Chia seeds have boomed in popularity in recent years, primarily due to their versatility and high omega-3 content. They’re also fantastic sources of micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as soluble and insoluble fibre.
The fibre content of chia seed is very high, about 27 grams (g) per 100 g serving. They are also the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are even a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body.
Chia & Constipation
Constipation occurs when bowel movements become less frequent and stools become dry and difficult to pass. This may be due to changes in diet or routine, or due to inadequate intake of fibre. The NHS recommends drinking plenty of fluids and increasing the amount of fibre in your diet if you are experiencing symptoms of constipation.
When added to a liquid, chia seeds swell up and form a gel-like texture. This gelling property is a result of the soluble fibre content and can help increase the weight and softness of stool. The insoluble fibre found in chia seeds also helps to bulk up stool and increase the speed of transit of food in the digestive tract thereby easing symptoms of constipation.
Chia Pudding Recipe
Basic Recipe - One Serving
2 tablespoons Chia Seeds
½ Cup milk or plant-based milk
To this recipe, you can add fresh or dried fruit on top for sweetness. You may also wish to add nuts or cocoa powder for some added flavour.
Chia smoothie – pre-soak 1 dessertspoon of chia seeds in 150mls water for at least two hours. Blend 80 grams of fruit (e.g. frozen berries) with 150mls almond milk and one tablespoon of Greek yogurt/ or thick yogurt alternative. Pour the soaked chia into the blended fruit mix, stir and enjoy.
Chocolate chia dessert - 250mls almond milk to soak 20g chia seeds for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight (you can make up a large batch of this), before eating stir in 1tsp cacao powder, few drops of vanilla flavouring (if preferred), 1 dessertspoon of dried coconut and 1 small sliced green-tipped banana or other fruit of your choice.