- 24 Ways to Use Chia Seeds for Weight Loss
- Pour Some Into Your Detox Water
- Sprinkle Onto Sweet Potatoes
- Add to Sliced Fruit with Nut Butter
- Mix it Into Applesauce
- Top off a Fruit Salad
- Add It to Dressing
- Add Them to Avocado Toast
- Whip Up a Low-Sugar “Jam”
- Make Them Into Pudding
- Add Them to Greek Yogurt
- Toss Them into a Smoothie
- Try Chia-Topped Cauliflower Medallions
- Add Them to Homemade Energy Bites
- Mix Them Into Oatmeal
- Add Them to Pancakes
- Make Chia Peanut Butter
- Make Healthier Meat
- Use Them Instead of Croutons
- Turn Them Into Popsicles
- Add Some to Soup
- Create Protein-Packed Desserts
- Toss with Pasta
- Make Fancy Popcorn
- Stock Up on Chia Bars
- Are there side effects to eating chia seeds?
- How should I eat chia seeds?
- Are chia seeds effective for losing weight?
- Three Cheers for Chia Seeds: Chia Shown to Aid Weight Loss
- What Are Chia Seeds?
- Other Benefits of Chia Seeds? Weight Loss!
- Exactly How Do Chia Seeds Help You Lose Weight?
- How to Use Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds vs Chia Seeds vs Hemp Seeds
- Chia Seed Diet Review – 11 Things You Need to Know
- What is the Chia Seed Diet?
- How Did the Chia Seed Diet Start?
- The Chia Seed Diet Nutritional Information
- The Chia Seed Diet Benefits and Results
- Details on the Chia Seed Diet and Weight Loss
- How to Utilize the Chia Seed Diet
- Potential Chia Seed Diet Side Effects and Interactions
- Chia Seed Diet Alternatives
- The Bottom Line on the Chia Seed Diet
- 125 Pounds Lost: Cynthia Sets a Weight Loss Date and Sticks With It
24 Ways to Use Chia Seeds for Weight Loss
You may have had a casual relationship with them so far, but it’s time to start using chia seeds for weight loss and dig a little deeper into the power of these amazing little superfood seeds. For starters, they’re loaded with essential nutrients like omega-3s, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Chia seeds also pack an impressive three grams of protein and five grams of hunger-crushing fiber per tablespoon.
And since the seeds form a gel when mixed with a liquid (they can hold up to 10 times their weight in liquid), they digest slowly, making them a powerful force against the munchies—which is great news for those looking to control portions and cravings.
With that in mind, it seems like we should all make an effort to make our meals a bit more satiating with the help of the almighty chia seed! From chia pudding to chia-infused nut butter and everything in between, here are 23 great ways to incorporate them into your daily diet and start using the power of chia seeds for weight loss.
Pour Some Into Your Detox Water
For some extra nutrition, spoon some chia seeds into your favorite detox water. If you’re looking for something that’s a bit sweet—but still healthy—create a concoction called chia fresca by combining 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon or lime juice, and 2 teaspoons of honey. Let the seeds soak overnight before slurping it all down.
Sprinkle Onto Sweet Potatoes
Olive oil and spices are commonly used to amp up the taste of baked sweet potatoes. Almond butter, bananas, and chia seeds? Not so much. But Monique of Ambitious Kitchen loves this off-the-beaten-track combination on her orange spuds. Snag her breakfast recipe to find out how to pull together her signature morning meal.
Add to Sliced Fruit with Nut Butter
We love to smear nut butter onto slices of apples and bananas because it makes for the perfect filling snack. Take yours to the next level by sprinkling some crunchy chia seeds on top of the spread.
Mix it Into Applesauce
Unsweetened applesauce may be better than the sweetened variety, but with just 3 grams of fiber and less than a half a gram of protein per cup, it’s not always filling. If you’re a fan of this fruity snack, make it one that’s better for your appetite and waistline by mixing in some taste-free chia seeds.
Top off a Fruit Salad
Make your morning fruit salad more satisfying by topping your bowl of fresh fruit with some filling chia seeds. Thanks to its healthy fats and fiber content, this breakfast addition will help keep your energy levels soaring well into the afternoon. ” won’t cause spikes and drops in blood sugar or insulin levels, preventing cravings and overeating later,” Carolyn Brown, MS, RD explains.
Add It to Dressing
About a year ago, health food company, Hilary’s came out with a delicious ranch chia dressing that was teeming with omega-3s. If you can’t find the bottle in your local grocery store, simply whip up a dressing featuring chia seeds. Add the seeds to your go-to dressing recipe or head on over to AlvaOSullivan.com to get your hands on her flavor-packed Lemon Chia Seed Dressing recipe. Made with just six clean and easy-to-find ingredients, it’s definitely one of our favorites.
Add Them to Avocado Toast
Already a big fan of avocado toast? Great! Elevate your creations to the next level by sprinkling on some crunchy chia. If nothing else, the pretty specks of seeds atop the green mountain of avocado will earn you some extra likes on your Instagram #FoodPorn post. Big fan of the creamy green fruit? Don’t miss these mouthwatering avocado recipes for weight loss.
Whip Up a Low-Sugar “Jam”
Skip the store-bought jam that’s full of excess calories and sugar and make a healthier version at home by mixing chia seeds with pureed berries. It’s the perfect topping for whole-grain crackers and PB&J sammies. It even tastes great mixed into plain Greek yogurt.
Make Them Into Pudding
While many people think of chia as a topping, it can hold its own as a main dish, too. And not to mention, chia pudding is one of the tastiest ways to work this amazing superfood into your daily diet. The best part? It’s so easy to make. Nearly all of these chia pudding recipes require less than 10 minutes of prep time.
Add Them to Greek Yogurt
There are loads of ways to dress up plain ol’ Greek yogurt: fruit, nuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, cinnamon, and yes, chia seeds! To create a healthy concoction that’s all your own, spoon in some chia along with your other favorite fixings.
Toss Them into a Smoothie
Former Baltimore Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis reportedly tosses chia seeds into his shake every morning. To get your nutrition on à la Lewis, whip up one of these weight loss smoothies and blend in some chia. Since they will absorb a bit of the liquid from the other ingredients (like water, milk etc.), they can help your smoothie keep you fuller, longer.
Try Chia-Topped Cauliflower Medallions
There’s a lot to love about tater tots—except the grease and starchy carbs. So, we suggest you swap potatoes for finely chopped cauliflower and combine with things like cheese and onions, as well as chia seeds and cornmeal for a bit of crunch. Loving this yummy sounding idea? Lisa of Healthy Nibbles & Bits, breaks down exactly how to make this superfood-packed treat here.
Add Them to Homemade Energy Bites
Sometimes you just want a bite of something delicious but portion control can be a struggle—even for people with admirable willpower. Energy bites to the rescue! These homemade creations are essentially just tiny snack bars (or balls) packed with seeds, raw oats, nut butter, chocolate, fruit and other delectable ingredients. No matter what energy ball recipe you decide to make (we’re partial to these energy bites), you can always add a tablespoon or two of chia seeds. They lend a satisfying crunch without adding any flavor, so they work with a variety of recipes.
Mix Them Into Oatmeal
There are a million ways to fix a bowl of oatmeal, but one of our favorite cereal topping combos is chia seeds mixed with pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and cinnamon. We also love mixing fresh fruit like blueberries with chia, vanilla extract, honey, and a pinch of sea salt. Yum!
Add Them to Pancakes
Traditional pancakes are perfect for no-alarm-clock, ready-to-relax kinda days. But they’re basically void of any health-bolstering nutrients. The good news? With a few key ingredients, they can be easily healthified. To elevate your batter to the next level, fold in chia seeds and fresh fiber-rich fruit like blueberries or sliced apples and strawberries. To keep your blood sugar levels even-keeled, be sure to stick with Grade A Medium Amber pure maple syrup (instead of the junky kind filled with high fructose corn syrup) and drizzle it on ever so lightly. Or better yet, melt a bit of nut butter and drizzle that on top of your stack instead.
Make Chia Peanut Butter
Whether you buy nut butter at the grocery story or make it from scratch at home, the gooey spread serves as the perfect place for a few spoonfuls of chia seeds. It’s the perfect way to sneak some omega-3s into your mini me’s sandwich or simply add some more of the nutrient to your diet if you’re not a big fan of fatty fish or other sources of the nutrient.
Make Healthier Meat
Instead of coating your meat and fish in starchy white flours, use 1 cup of almond meal mixed with 1 tablespoon chia seeds and a savory combination of herbs and spices. To get the most health-boosting benefits from your fat-burning crust, be sure to bake (not fry!) your proteins.
Use Them Instead of Croutons
While croutons may add some crunch to your lunchtime salad, they also serve up unhealthy sources of fat. Chia seeds make a far better topping as they deliver the crunch you crave without excess calories, saturated fat, and chemicals. Plus, their healthy fats can actually help your body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins from your veggies, so it’s a win-win. Spoon some on top of your greens right before you dig in!
Turn Them Into Popsicles
Sure, they’re addictively delicious, but ice cream pops tend to be filled with refined sugars and unhealthy fats. With an easy swap of ingredients, though, you can transform this childhood favorite into a wholesome dessert. Combine your favorite berries with coconut milk and chia seeds and simply blend and freeze the mixture in ice pop trays. They’re super easy and filled with nutrients your body can actually call on to stay healthy and fit!
Add Some to Soup
Next time you heat up a pureed veggie broth—like sweet potato or butternut squash—garnish your bowl with some chia seeds and feta cheese. The crunchy and salty combo makes even the most basic of boxed soups seem like a fancy restaurant dish, all while making the meal a bit more satiating and satisfying.
Create Protein-Packed Desserts
When your sweet tooth starts screaming, desserts can be very hard to stay away from. But instead of reaching for those icky store-bought treats, bake up a healthy dessert and add one or two tablespoons of chia seeds. They can be added to everything from muffins to cookies and contribute a bit of nutrition and staying power to a category of food that’s typically lacking in beneficial nutrients.
Toss with Pasta
Regular pasta is a simple carbohydrate which will digest quickly and leave you feeling hungry. However, if you toss some chia seeds and sautéed veggies into your bowl, you’ll be adding some protein and healthy fats to mix, which can slow digestion and help you feel full for longer.
Make Fancy Popcorn
Looking for a tangy and spicy way to take your popcorn to the next level? Pop 1/2 cup of popcorn and top with 1/4 cup of melted, grass-fed butter spiked with 2 teaspoons of hot sauce. Once well mixed, combine zest from one lime, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a separate bowl. Combine and then pour the mixture over the popcorn and mix thoroughly before digging in.
Stock Up on Chia Bars
And if you’re strapped for time in the kitchen, take the easy route and enjoy a store-bought chia bar. We love these Health Warrior Chia Bars, which are free of gluten, dairy, GMOs, and soy. Another option we love are these Purely Elizabeth Grain-Free Superfood Granola Bars, which feature chia prominently, among other amazing ingredients like cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, and even reishi.
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Chia seeds are all over Instagram these days—in everything from puddings to smoothies.
With good reason, too. These small black seeds, responsible for a flowering plant in the mint family called salvia hispanica, are a nutritional powerhouse, rich in protein (four grams per one-ounce serving) and omega-3 fatty acids, per the USDA. Plus, the nutrient-rich seed is loaded with 11 grams of fiber per serving, which can help with everything from weight loss to satiety.
“Many Americans are falling short of the recommendations for fiber intake, and incorporating chia into snacks and recipes can be one step towards getting more fiber,” says Cara Harbstreet, RD, of Street Smart Nutrition.
But can chia seeds really help me lose weight?
All that fiber in chia seeds could certainly help. Increased fiber intake can help with weight-loss goals, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Chia seeds are also a good source of protein, which is an important piece to the weight-loss puzzle. In a study published in Nutrition Metabolism, dieters who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their diet ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day and lost about 11 pounds over the 12-week study without employing any other dietary measures.
Ultimately, though, weight loss is all about paying attention to your overall diet and exercise routine—not about eating more (or less) of one certain food. “No single food or ingredient is able to do that, so if you’re hoping for chia to solve your health concerns or be the catalyst for dramatic weight loss, I recommend reaching out to a dietitian for support for your individual goals,” says Harbstreet.
That also means chia seeds won’t help you burn belly fat—or magically boost your metabolism.
Are there side effects to eating chia seeds?
A serving size of chia seeds is about one ounce, or two tablespoons—and there’s a reason for that limit.
“Chia isn’t likely to cause a reaction or trigger symptoms, as with some other foods that are known allergens or spark GI-related symptoms,” says Harbstreet. “That being said, a sudden and drastic increase in fiber intake could potentially cause some ‘misbehavior,’ especially for people who previously consumed very little fiber.” Too much fiber often translates to bloating and diarrhea—fun!
You might also find yourself feeling fuller than usual after eating chia seeds—for better or for worse. Think about it this way: Have you ever seen chia seed pudding at your local health food store, or made it on your own at home? If so, then you’ve seen how the seeds absorb liquid and expand in volume. Now imagine that expansion happening…inside your stomach.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing—unless you’re loading up on chia seeds in favor of other foods. “It’s not an issue to eat to fullness, but if it’s replacing other foods in your diet, you may be inadvertently reducing the variety of foods and nutrients in your overall eating pattern,” says Harbstreet.
How should I eat chia seeds?
Good news! It’s super-simple to add chia to your diet. A relatively tasteless seed, they’re easy to sprinkle on yogurt or blend into your morning sip. “You can eat them raw, toasted, soaked, or cooked,” says Becky Kerkenbush, RD, and medical representative to the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “They can also make a great egg substitution in baking, by combining one tablespoon ground chia seeds with three tablespoons water to replace one egg.” Now, who’s down for yogurt parfaits?!
The bottom line: Chia seeds might help you feel satiated, but long-term weight loss will require rethinking your overall diet and nutrition plan.
Emily Abbate Emily Abbate is a freelance writer, certified fitness trainer, and host of the podcast Hurdle.
Are chia seeds effective for losing weight?
Share on PinterestThe high protein and fiber content of chia seeds may help suppress appetite.
Chia seeds are rich in fiber, boasting 9.75 grams (g) per 1 ounce (oz) serving. They also contain 4.69 g of protein per serving.
Both fiber and protein can temporarily suppress appetite by making a person feel fuller for longer. Moreover, each serving of chia seeds contains only 138 calories, making them a low calorie, nutrient dense snack.
Scientists have only recently begun studying the potential weight loss benefits of chia seeds. Some of these studies have shown promising results, but the data are far from conclusive.
A small 2014 study compared weight loss in people who consumed 35 g of chia flour a day with that in people who ate a placebo. A total of 26 participants took part in the study.
There was no difference in weight loss between the two groups after 12 weeks. However, the researchers noted a significant weight loss among those in the chia group. The participants who had obesity at the start of the study lost more weight than those who were less overweight at the beginning.
In addition, people in the chia group who had abnormal cholesterol levels at the start of the study showed significantly improved levels at the end. The chia flour led to a reduction in overall cholesterol and an increase in high density lipoprotein (‘good’) cholesterol.
Another study investigated whether chia seeds promote weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes. The study included 77 participants who were either overweight or had obesity.
All of the participants followed a calorie restricted diet for 6 months. One group ate Salba chia daily, while the other group ate an oat bran-based control food.
The participants who did not consume chia lost 0.3 kilograms (kg), or 0.66 pounds (lb), on average. Those who ate chia lost an average of 1.9 kg, or 4.19 lb. The chia group also showed a significant average reduction in waist circumference compared with the control group.
Together, these findings suggest that chia seeds are unlikely to cause significant weight loss on their own. They may promote weight loss in people who eat a low calorie diet, although the evidence for this claim is inconclusive.
There is a need for more extensive and better designed studies to test the effects of chia seeds on weight loss and overall health.
Three Cheers for Chia Seeds: Chia Shown to Aid Weight Loss
Chia seeds have been growing in popularity for several years now. Like kale, spirulina and quinoa, they’ve ridden the crest of the superfood wave, becoming nutritional “it” items – must-have dietary staples beloved by savvy eaters the world over. And now there’s another reason to eat chia seeds: they’ve been shown to help with weight loss.
What Are Chia Seeds?
Grown primarily in Bolivia and Mexico, chia seeds are teeming with omega-3 fatty acids – healthful acids more commonly found in oily fish. They’re also a rich source of protein, fibre, calcium and antioxidants. In fact, they have three times more antioxidants than blueberries and twice as much protein as other seeds and grains. Talk about nutrient-rich!
While the eminence of some superfoods has only come to light in recent years, chia seeds have a historical precedence: they were prized by the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas for their health-enhancing properties.
Chia seeds are able to stabilise blood sugar levels, cleanse the colon to permit better nutrient absorption and waste elimination and also improve endurance. It is likely this latter benefit that the aforementioned cultures most revered.
Other Benefits of Chia Seeds? Weight Loss!
In a new randomised controlled trial, supplementing with chia seeds was shown to aid weight loss and reduce inflammation in overweight patients suffering from type-2 diabetes. The Canadian study contrasted the effects of two alternative calorie-restricted eating plans on a group of 77 participants. In one, subjects were given 30g of chia seeds each day, and in the other, 36g of oat bran.
As part of the trial, the dieters had to consult a dietician after a fortnight and then every six weeks for a period of six months; food diaries were also maintained to ensure strict compliance. When the study wrapped, the chia seed group showed impressive improvements in body weight and waist circumference. They also exhibited decreased levels of an inflammatory marker known as C-reactive protein.
‘How much weight exactly?’ you might be asking. Well, on average, participants supplementing with chia seeds lost 1.9kg compared to 0.3kg in the other group. This might not seem like a lot over a six-month period, but incorporating chia seeds into a healthy diet, along with a solid programme of exercise, is sure to bring about even better results.
What’s more, the chia seed group experienced a reduction in waist circumference of 3.5cm – compared to just 1.1cm in the control group. Given how stubborn belly fat can be, this is definitely worth crowing about! The researchers concluded that supplementing with chia seeds could promote weight loss, improve obesity-related risk factors and help maintain good glycemic control.
Exactly How Do Chia Seeds Help You Lose Weight?
So how exactly do chia seeds stimulate weight loss? The answer may lie in their effect on adiponectin, a protein involved in the breakdown of fat. In the individuals who consumed chia, a 6.5% increase in adiponectin levels was registered.
The ability of chia seeds to raise ALA levels could also be responsible, since research has shown high ALA levels to reduce ‘visceral adiposity’ in rats.
More generally, chia seeds’ slow-releasing carbohydrates might aid satiety, helping you feel fuller for longer.
How to Use Chia Seeds
One huge advantage of chia seeds is their versatility; they can be utilised in just about any meal. Making a stir fry? Toss a teaspoon of chia seeds into the wok and give it a stir. Yoghurt, porridge, salad, smoothie – the same rules apply. The seeds are perfect for enhancing the nutritional value of a meal without altering the taste, and the internet is littered with chia seeds recipes for you to try out.
Flax Seeds vs Chia Seeds vs Hemp Seeds
Of course, chia seeds aren’t the only superfood seeds that have been shown to entail health benefits. Hemp seeds, which are also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are known to promote cardiovascular health too. What’s more, they contain all 20 amino acids, including the 9 classed as ‘essential’ that our bodies are unable to produce.
Budging hemp out of the limelight is flax seed, another wondrous seed bursting with protein, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and omega-3. So just how on earth do you decide which seed you should be taking? Short answer: you don’t; you take all three.
Chia Seed Diet Review – 11 Things You Need to Know
- 11 Answered Questions
The Chia Seed Diet is based on consuming Chia seeds. Chia seeds are black or white seeds that consist of numerous beneficial nutrients such as protein, fiber, carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins, which can support the body in many ways including supporting healthy weight loss. While evidence exists that the Chia seed is beneficial in many ways, can it really aid weight loss?
In addition to no research supporting the claim that Chia seeds aid in weight loss, Chia seeds may also cause some side-effects. With that in mind, our research team investigated the science of the Chia seed to determine if it’s a worthwhile addition to a person’s diet. Here’s a summary of their findings.
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What is the Chia Seed Diet?
The Chia Seed Diet is based on Chia, an edible seed that has its origins in the desert plant Salvia Hispanica, initially grown in the region known as modern-day Mexico, during the times of Mayans and Aztecs, per the scientific journal Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny.
“Chia” translates to strength, and legend has it that the ancient civilizations based in this region used these tiny black and white seeds to energize their bodies, which is a sensible thing to do, as these seeds are packed with healthy nutrients including protein, fiber, carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium and antioxidants, according to Phytochemistry Reviews.
Chia seeds are a whole-grain, organic superfood, accepted by the human body as seeds, contrary to flaxseeds, which are not.
The Chia Seed Diet consists of making Chia a part of your meal in various forms to reap the benefits of its long list of nutrients. Their nutty, mild flavor makes them a very convenient addition to regular foods and beverages. It’s a very versatile ingredient.
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How Did the Chia Seed Diet Start?
The Chia Seed Diet is not an invention of the modern age, as it dates back to as early as 3500 B.C. when Chia was a significant part of the Aztec diet.
Apart from being eaten whole, it was used as an ingredient in medicines, added to drinks, pressed for oil and ground into powder. It was convenient for travelers, as it could be stored for long periods of time.
Although Chia seeds have been categorized mostly as a “novel food” for most of modern history, in the past few decades, health-conscious individuals have diverted their attention to making seeds a part of their regular diet, as they are packed with beneficial nutrients, while lacking the more harmful ones.
It is also used by environmentally conscious individuals who follow a vegetarian diet, using a substitute for eggs in baked items.
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The Chia Seed Diet Nutritional Information
Below is the nutritional value per 100g (3.5 Oz) of raw, dried Chia seeds according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference:
Amount per 100g % Daily Value
- Energy 486 calories
- Carbohydrates 42.1 g
- Dietary Fiber 34,4 g
- Protein 16.5 g
- Fat 30. g
- Iron 7.7 mg 59 %
- Phosphorus 860 mg 123 %
- Magnesium 335 mg 94 %
- Potassium 407 mg 9 %
- Manganese 2.72 mg 130 %
- Zinc 4.6 mg 48 %
- Calcium 631 mg 63 %
Percentage daily values are based on the recommended 2,000-calorie diet for the average U.S. adult. Your daily values may vary according to your requirements based on weight, age and activity levels.
Benefits and Results
The Chia Seed Diet Benefits and Results
Improves Digestive Health
Chia seeds contain plenty of fiber with only one tablespoon, packing 4.8 grams of fiber, which is equal to around 19 percent of the daily recommended fiber intake. This abundance of fiber dramatically benefits the digestive system by ensuring regular bowel movements and healthy stool. The high fiber content also helps people feel full more quickly by absorbing large amounts of water, as well as expanding in the stomach upon consumption.
Improves Heart Health
Chia seeds can improve heart health by regulating cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, according to the Journal of Food Science and Technology.
Source of Omega-3 Fats
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which play an essential role in maintaining good heart and brain health. Research shows that daily consumption of Chia seeds in healthy amounts leads to a sharp increase in omega-3 fatty acids in the body.
Improves Brain Function
A good source of B vitamins, Chia seeds can help improve the function of your nervous system by providing it with the energy it requires.
Improves Red Blood Cell Count
Chia seeds can improve the production of Red Blood Cells inside the human body with only a single tablespoon containing 6 percent of the daily recommended intake of Iron, a nutrient necessary to the production of red blood cells.
Making Chia seeds a part of your diet can lead to stronger bones, as the seeds are a major source of Phosphorus, Manganese, Calcium, and Copper, which are all nutrients that play an important role in the formation and strengthening of bones.
Chia seeds can and are being used to replace egg content in baked goods, thereby reducing the reliance on the poultry industry and reducing the global carbon footprint.
Prevents Premature Skin Aging
Chia seeds are extremely beneficial for skin, due to the massive amount of antioxidants present in them. These antioxidants accelerate the skin repair process and prevent them from further damage; hence preventing premature skin aging, due to inflammation.
According to studies, chia seed consumption produces the same results as sports energy drinks; hence giving you the same amount of energy without the high-sugar content or the unhealthy chemicals.
Improves Dental Health
Chia seeds can do wonders for your teeth as they’re packed with calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, and zinc. Calcium is one of the most fundamentals minerals required to help maintain healthy teeth. Zinc avoids tartar by preventing plaque from solidifying on your teeth and also acts as an antibacterial agent keeping bad breath away.
Promotes Muscle Growth
Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein and can significantly assist people trying to build a lean and muscular body by providing them with the right nutrients, minus all the fat and sugar.
Details on the Chia Seed Diet and Weight Loss
Consuming Chia seeds has often been hyped as a great way to lose weight because of their tendency to expand in your belly, making you feel full while eating less. Another reason Chia seeds are believed to be linked to weight loss is that of their high-fiber content (approximately 10 grams of fiber per ounce of seeds) which can make us feel full for longer, as it takes a longer time for our bodies to absorb nutrients from the fiber.
Additionally, fiber provides energy for gut bacteria, which reduces inflammation in our bodies, often linked to weight loss, as that inflammation is one of the primary causes of obesity.
Despite all the claims of Chia being the magical key to losing weight, scientific evidence tells a conflicting story.
A study conducted in 2009, published in Nutrition Research, found that Chia seeds showed no weight loss in 90 overweight adults after 12 weeks of consumption when compared to a placebo group. The study even found that the consumption of Chia seeds in large quantities may also interfere with nutrient absorption, causing bloating.
However, another study conducted in 2014, published in Nutrición Hospitalaria, found that subjects who consumed Chia in various forms exhibited a slight reduction in weight and waist size when compared to those who didn’t, suggesting that Chia may help burn belly fat.
While Chia has many nutrients that can promote weight loss and provide numerous other benefits, conflicting scientific research shows that the claims about Chia seeds acting as a magical key to weight loss are just an overstatement.
Therefore, Chia seeds should be complemented with proper exercise, as well as an overall healthy diet to achieve weight loss.
How to Utilize the Chia Seed Diet
You can add Chia seeds to your diet in various forms. Some of them include Chia seed oil, powdered Chia, and whole seeds sprinkled on foods such as smoothies, pancakes and protein bars.
The following are different ways you can consume Chia seeds:
While consuming Chia seeds in their raw form is not recommended because of their tendency to stick to your teeth and to cause dehydration, it is the quickest and most convenient method of consumption. You may chew them on their own or add them to your favorite foods and beverages.
To soak the Chia seeds, mix them with water in a 1:10 ratio, which is approximately equal to 1.5 tablespoons of seeds in a cup of water. Let it sit for 1-2 hours. Note: If you decide to consume Chia seeds without soaking, make sure to stay hydrated, because Chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, and if consumed unsoaked, they would absorb the water from your body.
An alternative to soaking is grinding Chia seeds in a grinding machine to break the outer shells. Once turned to powder, the resulting Chia seed flour can be used in place of regular flour in bread, pasta, and baked items.
One study published in RESPYN found that ground chia seeds can improve their digestibility.
Another way to reap the benefits of the vast amount of nutrients packed inside Chia seeds is to extract its oil, which makes up for 25-40 percent of its weight. It can be used as an alternative to regular cooking oils, which have many harmful effects, such as raising cholesterol levels.
Whereas, Chia seed oil has been known to have the very opposite effect on cholesterol levels by lowering them even further, according to the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology.
The daily recommended average intake of Chia seeds is 20 grams (1.5 tablespoons) twice a day, but it may vary according to the individual’s weight, size, age and activity levels.
Potential Chia Seed Diet Side Effects and Interactions
- Stomach Discomfort
- Due to the high fiber content present in Chia seeds, they may cause many different types of stomach discomforts, such as diarrhea, bloating and cramping, especially when consumed in large amounts.
- Blood Pressure Medicine
- Chia seeds are known to lower blood pressure and may enhance the effect of blood-pressure-lowering medicines. Therefore, people who are currently taking anti-hypertensive drugs should consult with a qualified health care practitioner before making Chia seeds a part of their diet.
- Blood Sugar Medicine
- Studies have shown that Chia seeds contain specific compounds that may assist in regulating serum glucose levels, thereby enhancing the effect of medicines designed to control blood sugar. Therefore, people on medication should consult with their physician before making Chia seeds a part of their diet.
A typical monthly supply of Chia Seeds, according to the recommended dosage for a single adult, costs around $10-$20, which is quite reasonable when compared to other foods/supplements that contain the same amount of nutrients as Chia seeds.
Chia Seed Diet Alternatives
If it’s difficult for you to get a hold of Chia seeds on a regular basis, or if you have grown tired of their taste, then don’t worry, because there are plenty of alternatives to the “super-food.”
Sesame Seed Diet
Sesame seeds have always been a part of recipes in virtually every culture in the world since ancient times.
They are not just an amazing source of fiber, which promotes a healthy digestive system, but they are also packed with several vitamins and minerals that are essential in and maintaining overall health, says Pharmacognosy Review.
Sesame seeds contain B vitamins which are essential for efficient metabolism and also promote radiant skin, strong hair, and muscles.
The seeds also promote healthy bones by being a rich source of calcium and also contain magnesium, which can help in the absorption of this calcium, in addition to maintaining thyroid function.
Sesame seeds, packed with nutrients essential to maintaining good health, when consumed help treat conditions, such as high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
The seeds can also aid lung function, reduce inflammation, strengthen bones and reduce bad cholesterol levels.
Just like Chia seeds, you should only consume small amounts of sesame seeds.
The recommended daily intake is just 1 to 2 tablespoons, which would allow you to reap the maximum nutritional benefits without going overboard. People with food allergies should exercise caution and should consult with their physician if any allergy symptoms should occur upon consumption of Sesame Seeds.
Flax Seed Diet
Flax, a plant native to the Mediterranean, has been grown as a source of food for over 5,000 years. People use flax seeds for various health benefits.
Although slightly larger, they are similar in shape to sesame seeds and have smooth, shiny and hard shells. Flax seeds provide a maximum nutritional benefit when ground since it enhances the absorption of their nutrients inside the human body.
Flax seeds, like Chia seeds, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, iron and dietary fiber. They also contain phytochemicals called lignans..
The consumption of oil extracted from flax seeds has been proven to reduce bad cholesterol.
Other benefits of flaxseed oil include relief from skin irritation, due to dryness and constipation.
Hemp Seed Diet
Hemp seeds, derived from the hemp plant are extremely nutritious and have a mild, nutty flavor.
Just like Chia seeds, they also contain beneficial fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, which are linked to several health benefits.
They are also an excellent protein source since more than a quarter of their calories come from protein, considerably more than the 16-18 percent protein content of chia seeds and flax seeds.
They also contain several vitamins and minerals.
Hemp seeds can be consumed in various forms: cooked, toasted or raw. They can also be pressed for oil, which has been used in China as an ingredient in foods and medicines for at least 3,000 years.
Moreover, studies on animals have demonstrated that hemp seeds may lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of blood clot formations.
Hemp seed oil may also be beneficial to dry skin, as it can improve itchiness, acting as an alternative to skin medication.
Despite a lack of scientific evidence, hemp seed consumption has been known to significantly reduce the intensity of symptoms experienced by women going through menopause.Although its exact working is unknown, it is thought to curb the hormonal imbalances and reduce the inflammation caused by it.
Hemp seeds are also an excellent source of fiber, and their regular consumption in moderate amounts is linked with improved digestive health.
Rich in all sorts of beneficial nutrients, hemp seeds are extremely beneficial for people of all ages and genders. However, they do contain trace amounts of THC, which is the active component in marijuana, responsible for its reputation. Therefore, people who have been addicted to cannabis might want to avoid hemp seeds in all forms.
“I like the fact that Chia Seeds not only helps keep me hydrated but taking with a vitamin infused fruit & vegie drink you feel the ongoing affects all day.”
“I didn’t like anything about them.”
“The writer gives great history on the use of chia seeds buy indigenous people. I would have liked to have seen a table for the nutritional values. The recipes are a great added benefit of reading the book. I am excited to try the Chia crackers.”
The Bottom Line on the Chia Seed Diet
What’s the real deal with Chia Seed Diet? Not an actual weight-loss plan, this more of a basic idea of adding the food to your diet. In theory, it increases your fiber intake, which should help control appetite and blood sugar, making it easier to eat less. But, in practice? We have reservations.
If you want to shed those extra pounds, why not try your hand with a supplement that contains clinically tested ingredients that are known to help increase metabolism? For best results, combine it with diet and exercise.
Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Noom. It’s made using four key ingredients shown in clinical tests to help boost fat loss, curb hunger and improve fat loss. Our research revealed no negative comments or mentions of harsh side effects, letting us know people are pleased with their results.
Plus, the makers of Noom are giving all customers a 14-day trial, which is the kind of the thing we love to see.
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125 Pounds Lost: Cynthia Sets a Weight Loss Date and Sticks With It
What was the “turning point” that prompted you to lose weight?
I had always fooled myself into thinking that I was fat but healthy. I was strong and flexible. My numbers were good. I thought that it would nice to be lose weight to be more attractive, to buy cute clothes, to get a man…but none of that outweighed my addiction to eating. Over the years, I gained more weight. And more weight. And then I was approaching 400 pounds. It was terrifying and I felt trapped by it. In my late 30s, suddenly my ‘healthy body’ was hurting. My knees, my feet, my back – they all started giving out. I couldn’t take a long walk without being in pain. I began to hide out more in my home and avoid going places that I might not fit or where I might have to walk very far.
I come from a family of eaters, many of whom have struggled with their weight and the accompanying health problems. When my sister became pregnant with my niece, I realized that I would not be fit enough to play with her, that my size might embarrass her, or worse, my habits would become her habits and she would struggle as I have.
When did you start trying to lose weight?
I started in the Spring of 2012, the day after Easter. I remember doing this farewell tour of insane amounts of Easter candy, junk food, and take-out. I thought my life was OVER and I needed to say goodbye to good food.
How did you get started?
I think the first step was acknowledging my binge eating disorder. I am addicted to food. Like any addict, I had to surrender to a plan. My will and what I thought I needed was twisted by my addiction. So I committed. Really committed. I didn’t allow myself a choice. I set a date, I researched and planned, I cleaned out my kitchen, and I started.
I started with the South Beach Diet on Phase 1. That’s lots of lean protein, veggies, greens, nuts and seeds, etc. for two weeks, but no fruit or sugar/starches. That’s to detox your system from sugar. After the first two weeks, you gradually add back in fruits and whole grains. This helps you find how your body reacts to those foods, how much you can tolerate without bringing back cravings, trigger foods, etc. It was all really helpful. I realized that I could regain control over my cravings by removing certain things from my diet. Finally, it wasn’t a fight all of the time.
What was your biggest challenge?
I think the biggest challenge is how food-centered our culture is. Every activity seems to have eating traditions and we get so bought into the idea that the activity isn’t the same without the food:
- “But you HAVE to get popcorn and candy at the movies! You HAVE to!”
- “It’s your birthday. You HAVE to have cake. It’s not your birthday without cake and ice cream!”
- “A baseball game isn’t the same without beer and a hotdog. You HAVE to!”
- “What’s Christmas without cookies and egg nog? You HAVE to!”
And that’s hard to get through because you aren’t just managing your own habits, but other people’s, too. People WANT you to participate in their eating traditions and it is hard to resist.
Were there any times when you wanted to quit or give up? How did you stay motivated?
The first year went very smoothly. I lost 100 pounds and I felt unstoppable. And then some old habits and compulsions started creeping back in and my progress was erratic. I’ve gained and lost the same pounds countless times. It can be very frustrating and this is the time when I used to give up. I found myself giving in more and letting the weight creep back up. But I see it all differently now. Even if I stray, I can get right back on a keep going. I can look for answers in the mistakes I have made. I am no longer depriving myself to reach a goal. I am nourishing myself – today.
If you reached a weight loss plateau, how did you break out of the rut?
I stop and reflect — and make sure that I’m not going overboard with portions. Going back to strict measuring and planning can help confirm that I’m not unknowingly going off plan. I also try mixing up my routines. If I’ve been eating eggs every morning, I try having fruit/veggie smoothies or oatmeal. The same goes for exercise. Switch it out. Instead of walking, try biking or swimming.
What’s your current exercise routine?
I hate exercising, so I focus on moving more and doing things I enjoy. I walk my dog. I ride my bike to work instead of driving. I go for a swim or dance around my living room. I took a Zumba class and enjoyed that. I started C25K running program, but found it is still too hard on my hips. I’ll try it again when I’m lighter. I’m trying to get into active hobbies instead of “exercising.”
What’s your daily diet look like?
Over time, I found that the South Beach Diet worked well for me, but only if I avoided all processed, refined, pre-packaged foods. I have also, over time, begun to eat more plant-based. I wouldn’t label myself a vegan, but I would say that I rely more on plant proteins and less on animal. I feel better and I can eat more for less calories. I still eat meat, dairy, and eggs – just not every day. For breakfast, I often have a smoothie with kale, lemon, bananas, cucumbers, carrots, berries, coconut oil, hemp seeds, ground flaxseed, and chia seed. It keeps me full and it’s really convenient. Snack is often a piece of fruit with nuts or carrots with hummus. For lunch, I usually have another smoothie or a big veggie salad with avocado and nuts. For dinner, I might have brown rice and dark red kidney beans with tomatoes, onions, garlic, celery, green peppers, and veggie Italian sausage. For dessert, I often make a chocolate milkshake with frozen bananas and raw cacao in the blender. You’d be surprised how good that is!
What’s your favorite healthy snack/meal?
I really love apples with peanut butter. I get that fresh-ground peanut butter from the deli —nothing but peanuts.
Do you have specific suggestions for avoiding temptations?
Plan in advance what you are going to eat and eat often. If you wait until you are hungry, you won’t make good decisions. If you are going to a restaurant, check out the menu online and pick out some options before you get there. That way, you won’t make impulsive decisions or get swept up in what other people are eating. And be careful of how you let other people impact what you are eating. Make your own decisions and don’t worry about other people.
What’s your life like after weight loss?
I feel like I am finally awake. Food was an escape, but I was escaping from EVERY element of my life. I always thought that if I lost the weight my life would begin. But my life was already going on without me. A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about losing weight, it’s about giving your body what it needs to thrive. I’m still not a healthy weight, but I am doing everything I can do today and loving who I am right now.
If you have any suggestions to others what would they be?
If you will make sure you eat 5-6 cups of vegetables and greens a day, plus 3-4 servings of fruit (regardless of what else you eat)…you will be SHOCKED at what a change it makes in how you feel, your hunger, your cravings, your weight, your energy, your hair and skin, everything!
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