Chia seeds surely win the top spot on the list of products that that are said to help you get rid of fat naturally. They get great reviews, advertising, and even the attention of some doctors. Should we expect this product to help in the matter of getting rid of extra pounds or should we not kid ourselves?
“Chia fresca” is a very popular drink in South and Central America. It is prepared by soaking the seeds of chia in either stevia or honey sweetened water. If you give time for the seeds to swell, “chia fresca” turns into a dessert snack.
The Native American heritage relics such as spirulina, amaranth and chia seeds are also known as super foods – products with an outstanding effect on the metabolism.
Key expectations of super foods are related to their ability to help lose weight. Seeds and nuts are the undisputed concentrate used as an integral part of any healthy diet. But no matter how much we love to crunch on nuts, they contain a lot of calories that not always can be digested properly and in the timely manner.
Chia’s wonderful ability to expand is due to the high content of insoluble fiber in the seeds, a long-chain of carbohydrate assimilation. Fiber absorbs water and swells; a couple of teaspoons of seeds can get quite a full meal, pleasing the eye and the stomach. You can use these seeds in a dry form as an additive to beverages, salads, sauces, porridge – when they get inside the body they turn into a gel like substance and make you feel fuller longer.
A tablespoon of (about 1 ounce) chia contains about 11 grams of fiber, which is one-third of daily amount recommended by nutritionists for adults.
When used as part of your diet chia seeds can provide:
- Longer feeling of fullness;
- Lowers risk of overeating;
- Reduction in blood sugar levels due to the long processing of fiber;
- Normalization of the intestine and create a favorable environment for the development of beneficial micro flora.
Fatty acids – they are sour!
Of course, chia is not for everyone. But the ancient Native Americans valued chia seeds and gave them a very respectful name (chia translated from the forgotten South American dialect means “force”).
3.3 ounces of dry chia seeds contains 31% fat (3% of them are rich, others – not), 17% protein, 42% carbohydrates, 34% of which is accounted for by fiber. Energetic value of chia is 486 kcal.
The best feature in the composition of chia seeds – high content of omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. This particular type of healthy fat is vital to the human brain and nervous system as a fuel for reconstruction and development. It is important that the omega-3 fat, as shown in some American studies, is stored under dense shell seeds does not become rancid and lose the beneficial properties even when subjected to heat treatment.
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed for a healthy diet – they speed up the metabolism and “expel” inveterate fat deposits due to its ability to activate the PPAR-alpha protein, which prevents the accumulation and fat in the liver and destroys subcutaneous accumulation. Most unsaturated fatty acids, according to research by Spanish scientists, allow to maintain a pleasant feeling of satiety, which in the case of chia seeds is a real double whammy of hunger.
Chia seeds can be especially valuable as a protein source when used in a vegetarian diet. Chia seeds have the composition of amino acids, which typical plant food does not contain. This is indispensable for the nervous system of the human organism since it is unable to synthesize its own, and for those who do not eat, for example, poultry and dairy products, restocking of tryptophan becomes a real problem.
The chia seeds also contain calcium, manganese and phosphorus, vital for bones, teeth and muscles. If you are ready to add chia to your daily diet, add about 3 ounces of dry chia seeds. It is vital to note that chia contributes to a drop in blood pressure and, therefore, is not recommended for those who have it lower than normal. Also, you should not use chia seeds if you take blood thinners. When pregnant or lactating consult you doctor before adding chia seeds to your diet.
Fifty Shades Of Chia
Chia seeds have been marketed, often very different in appearance, from the dark, almost black, to gray, cream, white … What is the difference and which are the best?
Fascinated by the chia seeds, Professor Wayne Coates of the University of Arizona says – “all chia seeds are useful in the same way, and the choice of color is a matter of purely aesthetic preferences. Other seeds may vary slightly on the content of useful elements, but it is not responsible for the shade of the shell, rather the composition of the soil where the Spanish had a chance to grow the plant”.
The only color that should alert you when choosing chia seeds is red. It means that the product is harvested before it has ripened, and probably had no time to gain useful benefits we are seeking. Also, a good indication of high quality is the size of the seed. If you have a choice in this case bigger is better!
Chia seeds clearly have many health benefits and might be a great food to add into your daily diet but when it comes to weight loss most doctors agree that it is not likely to lower your weight in significant amounts. Scientists at the North Carolina State University have conducted an experiment with the use of chia seeds. It lasted 12 weeks; during this period volunteers received 50 grams of chia daily to their usual diet. Control studies have shown that several test parameters improved cardiac health, but the weight and body fat remained almost unchanged.
Breakfast Chia Pudding
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup light or full-fat coconut milk
1/2 tablespoon honey or Stevia based sweetener
In a small bowl or a mason jar mix all of the ingredients together and let it set in refrigerator overnight. Next day removed from the fridge and top with your favorite fruit: berries, bananas, mango etc. Serve immediately and enjoy!