They are really small in size but you should not underestimate the contribution of these small seeds towards weight loss- the case in point here being Chia Seeds. These gluten-free seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients like proteins, omega-3s, fibers, calcium, magnesium, and manganese.
With added benefits of improving metabolism and being a high-energy breakfast option, they also make for a wholesome snacking option for fitness professionals. Here’s how you can include them in your daily routine to reap better health benefits, especially if you are looking to get rid of your belly fat.
Chia seeds are the seeds from the chia plant of the mint family called Lamiaceae. They are derived from a flowering plant called Salvia hispanica that belongs to the mint family and is native to Central and Southern Mexico and Guatemala. You can recognize these seeds with their characteristic oval shape and grayish black and white colors.
These seeds taste rather bland and are quite unlike other mint family seeds. As a staple diet, they come in black and white varieties. The white ones, called Salba, have about 20% more nutrients in comparison to the black-colored variant. You should note that some seed variants may have a mild and nutty flavor.
Did you know? These seeds can absorb up to 12 times their size when soaked in water. Sprouted chia seeds make a good option for breakfast and can be an ideal option for fitness-minded professionals. They are also just as good for those looking to lose weight faster and building lean muscles.
Chia seeds were the staple diet of the Aztecs and have been around since 3500 BC. These edible seeds have now come back into the limelight among weight-conscious people. These seeds might not force weight loss directly but their nutritional content may help in quickening the weight loss process.
Here’s why you should include them in your daily diet:
These little powerhouse seeds are a great source of healthy fats like Omega-3 fatty acids that help in improving brain functioning and heart health. The consumption of the right amount of fat helps you keep a check on appetite and blood sugar. Out of your total calorie limit, you should consume 15% to 25% through good fats.
Chia seeds contain dietary fiber, an important nutrient that regulates digestion and effectively controls cholesterol levels. Fiber swells when added to liquid and makes you feel full on fewer calories, and contributes to help you burn some belly fat faster.
Two tbsp. of chia seeds can provide more than 130g of calcium- this corresponds to over 13% of the daily recommended value. Calcium helps in maintaining healthy bones and teeth but this mineral also helps in energy metabolism. It may help regulate body composition and reduce body fat percentage.
During the Aztecs Civilization, these staple seeds were known as the ‘Runner’s Food’ because they could offer enough energy to help them run all day. This super seed is known to keep you active and burn more calories. It is best advised to boost the weight loss process in several parts of the world.
This one is more or less an implied advantage of all the benefits above. Eating chia seeds before a meal helps to work on the satiety value and thus reducing the risk of overeating. The slowed digestion process also leads to a lowered consumption of food and calories. All these advantages, together with diet control and exercise, help in losing weight faster.
Chia seeds are rich in saturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and omega-6 fatty acids. These nutrients are essential to retaining moisture in the skin and can also help you treat some skin disorders like dryness and black spots.
If you apply chia seed oil on your skin, it would help you have shinier and healthier skin. Rich in several numerous vitamins and minerals, it can help you get rid of scars, warts, and dark spots. Here’s what else you may stand to win if you apply this oil to your skin every day:
1. Fights free radicals
2. Reduces inflammation
3. Fights cancerous cells
4. Moisturizes skin
5. Makes it softer and glowing
Chia seed oil also offers a matching set of health benefits for hair, as follows:
1. Nourishes hair from roots
2. Promotes faster growth
3. Controls hair fall
4. Reduces thinning
5. Prevents premature aging
It offers the following benefits for the digestive system:
1. Improves metabolism
2. Helps in faster weight loss
3. Reduce stress
4. Prevents cardiovascular issues
5. Lowers blood sugar levels
The following table mentions the nutritional value of chia seeds. This information is sourced from Wikipedia and verified by the USDA.
These edible seeds are rich in phosphorus and manganese and can be preferably had in the morning or evening. It is easy to buy them in their raw and processed forms from any local store. We also recommend that you add flax seeds to them for the best results.
Let’s have a quick look at some of the best and effortless ways by which you can adopt these super seeds and encash their associated benefits:
These super seeds have no taste of their own but they help resolve flatulence and reduce belly fat. You could take a teaspoon of these seeds with lukewarm water in the morning and see visible weight loss results in a few days.
One of the most common ways to eat chia seeds is to sprinkle them over other cooked dishes. Stir them in any liquid food to turn these seeds gelatinous and mushy so you could add them to your oatmeal, yogurt, or breakfast cereal.
Adding chia seeds to the smoothie will not only make it easy to consume them but would also add a solid thickness to an otherwise liquid smoothie. Some of the common smoothies in which you can blend in these seeds are strawberry, pineapple, etc.
Chia seeds are a perfect option for vegans because they contain almost as much nutrition as an egg. You may use 1 tbsp of finely grounded chia seeds and 3 tbsp of water to enjoy tasty delicacies without using eggs. This simple hack could be of tremendous use to vegetarian fitness professionals.
Tip: You can also go for quinoa and avocados to lose weight faster. Rich in antioxidants, the duo would help you stay full without bumping your cholesterol up. Avocadoes, in particular, are extremely nutritious. Every single Californian avocado contains about 227 calories, 2.7g of protein, 21 g of fats, 11.8g of carbs, and 9.2 gms of fiber.
Sprinkling chia seeds on the sandwich mix is a good idea. Whether you are making a tuna or an egg sandwich or just a simple jam, you can add some roasted and powdered seeds to get a better flavor and nutritional value.
The simplest way to make them a part of your daily routine is to make them in a powdered form. You may now mix it with your regular flour and see how the magic works.
Put some chia seeds in water, drain the water off, and leave them in a jar for a couple of days. Every 12 hours or so, rinse with water and pour the water off. You’ll have your chia sprouts in a few days, and they can be either consumed like that or topped on salads.
Decorate all your favorite pudding with a dash of chia seeds. It will not only enhance the dish’s physical appearance but will also double the advantages of consuming the same. The best thing is that since these seeds are almost neutral in taste, they won’t change the flavor of the pudding.
Due to some of its influential properties, this superfood does help in suppressing the appetite in three varied ways which are as follows:
Liquid absorbent: This works on the satiety value. It gives you the feeling of fullness even when you haven’t eaten much.
Slow digestion: They digest slowly so you will feel fuller and satisfied for longer durations. This also means that you can rest on healthy soups for the time being.
A powerhouse of nutrition: It helps in overall body nourishment and keeps you satisfied, which ultimately helps in controlling food cravings.
PS: If you eat junk food a lot, we have a free resource here to advise about how you can get your daily dose of nutrition from them with the least trouble possible. You can eat your fill with junk foods in most cases without getting fat.
However, please note that you should still limit your intake of junk and fried foods for the best results. Availing an online nutritionist consultation on your smartphone or computer would help too- and you can get started with one today!
Dietitians recommend that you should take 1.5 tablespoons (or 20 gms) of chia seeds every day. This would provide you with enough nutrition for the day and you can have it in a variety of ways. For example, you can sprinkle a tablespoon of chia seeds over your food. It is a perfect match for bread, muffins, smoothies, cereals, yogurt, oatmeal, and puddings.
However, do keep in mind that while it does support weight loss, you should still stick to your fitness plans (including proper diet control and exercising) to see visible results.
Our nutritionists advise that eating an unmoderated amount of chia seeds can cause digestive system disorders. This healthy food is rich in protein, one of the major building blocks of our DNA. If we eat too much of these seeds, they can cause issues related to the digestive system and blood sugar, as follows:
3. Itching on lips
4. Spikes in blood sugar
5. Thinning of blood
6. Block intestines
You may contact a nutritionist online through live audio or video sessions to know about how you can make some healthy changes to your lifestyle, including the addition of healthy foods like chia and flax seeds to your daily diet. She could also help you with a personalized diet plan so you could derive maximum health benefits. Click this link to get started!