I’m about to expose a secret to you that most big food companies don’t want you to know—you can eat super healthy meals without sacrificing flavor. In fact, you can even make healthy desserts that are low-cal, low on the glycemic index, and full of nutrients. How? With a little research, time, and patience, you can find helpful recipes like this chia seed parfait to add to your healthy diet plan. This one comes with the seal of approval of both dieticians and healthcare practitioners as a safe and super delicious dessert that may even fight inflammation. Don’t believe us? Let’s closely examine the list of ingredients so you can see just how serious we are. Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet is a great way of keeping your body and your NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response system healthy and working at an optimal level.
Chia Seed Parfait Ingredients List
This recipe contains four superfoods filled with a variety of nutrients. To make the healthiest version of this chia seed parfait recipe, you’ll want to ensure all the ingredients come from an organic source. Why choose organic products? You’ll eliminate all the pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, preservatives, and other toxins your body doesn’t need and can’t process. Organic foods may cost a few cents more, but your body will thank you—they are well worth it.
Chia Seeds are the New Anti-Inflammatory Superfood
They may be small in size, but chia seeds pack a big punch, especially if you’re constantly fighting inflammation. Chia seeds have been recognized as one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet—even our ancestors knew it! As part of the human diet, chia seeds date back to the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations.
Chia seeds are considered the number one plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acid and contain a multitude of other nutrients. They can also act as a prebiotic when properly prepared—great for healing your gut and promoting a healthy gut microbiome. The key to activating chia seeds into a powerful prebiotic is to simply soak them in water for a few hours!
On top of being an excellent prebiotic, chia seeds are also packed with plenty of nutrients. One ounce of chia seeds contains
- 131 calories
- 8.4 grams of fat
- 13.07 grams of carbohydrate
- 11.2 grams of fiber
- 5.6 grams of protein
- 18% of your daily recommended calcium intake
- 27% of your recommended phosphorus intake
- 30% of your recommended manganese intake
- Traces of potassium and copper
- A great source of antioxidants
Benefits of Vanilla Beyond its Delicious Flavor
Not only does vanilla taste great, it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is a mental health booster. It’s low in calories, and has a huge number of health benefits:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Reduces fever
- Stabilizes cholesterol levels
- May reduce anxiety and depression
Vanilla also has a large concentration of manganese, an important mineral that combats inflammation at its core.
Milk and its Alternatives
The recipe calls for “milk,” but there are currently many non-dairy options that fall under this category. If you’re choosing to avoid dairy, just go with an alternative milk source. Or if you have an intolerance or allergy to dairy milk, there is an array of healthy and safe alternatives to choose from.
- Milk is rich in calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, riboflavin (B2), and niacin.
- Almond milk is the most popular plant-based milk drink in the US. It is low-calorie and rich in several vitamins and minerals however, it doesn’t have nutrients like vitamin D, protein, and calcium.
- Other non-dairy milk products that are an excellent substitute to use in this chia seed parfait recipe are hemp milk, coconut milk, soy milk, oat milk, and rice milk. Each have their own unique taste and blend of nutrients
The benefits of mangos—labeled as a “super” fruit—are quite impressive! Some of the top health benefits include reducing cancer and heart disease, enhancing vision, improving skin, bone, and brain health, anti-aging, aiding in alkalizing your body, helping you maintain a good heart, and supporting your digestive system.
One cup of mango includes
- 100% of your recommended daily vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
- Traces of zinc and sodium
Your Sweetener Doesn’t Have to Poison You
We’ve all heard how toxic sugar is for our bodies. So, make the wise choice when selecting a sweetener. There are a number of sugar alternatives that not only taste great but have some nutritional benefits as well! Two favorites are
- Honey. So nutritious, it’s actually considered medicinal. Honey may be low in nutrient content, but it’s high in bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. It can even lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Stevia. This zero-calorie sweetener is 200 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar. It’s great for diabetics, weight control and with its high antioxidant content, it has even been linked to fighting certain forms of cancer. The latest research studies have suggested replacing antibiotics with stevia for treating Lyme disease. Research is still ongoing, but this is definitely one sweetener you’ll want to consider adding to your chia seed parfait
Mango Chia Seed Parfait Recipe
So now let’s combine all that goodness into a single parfait—simple ingredients for a super treat!
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp sweetener (of your choice)
- A pinch of salt
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 2 ½ cups milk or alternative of your choice
- 1 tsp sweetener (of your choice)
- ½ cup milk or alternative of your choice or water
- 2 cups frozen mango chunks
- Fresh berries
- Sprig of fresh mint
- In a medium bowl, mix Ingredients A and let them sit for approximately 10 minutes, then mix again. Cover the mixture and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- Puree ingredients B until you get a smooth consistency.
- Scoop the chilled chia seed pudding into dessert glasses and top with the delicious and nutritious mango puree.
- Garnish with berries and a sprig of mint.
The chia seed parfait will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Why Do We Love this Chia Seed Parfait Recipe?
Chia seed parfait is nutrient-dense, and most importantly, offers your body numerous benefits by fighting inflammation—the leading cause of many chronic illnesses including Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). Your diet is one of the key tools you can use to heal your body from Adrenal Fatigue. Recipes like this chia seed parfait can make the road to recovery more fun and enjoyable.
Inflammation is at the core of most chronic illnesses and increases your risk of developing a variety of diseases. Moreover, inflammation is responsible for many forms of mental instability. There is a direct correlation between Adrenal Fatigue and inflammation, as inflammation plays a major role in all the symptoms of AFS including brain fog, anxiety, depression, bloating, low blood sugar levels, and aches and pains.
Many inflammatory diseases are gastrointestinal in nature—start in the gut. Your intestines are permeable and allow substances to pass into your bloodstream, however, sometimes unwanted substances can pass through your gut and trigger an immune response, leading to inflammation, allergies, and disease. Toxins may even make their way to your brain causing neurological disorders such as depression.
Your body’s NEM stress response system contains several circuits that are inter-connected, therefore digestive issues can affect your entire body making it difficult for your body to source the nutrients it requires to stay healthy and operate efficiently.
Adding anti-inflammatory foods into your diet including this chia seed parfait can help your body heal from Adrenal Fatigue and other chronic illnesses.
If you suffer from Adrenal Fatigue, always be cautious when introducing new foods or recipes into your diet. Heightened sensitivities to foods and environmental pollutants is common with AFS and foods that once weren’t bothersome, could potentially place severe stress on your body.
Although extremely rare, if you are sensitive to oregano, mustard, thyme, or sesame seeds, you may also react to chia seeds.
If you take blood thinners or heart medication, make sure to speak to your primary physician before eating chia seeds.
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
Is this chia seed parfait suitable for the Adrenal Fatigue diet?
Yes, the chia seed parfait is a great addition to the Adrenal Fatigue diet. It’s filled with ingredients that help reduce inflammation, control weight, and improve anxiety and depression, among other benefits. It not only tastes great, but is a dessert that provides many nutrients, proteins, and antioxidants.