Taste

So THAT'S Why We Should Be Eating Chia Seeds

Bonus: They make great pudding.
01/07/2016 06:01am ET | Updated March 21, 2016

Chia seeds are becoming a bigger and bigger part of the health food scene. And if you're someone who makes an effort to eat healthier, you may have dabbled in a chia seed recipe or two. These tiny black seeds are tasteless -- and undergo a really cool gelatinous transformation when wet -- so they're easy enough to incorporate into your diet. But do you have any idea why you should actually be doing so?

As much as we like chia seed pudding, we wondered if chia was really worth all the hype so we investigated -- and what we found was a resounding yes. If you're looking to add more good-for-you foods into your diet, chia is a great ingredient to incorporate. Here are the five main reasons why:

1. They're full of our favorite thing: antioxidants.

Antioxidants are good not only good for our cells -- protecting them from the effects of free radicals -- but they're great for our skin, too. That could mean fewer wrinkles in the future.

2. A small serving of chia seeds has as much Omega-3 fatty acids in 2 tablespoons as 4 ounces of salmon.

It can be hard to get the recommended amount of Omega-3s without OD-ing on salmon. Chia seeds can help you give the filet a break.

3. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber.

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 10 grams of fiber, which is roughly 30 percent of the recommended daily intake. A high fiber diet is said reduce the risk of a number of chronic diseases.

4. They are high in protein, too.

Four grams for each serving (which is two tablespoons). That might not sound like a lot, but it adds up.

5. Chia seeds contain loads of calcium.

This is great news for anyone who doesn't like -- or just can't -- do dairy. The seeds contain five times more calcium than milk per ounce.

And just look at all the delicious things you can make with them.

Mango Smoothie
Foodie Crush
Get the Mango Smoothie recipe from Foodie Crush
Lemon & Chia Seed Pull Apart Bread
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Get the Lemon & Chia Seed Pull Apart Bread recipe from A Beautiful Mess
Chia Buckwheat Pizza
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Seeded Crispbread Crackers
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Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding With Fresh Mint
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Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes with Roasted Strawberries
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Coconut Cream Pie Chia Seed Pudding
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Get the Coconut Cream Pie Chia Seed Pudding recipe from How Sweet It Is
Chia Seed Sandwich Thins
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Get the Chia Seed Sandwich Thins recipe from Nyoutritious
Raw Chia Seed Jam
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Get the Raw Chia Seed Jam recipe from Petite Kitchen
Meyer Lemon Chia Seed Muffins
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Mocha Chocolate Chunk Chia Seed Brownies
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Honey + Lime + Chia Seed Fruit Salad
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Get the Honey + Lime + Chia Seed Fruit Salad recipe from Food For My Family
Blueberry Cardamom Chia Seed Pudding
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Get the Blueberry Cardamom Chia Seed Pudding recipe from Gena Hamshaw via Food52
Chocolate & Coconut Chia Seed Mousse
Maja Lukic/Food52
Get the Chocolate & Coconut Chia Seed Mousse recipe from Maja Lukic via Food52
5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars
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Oatmeal With Almond Milk And Chia Seeds
Aysegul Sanford/Food52
Get the Oatmeal with Almond Milk and Chia Seeds recipe from Aysegul Sanford via Food52
Dark Chocolate And Cherry Energy Bars
Food For My Family
Get the Dark Chocolate and Cherry Energy Bars recipe from Food For My Family
Quinoa Salad With Feta And Chia Seeds
Fifteen Spatulas
Get the Quinoa Salad with Feta and Chia Seeds recipe from Fifteen Spatulas

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