Chia is a very nutritious functional food, but is it possible to consume chia to lose weight? The answer is ambiguous, since, in principle, chia does not make you lose weight, but it can help with the weight loss process. Did you find it confusing? Rest assured, here you will understand how chia can help you lose weight.
It is important to know first that no single food, beverage, therapy or exercise has the power to lose weight. This is a fact that the scientific literature recognizes. So, there is no point in consuming a new functional food with miraculous slimming promises.
Sustainable weight loss involves adhering to a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, physical activity, mental health care and good nights sleep. So, within that context, yes, chia can come in and do a great job in favor of weight loss.
What is chia and what is it for?
Chia is a tiny seed that has been rediscovered in the last decade. Records reveal that it was already a food cultivated by Mesopotamian, Mayan and Aztec cultures. Chia was present in religious rituals, cosmetics and medicines. Her prestige was on a par with beans, corn and amaranth.
Currently, the high nutritional value and culinary flexibility of chia have put it in the spotlight. It can be added to sweet and savory recipes without changing the flavor, adding nutrients.
Chia also has a very peculiar property of absorbing up to 12 times its weight in water.
By retaining the liquid, it develops a mucilage, which can replace eggs, fat and even gluten in several recipes.
Flaxseed also develops mucilage when it is hydrated, but it needs to be liquified so that the body can absorb its nutrients. Chia already has a very thin shell, making it possible to absorb its nutrients without having to liquefy.
Benefits of chia
The benefits of chia are involved with its composition, which is rich in fibers, proteins and fatty acids such as omega 3. Check out more about the characteristics of chia composition:
Proteins – They are formed by all 9 essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce. The protein content of chia is around 17%, which is higher than other vegetable proteins such as quinoa, wheat and rice;
Fibers – They help in the functioning of the intestine, being able to regulate the intestinal transit. Dietary fibers are also important for the health of the microbiota, as they function as prebiotics, helping to maintain the active diversity of beneficial microorganisms. Fiber, when consumed in greater amounts, can lower the risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and various types of cancer.
Omega 3 – Chia is the richest plant source of omega 3. This nutrient has been shown to improve heart rate, optimize cognitive performance, reduce cholesterol and protect against inflammation.
Chia is also rich in micronutrients and bioactive compounds. Check which ones below:
- vitamin A;
Now, see the benefits of consuming chia:
Satiety and glycemic control – One study compared the effects of chia with flaxseed on parameters of satiety and glucose release. Chia appears to have the ability to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, consequently, it takes longer to feel hungry. The effect is possibly due to the viscosity that the fiber provides.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action – Chia seed is rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory bioactive compounds, such as tocopherols, phytosterols, carotenoids and polyphenolic compounds. Scientific articles have already reported its potential to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, in addition to protecting against diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Cholesterol and blood pressure control – It was shown in a study that consuming chia daily reduced waist circumference. In addition, she also contributed to the decrease in blood triglycerides and blood pressure.
Is chia good for weight loss?
Yes! It can be included in a diet focused on weight loss – and you will now understand why eating chia makes you lose weight. There are some questions like: “does water with chia make you lose weight?”. Let’s demystify this!
Chia can make you feel fuller longer. Do you remember what was said about its ability to absorb water? Well, the fibers present in chia have this ability to expand when absorbing liquids. Therefore, consuming chia with water can provide greater satiety. If you think you consume large volumes of food or feel hungry a few hours after eating, consuming hydrated chia before your main meals can be interesting. It will help you to be satisfied with less food and will also increase the period of satiety.
It is important to know that, even though chia is a functional food, it is a high-calorie food. Slimming is a calculation where you spend more calories than you ingest. Therefore, there is no point in consuming chia if at the end of the day the amount of calories ingested is greater than the amount spent.