Chia Seeds benefits for weight loss and other health-related benefits are discussed. Chia seeds are also called Tukh malanga. These seeds are rich in fiber, proteins, and fats.
Chia is a plant that has been around for over 5,500 years. It is an edible seed derived from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, which has been cultivated in Mexico since Mayan and Aztec times.it was one of the most significant parts of Mayan and Aztec diets.
Chia has strong nutritional potential due to its chemical composition and technological features. The word “chia” means “strength,” and these societies are said to have employed the small black and white seeds as an energy enhancer.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, soluble fiber, phytochemicals, and proteins. Its nutritional contents make it useful in the prevention of non-infectious diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), and even cancer.
Chia seeds are often confused with basil seeds. Basil seeds are widely available and many people don’t know the difference between basil and chia seeds. Chia seeds are slightly smaller in size and swell a little later than basil seeds. Although both have the same nutritional profile, chia seeds have greater quantities of essential fatty acids. Whereas basil seeds are fiber-rich.
Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds (Tukh Malanga):
One ounce serving (2 tablespoons) of chia seeds contain:
- 139 calories
- 4g protein
- 9 g Fat
- 12 g Carbohydrates
- 11 g fiber
Do Chia Seeds Help You Lose Weight?
Vast research claims that chia seeds help you lose weight and suppress your appetite. Chia seeds are said to keep you fuller for longer because high in fiber. As a result, they may aid in the prevention of overeating.
Chia seed water is said to be very beneficial for weight loss. But does it work?
It works to some extent, as it suppresses the appetite. Chia seed when soaked in water, inflate, get gelatinous and absorb an abundant amount of water. Drinking chia seed water is supposed to suppress appetite and stop you from being hungry.
Chia seeds mainly contain soluble fiber. Soluble fiber has a great water-holding ability. It holds the water, decreases transit time, and slows down nutrient absorption which means food stays in your stomach for longer periods of time which gives u a sense of fullness.
Some researches suggest that it does play role in weight loss, while others conclude to have no weight loss effect at all.
A double-blind control trial included 77 obese people who received different doses of chia seeds for 6 months. The results supported the role of chia seed in weight loss and management of obesity-related risk factors with the maintenance of good glycemic control. It concluded that supplementation of chia seeds may be useful in weight loss, decreased body fat composition, and decrease in waist circumference. [Ref]
Another study suggests that chia seeds induced significant weight loss in obese individuals as compared to overweight individuals. The study suggested that chia seeds consumption led to a reduction in total cholesterol levels and increased HDL levels. [Ref]
Meanwhile, another study concludes that chia seeds consumption has no significant effect on weight loss or decrease in body fat composition. [Ref]
Another clinical trial that assessed the effect of chia seeds on appetite suggests that chia seeds can convert glucose into slow-acting carbohydrates and improve satiety even better than flax seeds. [Ref]
Other Health Benefits of Chia Seeds:
Apart from weight loss, chia seeds have many other potential health benefits that make them one of the superfoods.
Chia seeds are heart-healthy because they are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids despite their small size. However, alpha-linolenic acid makes up the majority of the omega-3 fatty acid in chia seeds.
A review from 2012 suggests that ALA-rich meals and supplements may lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease. However, high ALA levels have been linked to an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest in at least one research. [Ref]
It also exhibits immune-stimulant effects same as fish oils.
Chia seeds also show some antioxidant and radical scavenging activities, they exert inhibitory potential oxidative stress. [Ref]
One study concluded that chia seed consumption increases ALA levels in the body, which leads to a decrease in visceral adiposity, decreased hepatic steatosis along reduced inflammation.[Ref]
Ways to use chia seeds
Chia seeds have a mild flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes. They can be mixed with almost any drink, including juice or water. Before eating chia seeds, make sure they’ve fully expanded.
Chia seeds should not be eaten dry, especially if you have trouble swallowing. Dry chia seeds may expand in the esophagus and produce an obstruction because they absorb many times their weight in water.
Chia seeds can be added to a variety of dishes like:
- Dressing for salads
- Soups and gravies
Chia Seeds Water:
Chia seed water can be prepared by adding one tablespoon of chia seeds to a glass of water.
If you’ve never eaten the seeds before, you should start with a modest amount to see how your body reacts.
While drinking, you need to drink it quickly before it starts to solidify.
Chia seed water alone can taste a little off, so you can add lemon or anything else to make it more appealing
Can you drink Chia seed water daily?
Despite their numerous advantages, chia seeds should be consumed in accordance with your dietary needs. For people who want to reduce weight, it’s best to visit a doctor to find out how many chia seeds they can eat in a day.
Negative effects from a random rise in chia seed consumption include gastrointestinal discomfort and other related side effects. Nonetheless, chia seeds are regarded as a superfood that, when consumed appropriately, can benefit your general health.
Contact your doctor or schedule an appointment with a nutritionist to find out if chia seeds are beneficial to your health.
Best time to drink chia seeds for weight loss:
Chia Seeds draw in water when ingested. It makes your stomach full. Chia seeds are best to ingest in the morning on an empty stomach with a glass of water. It will make you feel full and hydrated during the daytime.
Chia seeds can also be taken after a workout and in the afternoon, however, it is best to take them in the morning for weight loss.
Chia seeds are nutrient-rich pseudo-grains that can help you lose weight. They aren’t, however, a sure answer to weight loss. They can also have the reverse effect if consumed in excess. There is never a single food that is solely responsible for good weight loss.
For some people, they actually might help in weight loss. They can show the best effects when combined with a balanced diet and exercise.