Chia seeds are considered a superfood that has been around for thousands of years. They have multiple health benefits, but can they help you lose weight? Read on to learn all about the advantages of chia seeds for weight loss, and fun ways to incorporate them into your diet.Contents:
Chia seeds are commonly known as Sabja seeds in India. They belong to the mint family and are native to the Central American region. The word “chia” means “strength” in the ancient Mayan language. Chia seeds were a major component of the Mayan and Aztec diets, and were valued for their medicinal properties and for the large amounts of energy they provide.
The following is the nutritional information for 100 grams of Chia seeds.
% of RDA for Indian adults (based on 2000 kcal. diet)
76% - 120%*
40.6% for men
26.6% for women
26.9% for men
35% for women
*based on activity levels
Chia seeds are packed with essential macro and micronutrients. They are an excellent source of B-complex vitamins, copper, selenium, manganese, and omega-3 fatty acids.
There is no daily recommended amount of consumption for Chia seeds. You can safely consume anywhere from 15 to 50 grams of Chia seeds every day.
Chia seeds are high in both protein and soluble fibre. The soluble fibre absorbs water and swells up, which slows down digestion, keeps you feeling full for a longer time and helps prevent overeating. Similarly, protein reduces hunger and helps in building muscle, which contributes to weight loss.
The easiest way to consume Chia seeds is to add them to your water bottle. The fibre in the seeds expands and takes on a gel-like consistency when it comes into contact with moisture. Fibre keeps you full for longer, which can help you cut down on snacking and overeating. Adding some lemon juice to the mix further boosts your metabolism.
You can use a teaspoon of Chia seeds as a topping on your bowl of oatmeal, sandwiches, fruit or vegetable salads for a delightful crunch. Along with enhancing the texture of your food, Chia seeds can also give you an energy boost.
If you have a sweet tooth, this dish could be the perfect fit for you. Replacing your dessert with an easy to make, delicious, and super nutritious Chia pudding can help you lose weight while satisfying your cravings.
You can add some whole Chia seeds or Chia powder to your breakfast smoothie bowl or yoghurt for added nutrition. They can also be used as a substitute for croutons in soups for a crunchy texture, but without the extra calories.
You can swap up to a quarter cup of regular flour with Chia flour while baking. Using Chia flour will help lower the number of calories consumed. Make some Chia flour at home by blitzing up a cup of Chia seeds till they are smooth to the touch.
Replace your evening snacks with a healthy granola bar made of nuts, Chia seeds, fruits and oats. Having a granola bar instead of a piece of chocolate, cookie, or a bag of chips can help you cut down on empty carbs while also satisfying your hunger. Try making delicious homemade granola bars with this healthy antioxidant mix of seeds and berries.
Nut butter made of almonds or peanuts are a healthy substitute for spreads like cheese or butter. Add in a cup of Chia seeds to your nuts of choice and grind till you get a consistency of your liking.
Fruit compotes are healthier homemade versions of store-bought jams which are high in added sugars. Compotes are easy to make; just add a few cups of your favourite berries or fruits into a pan with a splash of citrus juice. Simmer till the fruits break down and take on a thick sauce-like consistency. Add a little bit of honey or sugar as desired.
If your goal is to lose weight, it is best to consume Chia seeds on an empty stomach or as a part of your breakfast as they help promote satiety (fullness of stomach) and improve digestion. However, you can also consume them throughout the day as a part of your meals to get the full nutritional benefits.
Chia seeds digest slowly due to their high fibre content, which leads to the slow release of sugar into the bloodstream. They also help in improving insulin tolerance and have a glycaemic index of 1, which makes them a great addition to your meals if you have diabetes.
The soluble fibre in Chia seeds helps lower the LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your body, along with lowering your blood pressure. This may be due to the presence of high omega-3 fatty acid content (about 17.8 g/ 100 g) in Chia seeds, which has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risks.
The fibre in Chia seeds help relieve constipation by absorbing water which improves bowel movement. Chia seeds also promote intestinal health and the growth of gut-friendly bacteria which improve your digestive health.
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, proteins, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, zinc, selenium, B-complex vitamins and other skin and hair-friendly nutrients that protect them from oxidative and UV damage. They also improve cell hydration, which strengthens your skin’s protective barrier.
Chia seeds are a great source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium, all of which are essential for maintaining optimal bone and tooth health.
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