Many foods we call superfoods today, typically foods that originated from other parts of the world besides the United States, are making a comeback—and in a big way when it comes to how they can enhance and support our health. Some of these “superfoods” have been known for years, such as chia seeds and kefir, as just two examples that we’re hearing about more and more. The two foods aren’t new trendy foods, though; they go back for centuries throughout their respective cultures for how they supported health then and how they still hold a place today in how they support health and vibrance. The Aztecs ate chia seeds in Latin America for sustenance, growth, protein, good gut health (fiber!), and overall health and vitality. Kefir, which originated from the Caucasus Mountains, was first eaten as a way to one, preserve food, and two, sustain and promote good gut health, optimal immunity, and more. Chia seeds and kefir are just two foods that have been eaten for many years before any of us came to this earth, and they’re being praised again today for the superfoods they are.
The Value of Chia Seeds and Kefir for Optimal Gut Health, Immunity, and More
The New York Times recently shared a fantastic article on how chia seeds are the “it” ingredient to use in everything these days and inspired us to take a look once more at their health benefits and history and then posed the provoking question of whether they’re really worth the hype they’re being given (hint: they are!). They even share the viral “internal shower trend” going viral on TikTok for how people are using chia seeds as a health tonic for good gut health. We’ve seen people doing this with kefir as well for good gut health, so we wanted to take a moment to give a nod to the benefits of ancient health foods by sharing some of our favorite chia seed and kefir recipes with you on how you can combine them for amazing gut health, immunity, sustenance, and more. We also wanted to share more about the historical beverage we know and love: kefir, since many people know it for its probiotic content, but don’t really know much more about it. Don’t worry, we’ll make it easy and keep it simple!
How Chia Seeds and Kefir Support Gut Health and Immunity
Chia seeds are one of the most overlooked sources of fiber to include in our diets, not to mention all their other benefits. First, they’re plant-based, and plants are natural sources of fiber, which is prebiotic in the gut that feeds good bacteria (a.k.a. probiotics). Chia seeds contain a whopping 9 grams of fiber per 3 tbsp. Yes, that’s right, you heard us: 9 grams. That’s triple the content of a serving of oatmeal, four times the amount in a serving of broccoli, and even more than a cup of bran cereal. We’re not saying one shouldn’t eat those foods, we’re just putting things into perspective for how powerful chia seeds are. These tiny seeds are even loaded with omega-3’s, the type of healthy fats commonly known as healthy fats from fish. Chia seeds also contain protein and although not a huge amount, a serving is equal to that of an egg, and better yet, chia seeds are a source of complete protein, meaing they contain all the essential amino acids our bodies can’t make on their own. Further more, chia seeds are high in magnesium, zinc, iron, and other important vitamins and minearls, such as potassium and some B vitamins.
Kefir, on the other hand, is a probiotic beverage made from live and active cultures, so it has all the good gut bugs that support gut health, immunity, a healthy mood, and more. Kefir is so high in live probiotics and live enzymes, in fact, that there is nearly no lactose left in the milk once the probiotics “eat up” all the lactose as food for growth during kefir’s preparation and culturing process. Kefir is also anti-inflammatory like chia seeds. It’s a complete source of protein, easy to digest (for most people), and easy to incorporate into nearly any dish (check out all our recipes here!). Kefir contains 25-30 billion live and active cultures from 12 different types of probiotic species. Did you know that’s 5 times the amount of live and active cultures found in even some of the most probiotic-rich yogurts? Kefir is also a source of potassium, some B vitamins, including vitamin B 12, vitamin D, and more. It’s a phenomenal superfood worth incorporating into your day if you can.
Check out some of our favorite recipes we’ve made with chia seeds and kefir in these recipes below. Pick a favorite, head to the supermarket to pick up some chia seeds and kefir, and get into the kitchen for better gut health, a healthier mood, and more!
1. Berry Chia Pudding Cup
This Berry Chia Pudding Cup is a dream to look at and eat too! Made with fiber-rich berries, a favorite here at Lifeway, chia seeds, kefir, and maple syrup (or your favorite sweetener), it comes together in no time and is super easy to grab and go!
2. Chocolate Cherry Chia Pudding
It looks like dessert and is worthy of it too! But we turned this dessert into a better-for-you option by using the superfoods cherries, blackberries, chocolate, chia seeds, and kefir. Check out the recipe here.
3. Apricot and Poppyseed Overnight Oats
Apricots are also good for gut health and contain prebiotic fiber; they’re even a good source of potassium and beta-carotene (vitamin A) plus other nutrients we need. Check out this recipe made with the lovely orange-hued fruit, plus chia seeds, vanilla kefir, and one of our other favorite superfoods: oats!
4. Pumpkin Chia Pudding
Are you ready for fall and all things pumpkin? We love the superfood pumpkin too (yes, it’s a superfood!), so we created this Pumpkin Chia Pudding which is simple to make but loaded with nutrition, prebiotics, and probiotics thanks to chia seeds, pumpkin, kefir, and more.
5. Blueberry Chia Bowl
You can eat this Blueberry Chia Bowl as an alternative to cereal (if you want) or just as a snack, plus, as we recently mentioned, blueberries are a true superfood for gut health and more. Made with the amazing blue-hued fruit, chia seeds, kefir, and maple syrup (a natural source of antioxidants), it contains valuable nutrients for optimal health and is simple to prepare.
6. Vanilla Rose Chia Pudding
Don’t let the rose part of this recipe intimidate you to try it; you can use that ingredient or even substitute it with something else, like lavender, ginger, plum, or whatever else you want. Rose is a natural anti-inflammatory agent good for skin health as well as relaxation, and chia seeds and kefir’s good gut health nutrients also support good mood health and gut health. Check out this easy-to-prepare recipe here.
7. Mixed Berry Parfait
This Mixed Berry Parfait makes the perfect breakfast no matter the season. You can use fresh or frozen berries, and then all you need are chia seeds, kefir, and a few other ingredients. Make this recipe today and try it for breakfast tomorrow! We even shared how you can use our Lifeway Oat in this recipe if you don’t tolerate dairy found in our kefir for (some) of the same similar health benefits.
8. Golden Chia Pudding
This recipe features two spices that we love and that are two other superfoods you probably have in your pantry: cinnamon and turmeric. Whipped up into a golden-hued pudding, it’s topped with a coconut whipped “cream” and made with our lovely organic Whole Milk Kefir. check out this recipe here, add your favorite toppings, and spoon your way to excellent gut health!
9. Avocado Kefir Chia Pudding
This recipe features the amazing avocado, also a great source of fiber, potassium, B vitamins, and more. Avocadoes make any recipe creamier, so this recipe is perfect as a pudding featuring kefir, avocado, chia seeds, and more. Check it out.
10. Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding
And finally, sharing our seasonal flavor, Pumpkin Spice, we have our Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding (you can use our plain or vanilla flavored kefir if it’s out of season for this recipe and you just love pumpkin, though!). Make this as a dessert with friends; they’ll never know they’re eating something healthy, we promise!
Got more questions about kefir? Check out our FAQ page here where we answer the most popular questions we get about kefir, our other products, our company, practices, and our efforts. You can also learn more about kefir here as well! Want to find out where to locate it near you? Check out our product locator page here, type in your zip code, and we’ll help!