Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanica plant. They are small, flat, and oval-shaped white, brown, or black seeds with a shiny and smooth texture. Chia seeds have been a staple in the Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. In fact, the word “chia” is an ancient Mayan word for strength.
In this newsletter, let’s explore the benefits of chia seeds and how they help in weight release and maintaining a healthy weight.
Chia seeds are small yet packed with health properties including fiber, protein, healthy fats, and minerals. On top of that, they are rich in antioxidants. Chia seeds have been linked to many health benefits including decreasing inflammation, improving digestion, and improving heart health.
Are Chia Seeds Good for Weight Release?
Because of their high dietary fiber content, chia seeds can help in shedding extra weight. Two tablespoons of chia seeds have almost 10 grams of fiber (and around 138 calories). That’s about 40% of the recommended daily intake of fiber. According to this research conducted in 2015, eating 30 grams of fiber daily may help you lose weight as much as (and more sustainably) than complicated diets.
When used in moderation, the fiber in chia seeds can help you feel full longer, thereby decreasing your appetite versus a salty diet (high-sodium) that is common for junk food or processed diets. Extra sodium in your diet causes your body to retain water (because sodium attracts water) leaving you feeling puffy or bloated.
A good tip when eating chia seeds is to soak them in water. They get soft and gel up which makes them easier to digest. Anywhere from 30 mins to longer aids in their digestibility.
Takeaway: eating fiber rich foods like chia seeds can help you feel more full and satisfied, making it easier to release or maintain weight.
Other Benefits of Chia Seeds
- Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. Some studies support that chia seeds and ALA may reduce the risk of developing metabolic disease syndrome and coronary heart disease, but we need more studies to prove if this is indeed true.
- They are a gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free protein source.Two tablespoons of chia seeds have 4.7 grams of protein, and the good news is they are free of several common allergens. Thus, they are a good source of protein for people with Celiac disease, those who are sensitive to grains, and those who are allergic or sensitive to dairy and/or eggs.
- They are high in calcium.Two tablespoons of calcium have 133.8 mg of Calcium. Calcium supports healthy metabolic function and makes your bones and teeth strong and healthy.
- They are a good source of minerals. Aside from calcium, chia seeds are a very good source of minerals such as phosphorus, manganese, zinc, and copper.
- They are rich in antioxidants, which means chia seeds can help detoxify the body, slow down the aging process, and prevent illness.
How to Consume Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are bland, so they can definitely blend with any recipe. As I mentioned earlier, they are best combined with water or any fluid. Remember that the more seeds you use and the longer they sit, the thicker the consistency becomes.
Take caution eating chia seeds dry, especially if you have difficulty swallowing or tend towards constipation. Since by nature, chia seeds expand with fluid, if they are eaten dry and they expand in the esophagus or throughout the intestines, they can cause blockage.You may add chia seeds to smoothies, muffins, baked goodies, salads, salad dressing, yogurt, gravy, and oatmeal.
When Not to Consume Chia Seeds
- Allergies to chia
- Diverticulitis or diverticulosis
- Medications – Chia seeds may interact with blood pressure medications or blood thinners as well as anticancer drugs.
In conclusion, chia seeds can be one of the foods you can include in a healthy diet that helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
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