When I first saw a chia pet decades ago, I never thought about drinking it. Oh, how times have changed.
A TikTok video with directions for an #InternalShower using chia seeds has over 40 million views. So what are chia seeds and should you be hosing down your insides with them?
Chia seeds are from the Salvia Hispanica plant, native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. They are nutrition packed. Two tablespoons of the seeds are 138 calories and 4.7 grams of protein.
Helps with blood sugar, blood pressure
Two tablespoons also contain almost 10 grams of fiber, which is close to half of the daily recommendation. All this fiber helps with blood sugar control and digestive health.
The fiber in chia seeds is soluble, which can be effective in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood. In addition, they have 14% of calcium recommendation, 12% of iron and 23% of magnesium.
And if that weren't enough, they also have beneficial antioxidants. Chlorogenic acid can help lower blood pressure and caffeic acid is anti-inflammatory. These little seeds also have omega 3 fatty acids. They pack many benefits in a small package.
Do your insides need a shower? If you are eating a sufficient amount of fiber, about 24 grams a day, you have already been showering your GI tract with health benefits.
If you want to try the internal shower, go slowly if your usual fiber intake is low. A rapid addition of fiber can cause bloating.
The recipe is 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 8-16 ounces of water, and the juice of one lemon. Stir and wait 15 minutes before drinking.
If you are like me and do not enjoy crunchy gelatinous water, there are other ways to enjoy chia seeds. Add them to smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt for a nutrient boost. Chia pudding is easy to make and tastier than the shower. A recipe for chia pudding can be found at https://feelgoodfoodie.net/recipe/3-ingredient-chia-pudding/
Snacking on this pudding will leave you full and nutritionally satisfied.
Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian nutritionist in private practice in Miami. firstname.lastname@example.org
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