March 10, 2023
Fuel Up With This Fun Heart-Healthy Recipe
Each and every year, the month of March is celebrated as National Nutrition Month.
This year’s theme for this celebration is Fueling for the Future. In this post, we are going to explore that theme by learning about ways to take care of our heart and brain health!
Omega 3s are a type of heart healthy fat that provides many benefits for our bodies. Omega 3s have been shown to reduce inflammation, protect the heart and cardiovascular systems, support brain health, and much more.
Foods rich in Omega 3s include: fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring), chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans and enriched eggs. This contrasts with Omega 6 fats and trans fats, which are unhealthy for the heart and can increase inflammation and cholesterol levels in the body. Food sources of these fats include: refined vegetable oils, highly processed snack products, frying oils, baked goods, and shortening/margarine. Unfortunately, many individuals consume considerably more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3 fats as part of their daily diet.
This recipe provides a great-tasting and simple way to give your body several heart-healthy Omega 3s. Chia seeds are a fantastic source of the Omega 3 fat ALA as well as many other nutrients (magnesium, phosphorus and calcium to name just a few). Oftentimes, chia seeds are delegated to a topping or garnish for smoothies, yogurt parfaits, and yogurt, but here they are the main attraction. Chia seeds gel up when added to liquid, giving this mixture a thick, creamy, pudding-like consistency. We’ve boosted this recipe even more by adding additional hearty, healthy fats and sources of Omega 3s like walnuts and flax seeds as toppings.
Chia seed pudding is great for a nutrient packed, heart-healthy breakfast that will keep you full for hours. You can also enjoy chia seed pudding as a snack or as a healthy dessert alternative.
Chia Seed Pudding
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk or 1% cows milk
- 1 cup vanilla fat-free Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 5 scoops of vanilla protein powder (whey or plant) – optional
- 1 pint strawberries or blueberries, hulled and chopped
- 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup or honey
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Flax seeds
Whisk milk, yogurt, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and vanilla, together in a bowl until just blended; add chia seeds, whisk to incorporate, and let the chia seeds soak for 30 minutes.
Stir the chia seed mixture to redistribute seeds that have settled throughout the mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.
Step 3- Topping
Drizzle 4 teaspoons of maple syrup over strawberries in a bowl; stir to coat. Add walnuts and flax seeds to strawberries; stir.
Spoon chia seed mixture into 4 bowls; top each with a portion of the strawberry mixture.
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