When it comes to weight loss, diet and exercise really are key. So-called “miracle” weight loss supplements rarely live up to the hype, although there are certain foods that can support your goals. As part of a healthy diet and active lifestyle, chia seeds can make it easier for you to lose weight by suppressing your appetite and providing essential nutrients. See what chia seeds can do for your diet, and find some delicious chia recipes below!
Chia seeds are chock-full of dietary fiber, including both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber gives chia seeds their gel-like quality when mixed with liquid. They can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, which causes them to form a bulky gel. This gel not only acts as an appetite suppressant, but also slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and therefore prevents blood sugar spikes.
A 2010 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that chia seed supplementation reduced appetite and increasing feelings of satiety in participants. This study suggests that chia seeds can support weight loss goals by providing a sense of fullness. Thanks to the combination of insoluble and soluble fiber in chia seeds, you’ll be less likely to crave unhealthy treats that can throw your diet off course. After all, chia seeds are Taylor Swift’s diet secret and they can be yours, too!
Aside from their rich source of fiber, chia seeds also provide plenty of other nutritional benefits! Most notably, they are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help reduce inflammation, which is linked to arthritis and heart disease. These fatty acids are also found in large quantities in the brain and supplementation of this nutrient may support cognitive function.
These tiny yet mighty seeds are also an excellent source of bone-building calcium and fatigue-fighting iron. Per serving, they provide over 10% of the daily recommended intake for these nutrients. Chia seeds also contain a high amount of protein for a plant-based food. They add 4 grams of protein to your diet per serving. It’s no wonder they’re considered a superfood!
How to Eat Chia Seeds (Plus Recipes!)
One of the simplest ways to enjoy chia seeds is to prepare a chia fresca drink. Simply mix 2 cups of liquid (water, juice, etc.) with 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes in order to allow the chia seeds to swell up. That’s it!
Another popular way to enjoy chia seeds is in a delicious chia pudding. To prepare a basic chia pudding, mix 1/4 cup of chia seeds with 1 cup of milk and set in the fridge overnight. Add sweetener or toppings as desired. For a festive fall variation, try our yummy pumpkin chia seed pudding.
Chia seeds can also be added to smoothies, and mixed in yogurt or hot cereal for a super nutrient boost. Whip up a batch of strawberry and banana overnight oats to jumpstart your mornings. Chia seeds can even be tossed in baked goods like muffins and energy squares. Try these homemade granola bars for an easy way to incorporate chia into snack time.
An all natural, sweet and tasty chia jam is a great way to spread the benefits of chia seeds over toast, muffins, and other baked goods. Make these blueberry chia jam bars for a delectable treat that provides health benefits in every bite!
Do you enjoy chia seeds as part of a healthy diet?