Chia seeds are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids which is something almost all humans need to eat more of! The essential fatty acids - omega 3, 6 and 9, are just that - essential! We must consume them in the diet as we cannot make them internally.
Whilst omega 6 fatty acids are abundant in the modern western diet (found in fried/fast foods, grain-fed meat, soy, corn chips, margarine, mayonnaise), omega 3's are a bit harder to come by.
So whilst the recommended ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is 3:1, the western diet shows a ratio closer to 15:1. This skewed ratio causes inflammation in the body due to the inflammatory nature of omega 6's and the anti-inflammatory nature of omega 3's.
Other sources of anti-inflammatory omega 3 include oily fish (sardines, salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies), grass-fed meat, kangaroo, walnuts, flaxseeds and hemp seeds.
Chia seeds are also a source of protein, calcium, zinc and fibre. They really can do no wrong!
I recommend soaking chia seeds before consuming them (for example I would not recommend adding chia seeds straight from the packet to a smoothie) as chia very obviously swells when it come into contact with liquid. We would much rather the swelling happen outside of the body than in the stomach where it could lead to digestive discomfort and bloating.
I like to soak my chia in water as opposed to milk or plant-based mylk as it lasts longer! Coconut or almond mylk generally only last 4 days once opened but the chia soaked in water can last up to 6 days in the fridge. Plus when you mix in the yoghurt before eating it adds the beautiful creaminess that you want.
Makes 1 chia pudding
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp yoghurt - unsweetened Greek or coconut
Add chia seeds to a jar and slowly add the water, close the lid of the jar
Shake the jar every minute or so to make sure the chia seeds are all taking on the water and swelling to make the pudding
Leave in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours, overnight is best
When you want to eat - mix through the yoghurt of your choice and top with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, coconut... whatever you like. My version here is fresh mango, frozen blueberries, goji berries, almond butter, cacao nibs and flaked coconut.
Note: I rarely ever make just one batch of this. I like to keep a container or large jar of the soaked chia seeds in the fridge (it will last for up to 6 days) so that it is ready to go as a quick breakfast or snack! The ratio stays the same - 2 Tbsp chia seeds: 1/2 cup water
Tip: Add a scoop of protein powder or collagen and mix through at the same time as the yoghurt to increase the protein content of your meal.