Chia seeds are tiny crunchy fiber rich foods that are full of protein which can help to make you feel full for longer. They come from the flowering plant Salvia hispanica, and several studies suggest that they offer a variety of health benefits such as lowering the risk of depression, heart disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.
One ounce of chia seeds contains 137 calories, 11 grams of fiber, 4.68 grams of protein, 96 mg of magnesium, 2.19 mg of iron, 9 grams of fat of which 5 are omega-3s; 115 mg of potassium; 18% of the daily recommended value for calcium; 30% of the DRV for manganese; 27% of the DRV for phosphorus; as well as a decent amount of zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, and B3. These seeds are also a rich source of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
Several studies suggest that chia seeds help to improve blood sugar, cholesterol, inflammation, constipation, improve bone health, and blood clots among other health benefits due to its potent antioxidant activities.
A study published in the journal Nutricion Hospitalaria investigated whether chia seeds can help to promote weight loss in a total of 26 participants who were divided into 2 groups, with one group consuming 35 grams of chia per day while the other group had a placebo. Those in the chia group experienced significant weight loss and improvements in abnormal cholesterol levels.
Another study published in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases investigated whether chia seeds could promote weight loss in those with diabetes in 77 participants who were divided into 2 groups and asked to follow a calorie restricted diet for 6 months. The first group added chia seeds to their diets while the second group ate an oat bran based control food. Those in the chia group lost an average of 1.9 kg compared to those in the control group who lost 0.3 kg; additionally those in the chia group experienced significant reductions in waist circumference compared to the control group.
It is fairly easy to incorporate chia seeds into the diet as they are fairly flexible. You can try to add a tablespoon to a smoothie; add them in trail mix; use chia flour to cook with; as a salad topping; eat with nut butter; sprinkle on a fruit salad; add into jams; in pudding; in yogurt; mix into eggs; or in chia infused water.
To make chia water soak one part of chia seeds in 16 parts of water for 20-30 minutes. You can drink the water on its own or add some honey, lemon, or fruit to give a boost to the flavor. Drink right away, add some ice to make it more chilling.