One of the many reasons I love chia pudding is that it is a great source of Omega-3 fats. Unfortunately, the typical North American diet contains a much higher ratio of Omega-6 fats than is optimal for hormone balance and brain health.
Recipes like chia pudding can help you to replace some of your Omega-6 fats with Omega-3 fats. Chia seeds are a wonderfully versatile source of Omega-3 fats.
Some other rich sources of Omega-3s include:
🐂Grass-fed animal products (meats, milk, butter, yogurt, cheese)
3 Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- ALA (alpha linolenic acid) is a plant fat. It is found in flax seed, hemp seed, chia seed, and walnuts.
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are animal fats. They are found in salmon, tuna, trout, cod, and oysters.
4 Ways Omega-3 Fats Support Healthy Hormones
- Reduce Inflammation: Omega 3 fatty acids are well known for their ability to reduce inflammation. This is good for joints, skin clarity, and cardiovascular health. But the anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3s contribute to hormone balance as well. Reducing Inflammation can help balance estrogen production. Omega 3s can also reduce the inflammatory effects of imbalanced hormones.
- Balance Estrogens: Excellent omega 3 intake supports an optimal estrogen ratio. This helps to reduce cellular stress and breast cancer risk. ALA, found in plants like chia seeds, is especially useful for this purpose. The lignans in ALA can block estrogen receptors from using the stronger, more harmful estrogens. About 75% of the fats in chia seeds consist of ALA.
- Lower Testosterone: Too much testosterone can cause many problems for women. A healthy intake of Omega 3 fats can improve menstrual regularity, reduce PMS symptoms, and lower testosterone in women with PCOS.
- Improve Serotonin Effectiveness: Hormonal changes during the second half of your menstrual cycle can cause your serotonin levels to drop. This can leave you feeling moody and dealing with cravings. You can improve your serotonin levels with Omega-3 fats. EPA increases the release of serotonin while DHA increases the sensitivity of serotonin receptors. This combination improves serotonin effectiveness, helping overall mood and hormone balance.
Chia pudding is one tasty way to increase your Omega-3 intake, especially of ALA. Check out the recipe below for a delicious and highly nutritious recipe. Once you get the hang of it, you can have fun experimenting with different fruits, flavours, and toppings!
Raspberry Protein Chia Pudding
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 1/2 cups raspberries divided
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- In a large bowl, combine the chia seeds with the almond milk and the protein powder. Whisk well, making sure all the seeds are incorporated. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to thicken.
- In a small bowl, mash half the raspberries with a fork.
- Top the chia pudding with the mashed raspberries, remaining raspberries and coconut flakes. Serve and enjoy!