As we search for ways to improve our diet and overall health, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the latest trends and fads. However, there’s one superfood that seems to have stood the test of time: chia seeds. Despite their small size, chia seeds pack a powerful punch of nutrients and offer numerous health benefits. But what exactly are chia seeds and how can they be incorporated into our daily diet? Let’s explore the fascinating history and nutritional profile of chia seeds, as well as the various ways in which they can benefit our health.
Chia Seeds: What Are They?
Chia seeds have quickly gained popularity in recent years, but what exactly are they and why are they considered a superfood? These tiny seeds are packed with nutrients and offer a range of health benefits, making them a great addition to any diet. Unlike other superfoods such as kale, quinoa, or turmeric, chia seeds are often overlooked, but they should not be underestimated. In the following sections, we will explore the fascinating history of chia seeds, their impressive nutritional profile, and the many ways they can benefit your health. If you’re looking for more superfood recommendations to incorporate into your diet, check out our article on 10 Superfoods for Optimal Health.
The History of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have been cultivated and consumed by humans for thousands of years. According to historical records, chia seeds were a staple food of the Aztecs and Mayans in Central America. These ancient civilizations believed that chia seeds had supernatural powers and used them for medicinal purposes as well.
In fact, the word “chia” itself means “strength” in the Mayan language. The Aztecs also used chia seeds as a form of currency, and they were so highly valued that they were often given to their rulers as tribute.
Chia seed consumption declined after the Spanish conquest of Central America, but the seeds were still used as a source of sustenance by the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Guatemala. In recent years, chia seeds have gained popularity as a health food due to their rich nutrient profile and numerous health benefits.
Similar to other superfoods like kale, turmeric, acai berries, and blueberries, chia seeds have become an important part of the health food movement. To learn more about incorporating other superfoods into your diet, check out our articles on goji berries, quinoa, and spirulina.
The Nutritional Profile of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are often referred to as a “superfood” due to their impressive nutritional profile. These tiny seeds are packed with nutrients, making them an excellent addition to any diet.
Here are some of the key nutrients found in chia seeds:
- Fiber: Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with just one ounce (28 grams) containing a whopping 11 grams of fiber. This makes up about one-third of the recommended daily intake for adults.
- Protein: Chia seeds are a great source of plant-based protein, with one ounce containing about 4 grams of protein.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Chia seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain health and reducing inflammation in the body.
- Calcium: Chia seeds are a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth.
- Phosphorus: Chia seeds are also high in phosphorus, which is important for bone health and helps the body use carbohydrates and fats for energy.
- Magnesium: Chia seeds are a good source of magnesium, which is important for maintaining healthy nerve and muscle function.
- Potassium: Chia seeds contain potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and supports heart health.
- Zinc: Chia seeds are a good source of zinc, which is important for immune function and wound healing.
It’s important to note that while chia seeds are a great source of nutrients, they should be consumed as part of a balanced diet rather than relied upon as the sole source of these nutrients.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
When it comes to superfoods, it’s hard to beat the tiny but mighty chia seed. These little powerhouses are packed with an impressive array of nutrients and have been shown to offer a host of health benefits. From fighting inflammation to regulating blood sugar levels, chia seeds are truly a nutritional powerhouse. Let’s explore some of the incredible advantages of incorporating chia seeds into your diet.
Chia Seeds are Packed with Antioxidants
Chia seeds are a great source of antioxidants, which are important for maintaining good health. Antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals, which can cause cell damage and lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Here is a table listing some of the antioxidants found in chia seeds and their benefits:
|Quercetin||Reduces inflammation, improves blood flow, and supports heart health.|
|Chlorogenic acid||Helps regulate blood sugar levels and has anti-inflammatory properties.|
|Caffeic acid||Has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.|
|Kaempferol||Reduces inflammation and has anti-cancer properties.|
|Myricetin||Helps protect against oxidative stress and has anti-cancer properties.|
In addition to these antioxidants, chia seeds also contain high levels of vitamin E, which is another powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E helps protect the body from free radicals and supports healthy skin, hair, and nails. Adding chia seeds to your diet is a great way to increase your antioxidant intake and support good health.
Chia Seeds Help Fight Inflammation in the Body
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to the development of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.
Chia seeds have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own and must obtain through diet. Studies have shown that consuming foods high in omega-3s can help reduce inflammation in the body.
Chia seeds are also a good source of fiber, which has been linked to lower levels of inflammation. Fiber helps promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can also have anti-inflammatory effects.
One study found that consuming chia seeds for 12 weeks resulted in a significant decrease in inflammatory markers in the blood. Another study found that chia seeds helped reduce inflammation in overweight and obese individuals.
Incorporating chia seeds into your diet can be an easy way to help combat chronic inflammation in the body. Try adding them to your morning smoothie, yogurt, or oatmeal. You can also use them as a topping for salads or include them in baked goods.
Below is a table summarizing some of the ways in which chia seeds help fight inflammation in the body:
|Ways in Which Chia Seeds Help Fight Inflammation|
|High in omega-3 fatty acids|
|Good source of fiber, which promotes beneficial gut bacteria|
|Shown to decrease inflammatory markers in the blood|
|Helps reduce inflammation in overweight and obese individuals|
Chia Seeds Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
One of the most significant benefits of chia seeds is their ability to regulate blood sugar levels, which can be particularly beneficial for those with diabetes or other blood sugar-related conditions.
Research has shown that chia seeds are a low glycemic index food, meaning they cause a slow and steady release of glucose into the bloodstream, which helps keep blood sugar levels stable. They are also high in fiber, with one ounce of chia seeds providing a whopping 11 grams of fiber. This high fiber content helps slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, further aiding in the regulation of blood sugar levels.
In fact, a study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” found that consuming chia seeds with a meal resulted in lower post-meal blood sugar levels compared to consuming the same meal without chia seeds.
Chia seeds are also a good source of magnesium, which is important for regulating blood sugar levels. In fact, studies have shown that magnesium supplementation may help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce fasting glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Here is a table highlighting the key nutrients in chia seeds:
|Nutrient||Amount per 1 ounce (28 grams)|
|Fat (mostly omega-3)||9 grams|
|Calcium||18% of the RDI|
|Magnesium||30% of the RDI|
|Phosphorus||27% of the RDI|
It is important to note, however, that while chia seeds may help regulate blood sugar levels, they should not be used as a replacement for prescribed medications or medical advice. As with any dietary change or supplement, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating chia seeds into your diet.
Chia Seeds Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
One of the most impressive benefits of chia seeds is their potential to reduce the risk of heart disease. Heart disease is a major cause of death worldwide, and anything that can lower the risk is worth considering.
Chia seeds are packed with heart-healthy nutrients, including fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. These nutrients work together to provide a number of benefits for the heart and cardiovascular system.
A study published in the journal “Nutrition Reviews” found that adding chia seeds to your diet can reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure, both of which are key risk factors for heart disease. Chia seeds can help lower bad cholesterol levels while raising good cholesterol. This is important because high levels of bad cholesterol can lead to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Chia seeds are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. A review of studies published in the “Journal of Nutrition” concluded that consuming ALA can lower the risk of heart disease by up to 30%.
Incorporating chia seeds into your diet is an easy way to improve heart health. They can be added to smoothies, sprinkled on top of salads or yogurt, or even used as an egg substitute in recipes. With their delicious nutty flavor and numerous health benefits, chia seeds are definitely worth adding to your diet.
Below is an html table outlining the heart-healthy nutrients found in chia seeds:
|Heart-Healthy Nutrients Found in Chia Seeds|
|Omega-3 Fatty Acids|
|Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA)|
Chia Seeds Can Help with Weight Loss
One of the most popular benefits of chia seeds is their potential to aid weight loss. Here’s how chia seeds can help:
|Fiber content||Chia seeds are high in fiber, which can help keep you feeling fuller for longer periods, leading to reduced food intake and, as a result, weight loss.|
|Low calorie content||Chia seeds are low in calories, with just around 138 calories per ounce, making them a great addition to a weight-loss diet as they can promote weight loss without adding excessive calories.|
|Reduction in visceral fat||Some studies have shown that consumption of chia seeds led to a reduction in visceral fat, which is the harmful type of fat that surrounds internal organs and can contribute to disease.|
|Regulation of blood sugar levels||Chia seeds can help regulate blood sugar levels, preventing spikes and dips that can lead to unhealthy cravings and subsequent overeating, promoting weight loss and management.|
It’s important to note that while chia seeds can have weight loss benefits, they should not be considered a magic solution. For the best results, they should be incorporated into a healthy, balanced diet and an active lifestyle.
Chia Seeds are a Great Source of Protein and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important nutrients for the human body. One ounce of chia seeds (28 grams) contains:
|Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)||4915 mg|
|Calcium||18% of the Daily Value (DV)|
|Phosphorous||27% of the DV|
|Magnesium||30% of the DV|
|Potassium||2% of the DV|
|Iron||3% of the DV|
|Zinc||2% of the DV|
Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps build and repair muscles, bones, and skin. It also plays a role in keeping the immune system healthy. Chia seeds are a particularly good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, who may struggle to get enough protein from plant-based foods.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fat that the body cannot produce on its own. They are important for brain health, reducing inflammation, and lowering the risk of heart disease. Chia seeds are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Incorporating chia seeds into your diet is an easy way to boost your protein and omega-3 fatty acid intake. They can be added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, and salads, among other dishes. Keep in mind that chia seeds are also high in fiber, so it’s important to drink plenty of water to prevent digestive issues.
How to Incorporate Chia Seeds into Your Diet
Looking to add a nutritious and versatile ingredient to your diet? Chia seeds might be just what you need! These tiny superfoods are packed with antioxidants, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, making them a great choice for anyone looking to improve their health. But how do you incorporate chia seeds into your meals? In this section, we’ll explore six different ways to use chia seeds in your cooking and share some delicious recipe ideas. So grab your apron and let’s get started!
Adding Chia Seeds to Smoothies and Breakfast Bowls
Adding chia seeds to smoothies and breakfast bowls is an easy and delicious way to incorporate this tiny superfood into your diet. Not only do chia seeds add a crunchy texture to your meals, but they also provide a variety of health benefits.
Smoothies: To add chia seeds to your smoothie, simply blend them with your other ingredients. Here’s an example recipe:
|1 banana|1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.|
|1/2 cup frozen berries|
|1 tbsp chia seeds|
|1/2 cup almond milk|
|1 tsp honey (optional)|
Breakfast Bowls: Breakfast bowls are a great way to start your day with a nutritious meal. Adding chia seeds to your breakfast bowl will provide an extra boost of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Here’s a recipe for a chia seed pudding breakfast bowl:
|1/2 cup chia seeds|1. In a bowl, mix together the chia seeds, milk, and honey.|
|2 cups almond milk|2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.|
|1 tbsp honey|3. In the morning, stir the pudding and layer it with your favorite toppings.|
|1 banana, sliced|
|1/4 cup granola|
|1/4 cup fresh berries|
Tips: When adding chia seeds to your meals, it’s important to remember that they absorb liquid and can become gel-like in texture. To prevent this, you can soak the chia seeds in liquid for a few minutes before adding them to your recipe. Additionally, you can sprinkle them on top of your smoothie or breakfast bowl instead of blending them in, for a crunchy texture.
Using Chia Seeds as an Egg Substitute in Recipes
Chia seeds can be a great vegan substitute for eggs in recipes. Eggs are often used in baking to provide structure and texture, but chia seeds can do the same job while also adding some nutritional value. Here are some tips for using chia seeds as an egg substitute:
- Use a 1:1 Ratio: When using chia seeds as an egg substitute, use one tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with three tablespoons of water to replace one egg in a recipe.
- Stir and Wait: Stir the chia seeds and water together in a small bowl and let the mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes until it forms a gel-like consistency.
- Adjust for Texture: Keep in mind that using chia seeds as an egg substitute may result in a slightly different texture in your baked goods. If you’re making something that should be fluffy, like a cake, you may need to adjust the recipe to get the desired texture.
- Experiment with Flavor: Chia seeds themselves don’t have much flavor, so using them as an egg substitute won’t change the flavor of your recipe. However, you can add other ingredients like vanilla extract or cinnamon to enhance the flavor.
- Try Other Egg Substitutes: Chia seeds aren’t the only vegan egg substitute out there. You can also try flax eggs (ground flaxseed mixed with water), banana, applesauce, or silken tofu.
By using chia seeds as an egg substitute, you can make vegan-friendly versions of your favorite baked goods while also boosting their nutritional value with the addition of these tiny superfoods.
Making Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seed pudding has become a popular breakfast or snack option for those looking for a healthy, yet tasty, treat. It’s easy to make with just a few simple ingredients and can be customized to suit your taste preferences.
|1/3 cup of chia seeds||1 cup of unsweetened almond milk|
|1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup||1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract|
|Fresh fruit or berries for topping||Cinnamon or nutmeg for flavor (optional)|
To make chia seed pudding, simply combine the chia seeds, almond milk, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Stir the mixture until the chia seeds are evenly distributed and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, in the refrigerator.
– For a creamier texture, use canned coconut milk instead of almond milk
– Experiment with different sweeteners such as agave nectar or stevia
– Top the pudding with your favorite fruits or berries for added flavor and nutrition
– Add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to customize the flavor
– Make a larger batch and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week for quick and easy breakfast or snack options
With its abundance of nutritional benefits, chia seed pudding is a delicious and healthy way to start your day or satisfy your sweet tooth. Give it a try and see how easy it is to incorporate chia seeds into your diet.
Baking with Chia Seeds
When it comes to baking, Chia Seeds can be quite versatile. They can be used as an egg substitute, a binding agent, or even as a nutrient-dense topping. Here are some ways you can incorporate Chia Seeds into your baking routine:
|Recipe||Chia Seed Usage|
|Chia Seed Banana Bread||Use Chia Seeds as an egg substitute by mixing 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes gel-like. This will replace 1 egg in the recipe.|
|Chia Seed Energy Bars||Add 2-3 tablespoons of Chia Seeds to the mixture to add some crunch and a boost of nutrients.|
|Chia Seed Muffins||Replace some of the flour with ground Chia Seeds for extra fiber and healthy fats. Start with replacing ¼ cup of flour with ¼ cup of ground Chia Seeds.|
It’s important to note that Chia Seeds absorb liquid and can cause baked goods to become dense and heavy if you use too much. It’s best to start with small amounts and adjust as needed. And as with any baking ingredient, make sure to properly store Chia Seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to ensure maximum freshness.
Drinking Chia Fresca
One great way to incorporate chia seeds into your diet is by drinking Chia Fresca. This refreshing drink originated in Mexico and is a blend of chia seeds, water, lime, and sweetener. It’s a simple yet delicious way to reap the benefits of chia seeds.
To make Chia Fresca, you’ll need the following ingredients:
|Chia seeds||2 tablespoons|
|Freshly squeezed lime juice||1-2 tablespoons|
|Agave nectar or honey||1-2 tablespoons (or to taste)|
- In a glass or jar, add chia seeds and water. Stir well to combine and let sit for 10-15 minutes until the chia seeds have absorbed the water and formed a gel-like consistency.
- Add lime juice and sweetener to the chia seed mixture and stir well.
- Enjoy your Chia Fresca and all of its health benefits!
Chia Fresca is a perfect low-calorie and hydrating drink for hot summer days with just a hint of sweetness from the agave nectar or honey. The chia seeds in this drink provide a great source of fiber and omega-3s which will promote satiety, keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
Adjust the sweetness and lime juice content to your preference, and experiment with other flavor combinations. You can also add fresh fruits like strawberries, kiwi, or blueberries to add an extra pop of color and flavor. Chia Fresca is a fun and easy way to spruce up boring water and incorporate chia seeds into your diet.
Chia Seeds as a Salad Topper
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to incorporate chia seeds into your diet, sprinkling them on top of your salads is a delicious and nutritious option. Here are some tips for using chia seeds as a salad topper:
|1.||Start with a bed of greens.|
|2.||Add other veggies and toppings, such as cucumbers, carrots, and cherry tomatoes.|
|3.||Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds on top of the salad for added nutrition and texture.|
|4.||You can also mix chia seeds into your salad dressing for an extra boost of health benefits.|
|5.||Be sure to thoroughly mix the chia seeds in with the salad right before eating, as they can become gelatinous when exposed to liquid.|
Using chia seeds as a salad topper is a great way to add some crunch to your meal, while also boosting its nutritional value. Chia seeds are high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a great addition to any salad. Just be sure to mix them in right before eating to avoid any texture issues.
Side Effects and Precautions
While chia seeds have many health benefits, it’s important to note that they may not be suitable for everyone. It’s crucial to understand the potential side effects and precautions associated with consuming chia seeds, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medication. In this section, we’ll explore some of the possible risks and complications that come with chia seed consumption.
Chia Seeds Can Cause Digestive Issues in Some People
While Chia seeds are generally considered safe for consumption, it’s important to note that they can cause digestive issues in some people. These issues may include bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort. The following table lists some potential factors that can cause digestive problems when consuming chia seeds:
|Fiber Content||Chia seeds are high in fiber, which can be difficult for some people to digest.|
|Hydration||Chia seeds absorb liquid, so consuming them without enough water can lead to constipation and blockages.|
|Quantity||Consuming large amounts of chia seeds at once can overload the digestive system and cause discomfort.|
|Pre-Existing Digestive Issues||People with pre-existing digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), may be more sensitive to the fiber content in chia seeds.|
If you’re new to consuming chia seeds, it’s recommended to start with small quantities and gradually increase your intake over time. Additionally, make sure to drink plenty of water to ensure the seeds are properly hydrated and easier to digest. It’s also important to speak with your healthcare provider if you have any pre-existing digestive issues, as they may recommend avoiding or limiting your intake of chia seeds.
Chia Seeds Can Interact with Certain Medications
It is important to note that chia seeds can interact with certain medications. Here are a few medications and conditions to be aware of:
- Blood thinners: Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health, but can also act as a natural blood thinner. If you are taking blood thinners such as warfarin or aspirin, you should be cautious when increasing your intake of chia seeds, as it can lead to excessive bleeding.
- Blood pressure medications: Chia seeds are also high in potassium, which can be beneficial for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. However, if you are taking medications for high blood pressure, such as ACE inhibitors or beta-blockers, you should speak with your doctor before adding chia seeds to your diet.
- Diabetes medications: Chia seeds have been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for those with diabetes. However, if you are taking medications to manage your blood sugar levels, such as insulin or metformin, you should monitor your blood sugar levels closely and speak with your doctor before increasing your intake of chia seeds.
It is always important to speak with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet, especially if you are taking medications or have any underlying health conditions. By being aware of potential interactions, you can safely incorporate chia seeds into your diet and reap their many health benefits.
Chia Seeds Can Cause Allergic Reactions in Some People
While chia seeds are generally considered safe for consumption, it’s important to note that they can cause allergic reactions in some people. Allergies to chia seeds are relatively rare, but they can still occur. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild to severe, and can include skin rashes, hives, swelling of the tongue or throat, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis.
If you’re allergic to chia seeds, consuming them can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of an allergic reaction and to seek medical attention if you experience any of them after consuming chia seeds.
It’s also worth noting that if you are allergic to other seeds or nuts, you may be more likely to have an allergic reaction to chia seeds. If you have a history of food allergies or any family history of allergies, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before adding chia seeds to your diet.
If you suspect that you may be allergic to chia seeds, it’s best to avoid consuming them altogether. There are plenty of other nutritious foods you can eat instead, such as flaxseeds or hemp seeds. If you do choose to consume chia seeds and experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, it’s important to stop eating them immediately and seek medical attention.
After diving into the world of chia seeds and learning about their rich history, impressive nutritional profile, and abundance of health benefits, it’s clear that this tiny superfood packs a serious punch. With their high concentration of antioxidants, ability to combat inflammation, and potential to reduce the risk of heart disease, chia seeds are an excellent addition to any diet. Additionally, chia seeds are a great choice for those looking to boost their protein intake and incorporate more omega-3 fatty acids into their meals.
While there are many ways to enjoy chia seeds, it’s important to remember that they can cause digestive issues in some individuals, interact with certain medications, and trigger allergic reactions in others. As with any new addition to your diet, it’s recommended to start small and gradually incorporate chia seeds while paying attention to any potential side effects.
Overall, chia seeds are a versatile and nutrient-dense ingredient that can be easily incorporated into a range of dishes. Whether you choose to mix them into a smoothie, make a chia seed pudding, or sprinkle them on top of a salad, the benefits of this superfood make it well worth incorporating into your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can chia seeds be eaten raw?
Yes, chia seeds can be eaten raw. However, soaking them in liquid can make them more palatable and easier to digest.
How much chia seeds should I consume in a day?
A recommended serving size is 1-2 tablespoons per day. It is important to remember that chia seeds are high in fiber, so too much too soon can cause digestive issues.
Can chia seeds be used in baking?
Yes, chia seeds are a great addition to baked goods. They can be used as an egg substitute, added to bread or muffin batter, or sprinkled on top of cookies.
What is the best way to store chia seeds?
Chia seeds should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. They can last up to two years.
Are chia seeds safe for children to consume?
Yes, chia seeds are safe for children to consume in moderation. It is recommended to start with a small amount and gradually increase the serving size.
Can chia seeds help with constipation?
Yes, chia seeds are high in fiber which can help regulate bowel movements and relieve constipation.
Can chia seeds help with skin health?
Yes, chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which can improve skin health and reduce inflammation.
Can chia seeds be added to drinks?
Yes, chia seeds can be added to drinks such as smoothies, juices, and water. They can absorb liquid and create a gel-like consistency.
Are chia seeds gluten-free?
Yes, chia seeds are gluten-free and can be a great alternative for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
Can chia seeds be used as a substitute for oil in recipes?
Yes, chia seeds can be used as a substitute for oil in recipes. Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water to replace 1 tablespoon of oil.