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Remember those commercials chiming “ch-ch-ch-chia”? Those very same chia seeds used to grow “hair” on a terra cotta dog are useful for much more than home décor. Chia seeds are nutritional powerhouses and may be the perfect food for people looking to save animals and kick their health into overdrive!

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Chia seeds contain more omega-3 fatty acids per ounce than salmon flesh does (as if we needed another reason to leave fish alone) and they’re packed with antioxidants, which can protect your cells from damaging free radicals. They also contain five times more calcium than milk. If you’re still not convinced, they’re loaded with fiber: Just 2 tablespoons contain more than 30 percent of your daily intake. They’re called a superfood for a reason!

Here are some simple vegan recipes that can help you add more chia magic to your diet:

1. Chia Seed Pudding

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It takes just five simple ingredients to create this delectable dessert, most of which you probably already have in your pantry.

2. Quick and Easy Falafel Salad

Photo credit: Vegan Insanity
Photo credit: Vegan Insanity

This gorgeous falafel salad, courtesy of Vegan Insanity, features a power trio of chia, flax and sesame seeds. If you’re not in the mood for salad, you can always pair the falafel balls with pita bread and hummus or tahini sauce. You really can’t lose with this Mediterranean treat.

3. Vegan Overnight Oats

Photo credit: Oh She Glows
Photo credit: Oh She Glows

Overnight oats are the best—they take just a few minutes of preparation and then the oatmeal makes itself while you’re catching your z’s. This recipe from Oh She Glows includes oats, mashed banana, cinnamon, almond milk, vanilla extract and our star ingredient, chia seeds.

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