How to use chia seeds for weight loss, the superfood rich in protein, fibre and more
You might wonder how a bunch of seeds could possibly help you lose weight, when all this while you’ve been trying all sorts of diets to get that elusive flat tummy. But not only do chia seeds possess the ability to make you lose weight, they have a host of other health benefits too.
Chia seeds are rich in fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acid, all of which make them one of the best options for those watching their weight. However, be warned: Consuming them in their dry form may make you choke.
Therefore, it is better to soak them in water for some time before use. “Chia seeds can be blended into a smoothie or go as a topping on a salad of your choice. This will leave you feeling full for a longer duration. Soaked chia seeds can be chewed before major meals to get adequate portion control and, thereby, prevent binge eating,” says Tanisha Mehta, a Bangalore-based nutritionist at the Columbia Asia Hospital.
They have many other health benefits too. Some of them are listed below:
Chia seeds are high in phosphorus and magnesium. “A tablespoon of chia seeds contains 122 milligrams of phosphorus and 47 milligrams of magnesium. These help keep your bones healthy,” says Priyannka Singh, a Bangalore-based nutritionist who works with the health app, Portea Medical.
Chia seeds are also a good source of complete protein, which makes them an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans alike. Try making a pudding with chia seeds. Their gooey nature will give it a great texture too.
Given that these seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acid, they offer some protection against heart diseases as well.
“Chia seeds tend to soak up a lot of water. Thereby, they are a great pre-workout option that helps you stay hydrated. You can try consuming them blended in a smoothie before exercising,” says Singh.
Antioxidants in chia seeds help fight free radicals, speed up the skin’s repair system and prevent further damage. A study also pointed at the water-retaining properties of chia seeds, which can therefore be used as a moisturiser. When a cosmetic product containing a chia seed polymer was applied on the forearm of volunteers, it showed good skin hydration effects.
According to Singh, chia seeds can be beneficial for diabetics too. They are rich in alpha linoleic acid and fibre, which help prevent insulin resistance. A study published in the Diabetes Care journal showed a marked improvement in blood glucose levels and reduction in blood pressure.
Being super-high in fibre makes them beneficial for bowel regularity and overall digestive health.
Another constituent – an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha lipoic acid – also limits the growth of cancer cells in breast and cervical cancers. In fact, chia seeds have more omega-3s than the much-celebrated salmon.
As chia seeds are power-packed with vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus and zinc, they are very good for oral health. These help build strong teeth and also protect the gums.
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