prevention

5. Egg substitute – as some of you know, I don’t eat eggs, so I’m always looking for good egg substitutes. I’ve found chia seeds to be a great egg substitute for baking! Here’s the recipe: Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Let the chia egg sit for 5 minutes until it creates a gel. This equals 1 egg!

Whether you like them soaked, dry, egg-y, or sprouted, chia seeds can always have a special place in your pantry.

Content inspired by EcoParent Summer 2019

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