The Digestive Benefits of Chia Seed Fibre
Fibre is one of the key reasons why chia seeds have gained such popularity in the world of nutrition. These tiny seeds pack a mighty punch when it comes to fibre content. In fact, just two tablespoons of chia seeds contains a whopping 10 grams of fibre. This is a significant contribution towards the daily recommended intake of fibre, which is around 25 grams for adult women and 38 grams for adult men.
The soluble fibre in chia seeds forms a gel-like consistency when mixed with liquids, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied. This makes chia seeds an excellent addition to your diet if you're looking to manage your weight or curb your appetite between meals. Moreover, the gel-like substance can also slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent spikes, which is particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes.
In addition to promoting a feeling of fullness and aiding in blood sugar regulation, the high fibre content in chia seeds is fantastic for digestive health. Fibre plays a crucial role in maintaining regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. It also supports a healthy gut microbiome by serving as a food source for beneficial bacteria in the colon. This, in turn, can contribute to better overall digestive well-being and may even have positive effects on conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
In conclusion, the fibre content in chia seeds is a remarkable asset to your diet. Not only does it keep you feeling satisfied and help manage your weight, but it also promotes digestive health and aids in blood sugar control. Whether you add chia seeds to your morning smoothie, sprinkle them on top of yoghurt, or incorporate them into your baking recipes, these versatile seeds are an excellent way to boost your daily fibre intake and reap the associated health benefits.
I've added chia seeds to muesli and put it on my children's cereals for a few years now but I'd never tried chia pudding. I had some coconut milk left over from a laksa so I thought I'd give it a try. I didn't use a recipe so just experiment with flavours you like. Blended fruit is another option to use with coconut milk or you can use nut milks. I had some cacao powder and as chocolate is a favourite of mine this was my first experiment. Wow, was I surprised, it was delicious and it takes about 2 minutes to prepare, plus the time to set.
Chocolate Chia Pudding
2 Tbs chia seeds
1/3 cup coconut milk (Use Ayam canned variety or use less if it's the thinner variety)
1 Tbs cacao powder
1 tsp maple syrup (or another sweetener, stevia for example)
1 tsp filtered water
1. Combine the cacao powder with a teaspoon of warm water. Then add the chia seeds and coconut milk and stir well. Let it sit for about 10 - 30 minutes while the seeds soak up the water.
2. Allow the mixture to sit and thicken to your desired consistency. It can sit for longer in the fridge if you want to make it ahead of time. This will help it become firmer.
For more information on chia seeds read my Health Benefits of Chia Seeds blog post
Alternative: Swap the cacao powder for some blended fruit eg raspberries, pineapple, mango or cherries. This can make a good breakfast option that's gluten-free and high in fibre.
As a general rule use the ratio of 3 tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of liquid for chia pudding. If you are soaking them for less time than overnight, reduce the ratio. Chia seeds can absorb up to 9 times their weight in liquid. If you've never eaten chia seeds before start with 1/2 a tablespoon per serve and increase slowly. They are a high fibre food.