I truly believe in food medicine. I don’t believe it replaces the very ground-breaking, life-saving technologies that we have thanks to modern medicine. But I do think that nourishing our bodies with foods that make us feel great can go a long way towards making sure we live fulfilling, healthy lives—and it makes it a lot easier for those modern medicine technologies to do their job.
So is this chia seed drink a magic cure-all that is going to make you run marathons until you’re 120 years old? Nope, probably not. In fact, we’d rather you drink this chia water because it brings you joy, not out of any particular health obligation. But I will tell you that I’ve personally felt the benefits of this glorious food medicine in my own body. Not only do I love the taste of this tangy chia seed drink, but I also love how my body thanks me for taking the time to sip on something so nourishing. My skin glows, my digestive issues are better, and it’s a way to kick-off the day with a victory for self-care! Let me show you how I make my favorite chia drink.
What’s in this drink?
Here’s what you’ll need to get going on this chia seed drink:
- Apple Cider Vinegar: You’re looking for raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. I use Bragg’s because it’s readily available—they sell it at my regular grocery store in the salad dressing/vinegar aisle. You want to avoid using the regular apple cider vinegar that has been filtered and pasteurized (the clear stuff). The healthy enzymes and bacteria from fermentation are good for you, and filtering and pasteurizing the vinegar removes those.
- Lemons: I choose to use organic lemons, because I figure that if I’m drinking something for my health, avoiding as many pesticides as possible is a good idea. I use half of a lemon in the morning in my elixir, and then I usually squeeze the other half over a salad at lunch.
- Chia Seeds: One of the great things about chia seeds being so popular—you can get them almost anywhere now! You want whole chia seeds, and either white or black will work.
- Water: If you’re really anti-added chemicals, you’ll want to use purified or filtered water. I personally filter my water using a Berkey. There are lots of different articles out there about the temperature of water you should drink, and it seems there are advantages and disadvantages to just about every temp range. I personally use warm water, because I’m almost always chilled when I get out of my warm bed and head to the cold kitchen!
Why should I make this chia seed drink?
If nothing else, taking a moment to make yourself a cup of something nourishing in the mornings is a great self care habit to get into! And don’t we all need a little extra self care nowadays? Beyond that, there are so many health benefits of chia seeds and the other ingredients, including:
- Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids (particularly ALAs, or alpha-linolenic acid) and antioxidants.
- It may improve your digestion, serving to both lower heartburn and ease bowel movements.
- Rehydrating after a long night’s sleep is a great morning habit to get into. Sure, you can do it with a regular glass of water, but this is a nice way to add some variety.
- Chia seeds are a good source of magnesium, calcium, manganese, soluble fiber, and phosphorus.
- It can kickstart your metabolism and jumpstart your system after an evening of rest.
- It will get you glowing. The hydrating power of the water combined with the natural antiseptic properties of lemon will leave you with healthier skin, hair, and nails.
Okay, so how do I make it?
It honestly doesn’t get much easier than this chia seed drink. Just stir everything together, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Those few minutes will give the chia seeds time to form a gel. Drink up!
Can I sweeten this chia seed drink?
This is definitely an acquired taste. If you often drink kombucha, you probably won’t mind the tart flavor of the drink, but if you don’t, it might take some getting used to. I often add raw honey to mine, but a small amount of maple syrup would also work. My healthcare professional recommended this to help with chronic constipation, and not only does it work, but it makes the drink a SUPER delicious way to start the day.
How often should I drink it?
Everything in this drink is generally considered safe to drink daily in typical food dosages, but if you are planning on consuming large amounts or are on any medications, it doesn’t hurt to check with a healthcare professional.
Now I have a big bag of chia seeds in my kitchen—how long will they last?
We recommend keeping your chia seeds in the refrigerator in an airtight container, where they will last up to 3-4 years. If they start to taste bitter, they have probably started to break down—they are likely still safe to eat, but you won’t get the same health benefits out of them.
How else can I use these chia seeds?
There are so many great uses for chia seeds:
- As an egg replacement. If you’re baking and are out of eggs or are looking to make something vegan or egg-free, you can use a chia egg as a substitute. For each egg, just mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water, and let sit on the counter for 5 minutes to gel up before using.
- In warm lemon water. I typically drink this chia seed drink in the summer, and switch to the hot lemon water version in the winter.
- As a smoothie booster. Add some omega-3s to any smoothie by adding some chia seeds. As a bonus, they will help thicken up your smoothies!
- In overnight oats. I always include chia seeds in my overnight oats, because they make the end result so much creamier and thicker!
- Make chia seed pudding. Chia seeds can make a thick and creamy chia pudding that is perfect for snack time or dessert.
- In strawberry rhubarb pie squares. These squares are essentially my favorite spring pie in the form of bars, and they use chia seeds in both the crust and the filling!