Thursday, June 13, 2024

Are Chia Seeds Good for Weight Loss? Know the Reality Backed by Science

Everyone on the internet is going gaga over chia seeds. Lots of Instagram influencers are making smoothies with chia seeds. They are saying it is good for health and helps with weight loss. Are chia seeds good for weight loss? Or is it just another social media trend that will fade away after a few months? In order to help readers, Menteblog is here today with some science-backed data that can help you understand the effectiveness of these seeds. So without further ado, let’s get started with the actual chia seeds weight loss benefits.

What Are Chia Seeds?

Chia is actually a member of the mint family and is derived from Mexico. Many people eat them as whole grains; however, in reality, they are pseudo-grains. Chia seeds are rich in carbohydrates, and we collect them from a non-grass plant. When they come in contact with liquid, they can expand and form a thick gel. Chia seeds were an integral part of Aztec and Mayan diets, but later they were banned because of their ritualistic religious use.

Chia seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). They can hold nearly 10 times their weight in water or any other liquid. Dieticians recommend soaking chia seeds before consuming them. The most amazing part is that chia seeds don’t have any strong flavor or taste, so you can add them to any food and consume it the way you want.

The Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds 

The nutrients present in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of chia seeds are: 

Nutrients Value
Calories486 Kcal
Water6%
Protein16.5 grams
Carbs42.1 grams
Sugar0 grams
Fiber34.4 grams
Fat30.7 grams
Saturated Fat3.33 grams
Monosaturated Fat2.31 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat23.67 grams
Omega-317.83 grams
Omega-65.84 grams
Trans Fat0.14 grams

Source: USDA

Note: Chia seeds are also free from gluten. 

Are Chia Seeds Good for Weight Loss?

Let’s talk about the main concern: whether chia seeds are good for weight loss or not. While researching, we found that there are many assertions on the internet that chia seeds are good for weight loss. They may help you curb your appetite and promote safe weight loss. The popular theory behind this is that chia seeds are rich in fiber and can keep you feeling fuller for longer. They can save you from overeating.

Both the fiber and protein present in chia seeds can help suppress appetite. On the other hand, each serving of chia seeds contains only 138 calories. It means it is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense snack. Many scientists have come together to find out the chia seeds weight loss benefits. Many studies are done, and some are still ongoing. A study in 2014 compared the weight loss effectiveness of chia seeds among two groups of people. A group of people consumed 35 grams of chia seed flour in a day, and other people were put on a placebo. A total of 26 people took part in that study.

Researchers noted a significant weight loss in some people in the Chia group. Participants who were suffering from obesity in that group lost more weight compared to others who were less overweight at the beginning of the research.

People who followed a chia seed diet saw an improvement in their cholesterol levels (those with abnormal cholesterol levels). They experienced a reduction in overall cholesterol levels and an increase in “good” cholesterol (lipoprotein). Another study also shows that people with type 2 diabetes can find chia seeds effective for weight loss.

These findings indicate that chia seeds may not promote weight loss on their own. However, chia seeds may promote weight loss in people who follow a low-calorie diet. More extensive research is required to prove the effectiveness of chia seeds for weight loss.

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Other Health Benefits of Chia Seeds 

Before you start looking for online shops to buy the best chia seeds for weight loss, you should also check their other health benefits. Weight loss shouldn’t be your only concern; you also need to take care of your overall health.

According to the USDA, chia seeds contain many healthy nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and so on.

Chia seeds also contain antioxidants and necessary omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 can help reduce the risk of depression, childhood allergies, and inflammatory bowel diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids are also effective in reducing the risk of heart disease.

  • Chia seeds help to control blood sugar and promote better diabetes management
  • Promote regular bowel habits and relief from constipation
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce inflammation due to its antioxidant content
  • Prevent blood clots
  • Improve cholesterol level

Risks and Considerations About Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are generally safe for most people and do not cause any side effects. However, it is rich in fiber, which may cause gastrointestinal problems for people who are sensitive to fiber. Please note that it contains omega-3s in a larger quantity, and that can thin the blood. If a person is taking blood thinners, they should consult with a doctor before adding chia seeds to their diet. Also, people should stop eating chia seeds if they experience any allergic reactions, although this is uncommon.

5 Fun Ways of Eating Chia Seeds: The Best Chia Seed Recipes for Weight Loss

Dieting shouldn’t be boring. It should be filled with fun and satisfaction. And that’s why Menteblog is sharing five amazing ways to eat chia seeds for weight loss.

  1. Chia-Coconut Pudding 

Take chia seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, and then mix them in a bowl. Whisk them properly, cover the bowl, and then leave it overnight in the refrigerator. The chia-coconut pudding should be thick and creamy. While eating, you can add coconut to garnish it. Or use coconut milk for soaking.

  1. Juice-Soaked Chia 

Water isn’t the only liquid that you can add to chia seeds. You can use any fresh fruit juice to soak the chia seeds. If you are going to take chia seeds in the morning during breakfast, avoid fruit juices that have a tangy flavor or can cause acid reflux. Take ¼ cup of chia seeds and then add 4 cups of fruit juice to them. Soak chia seeds for thirty minutes. And then you are all set to enjoy it.

  1. Add Chia Seeds to Your Smoothies

You can make your smoothies more nutritious. You can make your smoothie the way you want and then add soaked chia seeds. You should soak chia seeds and make a gel before adding them to your smoothie.

  1. Fruit-Filled Chia Seeds

Take one or more seasonal fruits. Slice them, add a little spice, or skip it. Mix sliced fruits with soaked and gel-based chia seeds. You can add a little salt to taste and then enjoy it. You should avoid adding refined sugar if you are taking chia seeds for weight loss.

  1. Cold Chia Coffee

Take one or two spoons of coffee and cocoa powder, and then add cold milk. Stir everything well. Then, you can add soaked chia seeds. You can whisk everything to get a smoothie-like effect. Take the mixture in a glass, place the straw in it, add ice cubes or not, and drink it. Such an amazing drink will improve your mood for the day, and you will feel refreshed for the entire day.

If you are looking for ways to use chia seeds to lose belly fat, all of these recipes can help. Most importantly, if you find weight loss getting out of hand, get the help of a qualified dietician and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Conclusion

In our search for “are chia seeds good for weight loss”, we have found many other important pieces of information about chia seeds. We can say that chia seeds are a nutritious pseudograin that we can add to our weight loss plan. However, chia seeds are not a quick fix, and if you eat too many, they can trigger the opposite effect. No single food available there can promote weight loss. In order to safely lose excess weight, one needs to follow a healthy lifestyle, eat a balanced diet, and do regular exercise.

Although some people claim that they notice weight loss after adding chia seeds to their diet. So, if you are planning to add it to your regular diet, consult with your dietician or a physician and make an informed decision. Also remember that chia seeds may interact with blood thinners or blood pressure medicines. So, if you are on any of those drugs, don’t add chia seeds to your diet. 

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