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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Coconut Vanilla Chia Superfood Pudding + How to Get Started With Superfoods

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Coconut Vanilla Chia Superfood Pudding + How to Get Started With Superfoods

I am a huge fan of superfoods. Superfoods are foods that contain super concentrated levels of vitamins and minerals. They are a great way to get that “extra” boost in nutrition! It’s kind of like withdrawing $20 from the ATM and getting another $20 for free! Superfoods give a boost of energy, make my skin glow, and make my body feel stronger!! It’s the type of shift you can FEEL which is awesome!! Who doesn’t love beauty food that’s energizing and strengthening?!

I get a lot of questions about superfoods and I know adding superfoods can be intimidating at first so I thought I’d share an easy recipe and the anatomy of an easy superfood bowl. It’s actually so much easier than it seems, even a kid could do it!

I like to start with a base of chia seeds. It is one of my absolute favorite superfoods and here’s why:

Chia Seeds:

  • Support Heart Health Chia seeds can help reduce blood pressure. The seeds contain one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). EFAs cannot be synthesized by our bodies however, it is very important that we get enough to support our immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive systems. EFA deficiency is quite common in North America.
  • Stabilize Blood Sugar Chia seeds slow down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested and then assimilated into the body. The soluble fiber helps to stabilize blood glucose levels resulting in steady, sustained energy. In one study on diabetic patients, Dr. Vladamir Vuksan of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, found that blood was thinner and less prone to clotting and blood pressure of participants dropped significantly, after three months of taking Chia seeds daily.
  • Energizing The word “Chia” comes from the Mayan language and means strength. Chia seeds are a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber. It is said that 1 tablespoon of Chia can sustain a person for 24 hours. Athletes have reported that Chia seeds help them perform at optimal levels for much longer periods of time.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties  A number of arthritis sufferers have reported reduced pain and inflammation after a few weeks of taking Chia seeds. The high concentration of omega-3 helps to lubricate joints and keep them supple. Additionally, Omega-3s are converted into prostaglandins which are known to have both pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Weight Loss The essential fatty acids contained in Chia seeds helps to boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. The seeds are sometimes added to food to provide bulk and nutrients while adding very few calories. For these reasons, many people have found Chia quite useful in weight loss and weight maintenance.
  • Detoxification and Elimination Similar to psyllium, the swelling action of Chia in the body helps to cleanse and soothe the colon, and absorb toxins while lubricating and strengthening peristaltic action.
  • High Quality Protein Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice. Chia seeds contain strontium which helps to assimilate protein and produce high energy.
  • Antioxidants Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants containing even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. The high amounts of antioxidants in Chia seeds also keeps the oils from going rancid – contributing to a long shelf life.
  • Provides Fiber and Other Nutrients Besides EFAs, Chia seeds also provide fiber, iron, calcium, niacin, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. 2 tablespoons of Chia= 7 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, 5 grams omega-3
  • Brain Power EFAs are known to make cell membranes more flexible and efficient making nutrients more readily available and nerve transmission more efficient. This helps to improve brain function (including memory and concentration). – source

With all of those fabulous health benefits, what’s not to love?! Chia is also great because it will take on the flavor of anything you add to it. It’s perfect for adding to smoothies and making yummy desserts or superfood bowls!

Coconut Vanilla Chia Superfood Pudding + How to Get Started With Superfoods

Next layer on some berries for antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, and enzymes!

Coconut Vanilla Chia Superfood Pudding + How to Get Started With Superfoods

Then come the superfoods:

Hemp Seeds

  • Healthy Heart The essential fatty acids contained in hemp can reduce blood cholesterol to prevent plaque buildup in the arteries. Plaque buildup can contribute to atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries and eventually can cause heart attacks and stroke. The fatty acids help to reduce inflammation that can cause poor blood circulation and high blood pressure. Therefore hemp can reduce the workload of the heart, and as a result helps to prevent heart disease and stroke.
  • Healthy Mind Your brain contains lot of the same essential fatty acids which are found in hemp. Therefore, hemp can help to improve your memory, and prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Hemp seeds can also help to improve your moods, alleviate symptoms of depression and reduce anxiety and stress levels.
  • Healthy Skin Hemp oil is often used for cosmetic purposes in products such as soaps, skin lotions and lip balms. This is because the oil helps to penetrate into the layers of the skin to promote new cell growth for a softer and smoother skin. Hemp can also help to clear up skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dry skin.
  • Weight Loss Hemp is a natural appetite suppressant, and helps you to feel full longer. Adding 4 tablespoons of hemp seeds to your breakfast can help to reduce your food cravings for the rest of the day. On top of that you will have lots of energy for exercise and other activities to help you lose weight.
  • Digestive Disorders The high amount of fiber that is contained in hemp seeds can help to keep your digestive tract clean and healthy. As a result you can eliminate digestive disorders such as bloating and constipation.
  • Prevent Cancer A healthy digestive system along with the antioxidants and plant sterols contained in hemp can help to reduce your risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers.
  • Diabetes Hemp seeds are also essential if you are diabetic, or are at risk for diabetes, as they can help to control your blood sugar levels. This is due to the healthy fats which help the body to absorb the glucose from the bloodstream and turn it into energy. As a result, energy levels will increase and sweet cravings will decrease. (via 3 Fat Chicks)

Goji Berries

  • Cancer Prevention: One of the best benefits of brightly colored berries, like goji berries, is that they contain high levels of antioxidants which are extremely effective in fighting cancer. When you eat goji berries, the antioxidants seek out and remove cancer causing free radicals in the blood.
  • Heart Disease and Cholesterol: Another benefit that the antioxidants they provide is that they lower bad cholesterol levels and protect the heart from disease. Goji berries also contain fiber and higher fiber consumption has been linked with a lower risk of high cholesterol and heart attack.
  • Anti-Aging: Slowing the aging process can be achieved by eating certain types of foods and the antioxidants contained within goji berries have been linked with wrinkle reduction and slower aging. Also, longevity may be increased because of the disease and illness prevention that naturally occurs when antioxidants are consumed.
  • Eye Health: Goji berries contain vitamin A, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, all of which have been associated with healthier eyes. These compounds protect your eyesight, and they also prevent certain eye conditions such as macular degeneration.
  • Better Sleep: Regular consumption of goji berries can help to improve sleep. If you are suffering from insomnia, try eating goji berries on a daily basis and your sleep patterns will likely improve.
  • Stress Relief: Research has found that goji berries may relieve stress and promote a sense of calm, happiness, and well-being by reducing the amount of cortisol released in the body during periods of stress. (source)

Cacao Nibs

  • Magnesium: Cacao beans are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium — a mineral needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies — with 272 milligrams per 100 grams. It’s important for muscle and nerve function and keeps the heart rhythm steady.
  • Fibre: You don’t get any dietary fibre when you eat a chocolate bar, but you do get some when you snack on cacao nibs: one ounce has nine grams!
  • Iron: Iron, which is necessary for red blood cell production, is found in cacao nibs. An ounce of the raw nibs has six per cent of your recommended daily iron intake.
  • Antioxidants: Surely you’ve heard about the antioxidant power of dark chocolate — well, that goes even more for cacao beans, especially when eaten raw. Antioxidants are important for health because they absorb the free radicals that cause damage in the body.
  • Mood Improver: Neurotransmitters are the messengers in our brains that tell our bodies how to act, and that includes mood. Cacao’s ability to act on those neurotransmitters is why it’s known for its mood-enhancing skills. Chocolate and cacao stimulates the brain to release particular neurotransmitters that can trigger emotions — including good ones like euphoria. That’s why some people say chocolate is better than sex!
  • Phenylethylamine (PEA): This is a chemical found in cacao, one that our bodies also make naturally. We produce PEA, an adrenal-related chemical, when we’re excited — it causes the pulse to quicken, making us feel focused and alert.
  • Anandamide: Anandamide, a lipid found in cacao, is another compound tied to cacao’s feel-good properties. This lipid has been called “the bliss molecule“, because its natural molecular shape represents that of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
  • Theobromine: Cacao beans do have a couple of controversial ingredients, though. One of them is theobromine, which makes up one to two per cent of the cacao bean and is a nervous system stimulant that dilates the blood vessels — much like caffeine. This ingredient is what makes cacao and chocolate unsafe for dogs, and some people find that it affects them the way caffeine might.
  • Oxalic Acid: Oxalic acid is a compound found in cacao that inhibits the absorption of calcium, a mineral that’s also found in the food. So though there is calcium in cacao, it’s not considered a good calcium source for this reason. The good news is that you’re getting more of the calcium by eating cacao than you are if you eat processed chocolate, because the sugar found in chocolate takes calcium reserves from the body.  (via the Huffington Post)

Coconut Vanilla Chia Superfood Pudding + How to Get Started With Superfoods

The Anatomy of a Superfood Bowl

The Anatomy of a Superfood Bowl via Linda Wagner

Coconut Vanilla Chia Superfood Pudding

You’ll need:

Blend coconut milk and vanilla stevia by hand or in a blender to mix. Taste and add more stevia as needed. In a glass bowl add chia seeds to the blended mixture and stir to mix. Let sit for 2 hours in the fridge or overnight to thicken. Once the mixture is thick, use a fork to stir your pudding and break up any clumps.

You can enjoy your pudding plain if you like. Kids love it and it makes a great dairy free alternative to yogurt if you’re looking to go dairy free. Or you can turn it into a badass superfood bowl by topping with berries and then sprinkling superfoods on top!

Grab a spoon and dig in!!

Coconut Vanilla Chia Superfood Pudding + How to Get Started With Superfoods

This superfood bowl is SO YUMMY!! It’s absolutely PACKED with nutrition. I mean…seriously, did you read the paragraphs and paragraphs of health benefits at the top of this post?! It’s kind of crazy how much good stuff is in this bowl!

Where to get your superfoods: Most of you know that I purchase almost everything through iherb.com! They’ve got the best prices and fast shipping – they ship to over 180 countries, including APO addresses! Feel free to use my discount code WAG472 to get $5 OFF your first order or $10 OFF your first order of $40 or more + free shipping on orders of $20 or more!!

If you are interested in adding more superfoods into your diet, you can see all of my delicious, energizing superfood recipes here!

5.0 from 2 reviews

Coconut Vanilla Chia Superfood Pudding + How to Get Started With Superfoods
 
Prep time

Total time

 

Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, snack, lunch

Ingredients
  • 1 can coconut milk – alternately you could use almond milk but I love the creamy, mousse-like consistency that the coconut milk provides!
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 2 droppers full Vanilla Stevia
  • assorted berries – I like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
  • 1 tsp Hemp Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cocoa Nibs
  • 1 tsp Goji Berries

Instructions
  1. Blend coconut milk and vanilla stevia by hand or in a blender to mix. Taste and add more stevia as needed. In a glass bowl add chia seeds to the blended mixture and stir to mix. Let sit for 2 hours in the fridge or overnight to thicken. Once the mixture is thick, use a fork to stir your pudding and break up any clumps.
  2. You can enjoy your pudding plain if you like. Kids love it and it makes a great dairy free alternative to yogurt if you’re looking to go dairy free. Or you can turn it into a badass superfood bowl by topping with berries and then sprinkling superfoods on top!
  3. Grab a spoon and dig in!!
  4. This superfood bowl is SO YUMMY!! It’s absolutely PACKED with nutrition. I mean…seriously, did you read the paragraphs and paragraphs of health benefits at the top of this post?! It’s kind of crazy how much good stuff is in this bowl!
  5. Where to get your superfoods: Most of you know that I purchase almost everything through iherb.com! They’ve got the best prices and fast shipping – they ship to over 180 countries, including APO addresses! Feel free to use my discount code WAG472 to get $5 OFF your first order or $10 OFF your first order of $40 or more + free shipping on orders of $20 or more!!

 

Coconut Vanilla Chia Superfood Pudding + How to Get Started With Superfoods

If you are interested in more fast, healthy nutritious meals, check out my Healthy Kids Ebook. It’s loaded with healthy recipes that are easy to make and great for kids and adults, especially the busy ones!!

 Looking for a fast easy detox plan? I’ve got everything you need to get started! Check out my step by step programs here.

 Interested in one-on-one Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching with Linda? Click here and here for details on how to get started.

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beauty chocolate dairy-free dessert easy recipes fruit gluten-free goji berries hot body kid friendly moms nutrition raw food real food recipes skin stevia strawberry sugar free superfoods time savers vegan vegetarian weight loss wellness

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