From nutritionists to social media influencers, people cannot stop blabbering about Chia seeds. Chia seeds have taken over the markets in recent years as a superfood. Did you know Chia seeds have a capacity to lower your hunger drive, which means they can make you eat less? Yes. You read that right. Let’s delve into more facts about Chia seeds and their weight-reducing properties.
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What Are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are edible seeds derived from a plant called Salvia hispanica. It belongs to the mint family. Having origins from Mexico, these tiny seeds have cultural heritage too. “Chia” means strength and folklore says they were used as energy boosters. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, fiber, and calcium. Like other whole-grain foods, Chia seeds can easily be absorbed by our body. Its nutritional value is as follows- 4 g protein, 9 g fat, 12 g carbohydrates, and 11 g fiber, calcium 179 mg, magnesium 95 mg, iron 2.19 mg, potassium 115 mg, minerals, and vitamins.
Do Chia Seeds Actually Help in Weight Loss?
In total it has 138 calories making it a low-calorie and nutrient-rich snack at the same time. The quirky, nutty flavor has become a favorite add-on to be sprinkled on desserts and smoothies. Rice, beverages, baked goods, and cereals are some foods that have made chia seeds a staple. Both protein and fiber are stuffed in these little white and black seeds that temporarily suppress the appetite by making you feel fuller for a longer period.
There have been potential studies to evaluate the weight loss benefits of chia seeds. However, studies have shown some promising results, data still remains inconclusive. One such weight loss study was conducted comparing two groups of people in 2014. One group consumed 35 g of chia flour a day and the other ate placebo. After 12 weeks, no difference was noticed among the two groups in terms of weight loss. However, obese participants in the chia group lost more weight compared to the less over-weight participants. Also, people in the chia group who had high cholesterol level issues showed a significant decrease in cholesterol levels. The scientists observed an increase in high-density lipoprotein i.e. good cholesterol among these people.
Another research investigated that whether chia seeds can encourage weight loss in people who have type 2 diabetes. All the participants chosen were either obese or over-weight. They were observed for 6 months and followed a calorie-restricted diet. One group consumed Chalba chia seeds, and the other had oat bran-based food daily. The oat bran group lost 0.3 kg weight whereas the chia seed group lost 1.9 kg on an average. In addition to this, the chia group also experienced a significant reduction in waist circumference compared to the other group.
Though having no solid evidence, these studies do indicate that it is important to follow a low-calorie diet along with chia seeds to lose weight. It was also concluded that one feels full and satisfied throughout the day after the intake of 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds. People with a habit of over-eating must cling to a low-calorie diet to see effective weight loss results while expecting a weight loss from chia seeds.
Chia seeds are not rich in vitamins but do contain a high quantity of calcium. Calcium has a correlation with weight loss. It’s a common fact that calcium enhances bone and teeth health. Thus strong bones improve healthy metabolical functions. Hence you can count on chia seeds for having sustained body activity. Chia seeds also have a low value of cholesterol along with a high content of minerals. Minerals promote better absorption of all the healthy nutrients you consume. Thus it is pretty much clear that the tiny seeds are great in nutrition but expecting significant weight loss only by relying on chia seeds without following a low-calorie diet is a mistake.
Ways How You Can Use Chia Seeds for Weight Loss
Chia seeds don’t have any taste per se. This makes it easier to take them with liquids or drinks. Before consuming make sure the seeds expand nicely. Ignore eating them in dry form because by doing so their nutritious value may get compromised. Eating them dry may also cause an expansion in the esophagus, causing a blockage. So get ready to enjoy a decorated and nutritious munching. Here are 5 fun ways to add chia seeds to your diet.
Whip up a smoothie and blend in chia seeds in it. As they are absorbed better in liquids, taking chia seeds with a smoothie will make you feel fuller for a longer period of a day.
You can top up chia and pumpkin skills on your favorite cereal. Mix it with fruits and milk to add a delicious and healthy flavor. You can also try cream instead of milk.
Also See: How To Make Cumin Water For Weight Loss
It’s better to have fresh, delicious homemade yogurt rather than buying it from the market. You can add many dressings and flavors to your plain yogurt. And of course chia seeds can be either blended or used as a garnishing element in your sweet yogurt recipes.
It is a misconception that chia seeds are only used as topping in desserts like pudding. They are perfectly compatible in blending in their light nutty flavor with the easy and quick pudding dishes.
In fancy restaurants, chia seeds are used as a garnishing element in vegetable broths and other dishes. Adding in cheese and chia seeds can make even a basic meal like the soup fulfilling and satiating.
Thus chia seeds can be added as garnishing and decorating food items for your meals. For making you feel satiated and satisfied, this is a fine element you can bring to the table however, expecting promising weight loss results is not right. Chia seeds can be supportive in your overall weight loss plan as a pseudo nutritious grain but cannot become a holy grail part of your weight shed journey.
Also, take note that if a person is on hypertension or blood-thinning medication, they better avoid chia seeds intake or consult their doctor before adding it to their diet. However, if someone is on heavy medication, it is better to avoid chia seeds completely; it’s better to be safe than sorry. But if that is not the case, the almost tasteless tiny seeds can easily be added to foods without changing their taste and may help you in lowering your hunger drive.