Chia seeds have been used for centuries for medicinal and nutritional purposes.
The tiny seeds from the mint family are used in Mexico and South American countries in a variety of forms, from being ground into flour to being used to thicken drinks.
Chia seeds have a delicious nutty flavor, though it is subtle, which makes them tasty for even the pickiest eater.
And, as more is discovered about this nutrient rich seed, more and more experts in the health industry are realizing that chia seeds can be used for weight loss.
Now considered a superfood, chia seeds have been embraced by the health community in the past decade. This is partly because they are so versatile, but also because they contain almost everything the body needs to survive nutritionally.
The Nutrition of Chia Seeds
While there are many health foods on the market, there is nothing quite like the chia seed. These tiny seeds contain fatty acids that are essential to a body as well as vitamins A, B, D, and E.
The seeds also contain several minerals that help keep the body healthy. These minerals include iron, magnesium, thiamine, iodine, sulphur, and manganese.
On top of these many benefits, they are also a great source for antioxidants.
However, the true power of the chia seed is seen in the percentage of the recommended daily value (RDV) that a single serving provides for many nutrients.
For example, an ounce of chia seeds contains 42% of the recommended daily value of dietary fiber. Fiber is crucial in keeping the digestive system clean and flushing out toxins.
An ounce also contains 9% RDV for protein, 18% RDV for calcium, and 7% RDV for phosphorous.
Combined, these nutritional features of the chia seed aren’t just extraordinary for helping people maintain their health, they’re also a great way to lose and keep off unwanted weight.
Chia Seeds and Weight Loss
As mentioned above, chia seeds are extremely high in fiber, which is an essential nutrient for the body to shed weight.
In just one serving, a person can get the recommended daily value of fiber. This serving will help people feel full faster and stay full longer.
This is because the fiber in chia seeds reacts with liquids to make an almost gel-like substance, which fills the stomach.
Eating less due to the intake of chia seeds can lead to healthy weight loss. And because fiber cleans out the digestive tract, foods eaten are moved through the body faster.
One problem that many people face when trying to lose weight is that their metabolism is sluggish or not working as well as it should.
The chia seed helps alleviate this problem with its high levels of alpha-linolenic acid. This acid helps keep the metabolism running properly and can even prevent insulin resistance in people.
Multiple studies were done, which found that eating chia seeds not only revived the metabolism and minimized insulin resistance, but also helped burn belly fat, which is often associated with a drop in metabolism.
Finally, another study looked at how liquids mixed with chia seeds helped keep exercisers energized, specifically when compared to those who opted for sugary sports drinks.
The results showed that those who drank the chia seed mixture had just as much energy as those who drank the sports drinks, but consumed half the amount of sugar.
This means that chia seeds can be used as a sugar-free energy booster that will also increase the effectiveness of the metabolism.
Combined, these properties found in chia seeds can jumpstart a weight loss journey and keep the momentum going until goals are reached.
A Chia Seed Diet
There are several ways to add chia seeds into a daily diet. However, most professionals agree that the best way to get all the nutrients from the seeds is to soak them in liquid before eating them.
While chia seeds are still very beneficial dry, soaking them allows their enzymes to release, which makes it easier for the body to absorb all the positive qualities from the seeds.
Soaking chia seeds is a very simple process. Placing about two tablespoons of the seeds into a cup of water and letting them sit for a few hours will give them plenty of time to release the enzymes.
The result will be an almost gel-like substance. This can be added to anything, from cereals and smoothies to desserts.