We’ve all seen those silly novelty gifts advertised on TV each holiday season. Chia seeds, the same ones that create those crazy-headed plant creatures, are a smart and super simple way to add healthful, whole food nutrition to your day. We’ve put together 16 ways to make chia seeds part of every meal.
Chia seeds may be tiny, but don’t let their size fool you. This mildly nutty seed is an unprocessed, whole food that is packed with all sorts of nutritional goodness. It’s a fiber-filled superfood that keeps your digestive system moving. Fiber also makes your stomach feel full longer, so you’re less likely to raid the snack drawer for carb-heavy munchies. In addition, chia seeds may help control blood sugar, according to preliminary research .
Chia’s health benefits don’t end there. While salmon is often touted as the king of omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are among the most concentrated sources of this heart-healthy substance. These seeds also contain calcium, about three times more per ounce than skim milk. Calcium is important for all women, but it’s particularly critical for keeping bones strong when you’re working out or living an active lifestyle .
1.Wake Me Up, Keep Me Going Smoothie
Meals with chia can include healthy smoothies, too. This SkinnyMs. favorite powers you up with spinach, avocado, banana, chia, kale, and green tea.
4. Clean Eating Refrigerator Oatmeal
Chia seeds and oats combine for an easy breakfast recipe. Prepare it, and then set it in the fridge for a grab-n-go breakfast.
5. Additional Breakfast Ideas
Stir seeds into smoothies, mix them into oatmeal, or use them as a Greek yogurt topping.
6. Easy Strawberry Chia Seed Jam
Makeover your typical PB & J with this clean-eating chia seed recipe. Try it with Simple Homemade Peanut Butter. (This jam recipe is also a good topping for breakfast foods, like pancakes.)
7. Cleanse & Detox Smoothie
Even if you’re not doing a detox, this is a great lunch smoothie. The superfood ingredients combine to nourish your body. Get the dish on detoxification with 6 Ways to Detox Your Body.
8. Additional Lunch Ideas
Toss seeds into salad, or add them into soups or sauces.
9. Sweet Potato Ravioli with Kale Pesto
Chia seeds and spelt flour combine to make ravioli dough for this dish. It may be homemade, but you’ll feel like you’re eating at an upscale restaurant.
10. Chia-Crusted Chicken
You can enjoy chia seed dishes for dinner. This recipe uses the seeds to coat lean chicken breast for a meal that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids.
11. Chia-Crusted Salmon
Give your heart a health-food double whammy with this super easy entrée. It can be made in about 15 minutes, making it a smart clean eating weeknight recipe.
13. Additional Dinner Ideas
Toss seeds into salad, add them to soups or sauces, or use them in place of breadcrumbs.
14. Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Chocolate and chia – who knew? You will after you dig into this sweet treat. When it comes to chia recipes, this one will surprise you—so give it a try.
15. Tropical Chia Pudding
Indulge in this clean eating dessert, which combines the sweet tastes of pineapple, mango, and more. It’s easy to prepare, although it will need to refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before serving.
16. Additional Dessert Ideas
Mix chia and fresh berries into Greek yogurt, or sprinkle seeds onto fresh fruit, such as a banana or peach.
Chia seed dishes are a smart way to power up your nutrition. Add one of these recipes to your meal plan this week.
Do you have a creative way to use chia in recipes? Feel free to share in the comment section below.
 Harvard Health
 Doctor Oz