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The One Ingredient Everyone's Adding To Their Overnight Oats

It's a simple way to boost the nutritional value of your bowl!

Overnight oats are by far one of the easiest healthy breakfasts you can throw together. When you consider all of the health benefits of eating overnight oats, how could you ever say no to a bowl of this oatmeal goodness? Plus, with so many different flavor combinations and toppings you can choose from, the breakfast possibilities are truly endless. But what would be considered the most popular ingredient everyone's adding to their overnight oats right now? While adding protein powder sure is a popular add-in, we would have to say chia seeds are the one ingredient we are seeing in overnight oat recipes everywhere.

Here's why people love throwing chia seeds in overnight oats, and for even more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Chia seeds add texture.

If you've ever had a chia seed pudding, you know that chia seeds create a pudding-like texture when combined with a liquid, like almond milk. That's because the seed absorbs the water—up to 27 times its weight! Hence why chia seeds can often be used as a replacement for pectin in foods like homemade jam.

Overnight oats already have a creamy texture because the oats soak in milk overnight. However, by adding in chia seeds, your oatmeal will not only be creamy but also a thicker texture akin to pudding.

Chia seeds give your oatmeal a healthy boost.

If the creamy, thick texture isn't enough to get you to try this popular overnight oats ingredient, maybe the health benefits of these little seeds will instead.

First, chia seeds are full of omega-3's. Typically found in fish products, omega-3s help to decrease inflammation in the body and lower your blood sugar levels. This is an easy plant-based source of omega-3s if you don't eat fish.

Next, chia seeds are loaded with fiber. Chia seeds have 10 grams of fiber per ounce, which estimates to about 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. Fiber is important for your diet because helps to slow down digestion, keeps you feeling full, and it's great for your gut health.

Because of the fiber—and the other nutrients in chia seeds—you'll likely get a boost in energy after consuming them.

How many chia seeds should you add?

Although chia seeds are small, they are mighty in terms of their fiber content. If you consume too many at once, you will likely experience gas and bloating discomfort. So it's important to always portion out your chia seeds—especially in overnight oats.

We would say adding one teaspoon of chia seeds per 1/2 cup of oats make sense in an overnight oat recipe. This is certainly enough chia seeds to give you those health benefits and that texture you love—without leaving you feeling too gassy or bloated.

If you're ready to try it yourself, here's a Peanut Butter Overnight Oats recipe that uses chia seeds. Or try chia seeds in one of these delicious 51 Healthy Overnight Oats Recipes!

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten