I love this simple, yummy Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding recipe because it covers many nutrition needs all in one!
Chia seeds are a fantastic source of fiber which is needed to keep the gut healthy and inflammation down. Fiber is especially important to keep your bowel movements regular.
During pregnancy, constipation isn’t uncommon. This is because of several reasons.
- The increase in progesterone slows the movement of food through the digestive tract
- The uterus physically obstructs the colon as the pregnancy progresses
- Decreased activity
- Decreased levels of motilin which is a hormone that promotes intestinal motility (movement)
- Increased water and electrolyte reabsorption by the colon
- Intake of iron and calcium supplements
One of the things to focus on to reduce constipation is fiber intake. Aim to have 28g or more daily. It’s important to remember when fiber intake increases, so should fluids, so don’t forget to drink lots of water!
It’s not just the fiber that makes chia seeds good for the gut. Chia seeds also form a mucilage gel when soaked in liquid. Mucilage is a soluble fiber that has a prebiotic effect on gut bacteria meaning it acts as food for the good gut bacteria. Mucilage can also help soothe the lining of your digestive system and stimulate your gut to produce more of its own mucus (which is beneficial to maintain the integrity of the gut lining and keep inflammation at bay).
Chia seeds are also high in the plant omega 3 fatty acids, ALA, as well as calcium and manganese. ALA is an antioxidant which is particularly important preconception. ALA has even been shown to be beneficial to sperm quality including sperm count, vitality, motility, shape, size, and decreased DNA damage. Learn more about fertility nutrition and preparing for pregnancy, here.
The other ingredients in this recipe also pack a punch.
Cocoa powder is an excellent antioxidant source as well as a good source of fiber, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
Milk, especially from grass fed cows is high in vitamin A, iodine, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and selenium.
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder unsweetened
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Stir all ingredients together in a 2 cup container or mason jar.
- Let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Stir once again before serving.
- Top with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, or cacao nibs before eating for a crunch.