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Chia Seeds for Weight Loss

How Does Chia Seeds Help in Weight Loss?

Chia Seeds for Weight Loss

It is during the past 10 years or so that the chia seeds have come into the spotlight. Chia seeds are the edible seeds of Salvia hispanica species of a flowering plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae) native to central and southern Mexico. It can also be related to the Salvia columbariae of the southwestern United States and Mexico. Chia seeds are oval and grey with black and white spots, having a diameter of around 2 millimetres (0.08 in). The seeds are hygroscopic and absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid when soaked and develop a mucilaginous coating that gives chia-based foods and beverages a unique gel-like texture.

Early evidence suggests that the crop was widely cultivated by the Aztecs in pre-Columbian times and was a staple food for Mesoamerican cultures. "Chia" means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. Chia seeds are cultivated on a small scale in their ancestral homeland of central Mexico and Guatemala and commercially throughout Central and South America. 

Chia Seeds Benefits

The chia seed is a powerhouse full of essential nutrients. This seed is a concentrated food source containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. This is why it was consumed as energy boosters as mentioned earlier. These are basically unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (different from flaxseeds). One ounce contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals. Amazing isn’t it? Maybe just not yet. Sit back and keep reading.

So, how does chia help in weight loss? Here’s the answer to your question. According to numerous public reports, drinking the super-seed steeped in H2O may be the key to preventing overeating and ultimately help with weight loss. But, is that it? We don’t think that’s the sole reason behind losing weight.

Setting aside the claims to explain that they increase feelings of fullness. Chia is filled with fiber, protein, good fats, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and antioxidants. A high-fibre diet has been linked to weight loss. Eating a fibre-rich diet is one of the simplest ways to lose weight. Hence, drinking chia seed water in the morning can give a boost to your digestion and improve bowel movement. This means the effect on the absorption of nutrients on other foods is increased. Whatever little food you take, its absorption will be amplified. This also depends on what food you consume. 

Consuming low-fat foods will definitely help in weight loss. If you consume fatty foods thinking that chia is now in your diet, you are making a huge mistake. Chia only helps if you have a proper diet plan focusing on weight loss, make sure to formulate one and also exercise regularly. Chia keeps you energetic due to its absorption amplifying capability. If you have fat food that fat will be absorbed too. Chia seeds can only prevent hunger because they take a longer time to digest. This is due to the thick gel-like consistency when mixed with water. Therefore, drinking a glass of chia seed water a day isn’t going to undo the damage of poor dietary choices or a caloric surplus. 

Chia can also be great for your protein intake, heart health, bone health, blood sugar control, digestion, weight loss, and inflammation. This tiny superfood packs in more nutrition than you think. They are packed with omega-3 fatty acids (from alpha-lipoic acids or ALAs, the plant-based form of the fatty acids), antioxidants, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. 

In April 2016 in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, it was suggested that chia seeds contain antioxidants that may be protective to the liver and the heart, and may help extend longevity and help keep cancer at bay. Researchers also pointed out that as an ample source of fiber, they can aid in digestion and help manage health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression.

How to Use Chia Seeds for Weight Loss?

Consumption of these seeds is mostly up to your creativity. Just observe the flavour and use it as you like. We suggest experimenting with numerous dishes. Maybe you’ll end up creating a “chia” masterpiece recipe.

As soon as you taste the seeds you’ll feel that these are flavourless and tasteless, but try it again and observe better. You’ll know that it has a mild, nutty flavour which makes it easy to add to foods and beverages and make it delicious and improved. They are commonly sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt or mixed into drinks, baked goods, oats, desserts, sandwiches, sweet potatoes, muffins, homemade bread, salad dressing or you can even make chia pancakes. Sprinkling chia seeds on top of rice dishes, assorted vegetables or simply eggs can have beneficial effects on the dishes nutritional value.

They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel, give it some additional external flavouring and use as a spread or a lip-smacking dip. It can be that dish in a party where the guests having it will notice a uniquely different flavour but won’t be able to identify what it is.

Note: Since chia seeds are nutrient-dense with a decent amount of calories and fat per serving, eat them in moderation.

Take Away

Chia seeds are satiating and can assist in preventing ravenous hunger and eating more later in the day. But, this can only happen if someone is mindful about portions and pays attention to their body telling them if they are hungry or full. They do not burn extra calories. Additionally, if you consume too many of them, you might gain weight instead. However, adding a tablespoon to your water may help fill you up and prevent you from eating more in addition to offering other health benefits as well. Chia seeds are a nutritious pseudo-grain that can be “part” of a healthy weight loss plan. But they’re not a quick fix to instant weight loss or something that will happen overnight. Eat too much, they will have the opposite effect. Keep in mind that there is no single food that is ever responsible for healthy weight loss.