In theory, chia seeds are supposed to expand in your belly, helping you to feel full, eat less, and ultimately shed pounds. But one study indicates otherwise.
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More study is needed before chia can be recommended either for weight loss and heart health , says Ulbricht, chief editor of Natural Standard Research Collaboration. While there's little evidence for the weight loss benefits of chia, it can be a nutritious addition to your diet. Nieman notes that people in his study tolerated it without any complaints for 12 weeks. In the book, Roizen and Mehmet Oz, MD, recommend two daily doses, each consisting of 20 grams a little less than 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. The authors also note that the antioxidant activity of chia seeds is higher than any whole food, even blueberries.
Is there any downside to chia? Ulbricht cautions that if you have food allergies especially to sesame or mustard seeds or are on high blood pressure medications or blood thinners , you should ask your health care provider before adding chia to your diet. Enjoy chia seeds for their flavor and to boost the fiber, protein, calcium , antioxidants, and omega-3s in your diet.
But don't expect a big weight loss boost.
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet or seed for weight loss. If you want to lose weight, you'll need to follow a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and get more physical activity. Continued Should You Try Chia? However there is no conclusive evidence to suggest chia seeds can directly reduce the risk of heart disease or diabetes.
As part of a balanced diet, chia seeds may contribute to overall health.
The health benefits of chia seeds
Other lifestyle factors such as regular exercise are more likely to have an effect. There are very few reported side effects of eating chia seeds — on the whole they are well-tolerated. As they are small seeds, consuming too many in one sitting may cause constipation, so it is important to drink adequate water. Chia seeds have a neutral taste compared to the bolder flavours of pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds.
A popular way of eating them is to soak them in water or milk and put them in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. To add flavour, you can try soaking the seeds in flavoured milk, fruit juice, or by adding spices such as cinnamon, ginger or a little honey.
Whole, soaked chia seeds can also be used as a thickening agent for soups and stews, and ground seeds can be used as an egg substitute in baking. To replace one large egg, try using 1 tbsp of ground chia seeds and 3 tbsp of water. Ground chia seeds can be bought or you can make your own in a coffee grinder. When ground they can be used as a replacement for flour in baking breads or cakes. Remember that recipes may yield very different results when substitutions are made, so you may need to experiment to find out what works best.
Dry-roasting and toasting chia seeds brings out and develops the flavour and texture. Toasted seeds add crunch to salads or on top of breakfast cereals.
Make sure the oven or hob is at a low temperature and toss the seeds in the pan or baking tray, making sure not to burn them, as this degrades the oils and alters the flavour. Overall, chia seeds are versatile; they can be eaten raw or mixed into baking.
Chia Seeds: How Healthy Are They?
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What are chia seeds and where do they come from? Nutritional benefits of chia seeds For such a small seed, chia seeds contain some important nutrients. How much have the health claims of chia seeds been researched? Do chia seeds help you lose weight? Do chia seeds promote better bone health?
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