Are Chia Seeds Your New Weight Loss Solution?
There’s no forgetting the iconic chia seed pets. Everyone either had one or knew someone who had one. These cute little clay figurines need a little care to sprout a big head of fur-like grass! Yes, these were once the rage, but not anymore. However, chia is still a trending product, just not in the same way it once was.
Now, the focus is on using these humble yet powerful seeds as a weight loss aid. Chia seeds are a staple in health stores. The claims are that consumption of a bit of these seed in the day curbs appetite. It offers satiety while enhancing your diet with much-needed super-nutrients. So can chia seeds help control your hunger and help you reach your goal weight?
What Are Chia Seeds?
When you look closely at chia seeds, they almost look like something synthetically made product with intricate patterns. These edible seeds are made from Salvia Hispanic, which is a desert plant that grows in Mexico. It dates way back to Aztec and Mayan times. The name ‘chia’ translates into ‘strength,’ and its origin has links to folklore that surrounds the seed. The tale believes that the seeds can boost energy. This is logical because chia seeds are full of omega-three fatty acids, protein, fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, and antioxidants.
The body can absorb the nutrients in the chia seeds, unlike unprocessed flax seeds, for example. Just one ounce of this magical seed contains 4 grams of protein, 139 calories, 12 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fat, and 11 grams of fiber. Not to forget the minerals and vitamins! Chia seeds have a pleasantly mild nutty flavor to them, making them easy additions to yogurt, smoothies, cereals, fruit salads, or even sprinkled over vegetables or rice. It is mixed with liquid and consumed as a gel after a few minutes.
Are Chia Seeds an Effective Weight Loss Aid?
Theoretically, chia seeds expand when they come in contact with liquid. In doing so, they fill up your belly and help you feel more satiated. Thus making you consume less food. It only makes sense that consuming less food will make you shed pounds, right? Well, not according to some studies.
Researcher David Nieman did after his study over a 12-week-long study on the benefits of chia seeds. The study results state that there is no observable difference in either weight loss or appetite after consuming chia seeds. There was no reduction in body fat percentage, weight, and no improvement in cardiovascular markers. Other studies also showed no increase in weight loss with the consumption of these seeds.
Should You Eat Chia Seeds?
There is little to no evidence on the benefits of chia seeds on weight loss. The chia seeds are still a nutrition addition to a healthy diet. Chia seeds are simple to add to your diet and can be very delicious substitutions in baked goods as well. Don’t forget that chia seeds can sprout quickly to yield a tray of highly nutritious microgreens. You can use them in salads, stir-fries, and even vegetable dishes. The chia microgreens are a soft canopy of fragrant greens. While they are more appealing than mustard or fenugreek, which have a strong flavor.
It has been noted that chia seeds have more antioxidant activity than any other whole-food, including blueberries! The recommended amount to consume daily is 20 grams, which is slightly less than two tablespoons of seeds. There are no severe side effects when consuming chia, and the only cautions are if you have high blood pressure, are taking blood-thinning medication, or have allergies to mustard seeds or sesame seeds.
Unfortunately, chis seeds aren’t a magic weight loss solution, but then, we have yet to find something that is! If you are desperate to shed some pounds and look and feel great, then the best way to see results is through a sustainable healthy lifestyle. This should be a combination of regular exercise and a healthy diet, but both in moderation.
Chis seeds are a welcome addition to your diet, though, and can help you feel amazing thanks to the boost of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3s.
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