After reading this article by Kimberly Snyder I decided to make my afternoon snack pack a powerful omega -3 punch. How did I do that? I made this amazing tasting pudding with chia seeds. The amazing thing was that I didn’t need any milk (dairy, soy or nut) to make it creamy and dreamy. Sweetened with dried figs it’s a pleasant departure from all the chocolate desserts I make.
Why are chia seeds so good for you?
Chia seeds (according to the nutrition label) contain 5x more omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) than omega-6. A standard North American diet usually has much more omega-6 EFAs and is severely lacking in omega-3 fats. Omega-6 fats play a healthy role in our well being but with the over-consumption of it in the form of processed foods (e.g. soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola, safflower oil, etc) it becomes more dangerous than healthy. We need to balance it out by consuming more omega-3 fats.
Omega-3 fats are essential fatty acids, meaning the body cannot create them. They play a crucial role in brain function and in reducing inflammation in the body.
It is suggested that our ancestors thrived on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 EFAs of approximately 1:1 whereas in today’s diet people typically have a ratio of about 15 (or even 50) to 1. This is bad news as this higher ratio promotes proliferation of many diseases such as heart disease, cancer and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Changing the ratio to that of our ancestors decreases these deleterious effects. In essence we have not evolved to eat as we do today!
A word of caution
Beware of hidden sources of oils. I found that the cinnamon used in Starbucks contains cottonseed oil! Which reminds me of another reason I try not to go to Starbucks.
What are some sources of omega-3 fats?
- leafy greens
- algae (where fish obtain their omega-3’s!)
- flaxseeds (ground, to release omega-3 )
- hemp seeds
- raw walnuts
- chia seeds
- fish and fish oil (but may contain high levels of mercury or shelved capsules of oil may be rancid)
Chia Seed Afternoon Delight
Ingredients: makes 2 servings
1/2 cup of chia seeds
2 cups of water or 1.5 cups of water and ice cubes (will make it more ice cream like)
4 dried, unsulfured figs
1 tsp of vanilla extract
a dash of cinnamon
Soak chia seeds in water for 10 minutes. They will become jelly like. Add the 4 figs, vanilla extract and cinnamon to your blender. Add chia seeds and blend baby blend. I have a vitamix so the chia mixture blends to a pudding-like consistency. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
*Sprouting then dehydrating these makes them more nutritious
I had a great afternoon knowing I balanced my essential fats ratio. Yes, that makes me very happy and it will make you happy too 🙂
 Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;56(8):365-79.