What do you consider when you concentrate on chia? Maybe it’s pudding, or perhaps it’s quirky houseplants. For some TikTokkers, it’s breakfast. They’ve began placing these tiny seeds in water and consuming them to stave off starvation — or so they are saying.
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Is there any reality to this trick? Registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD, explains the science behind the seeds, together with whether or not this pattern is one to strive or to toss.
The advantages of chia seed water
Chia seeds are extremely wholesome, a supply of fiber, protein and numerous vitamins. They’re additionally whole-grain, low-carb and low-calorie, with solely about 100 energy per ounce.
They come from Salvia hispanica, a purple-flowered plant within the mint household, which grows in Mexico and Guatemala. And although the seeds themselves are teeny-tiny — just like poppy seeds — they pack fairly the dietary punch. They’re loaded with:
- Antioxidants: These substances assist defend you towards free radicals, which may contribute to most cancers and numerous sickness and influence the best way your physique ages.
- Fiber: Chia seeds embody 11 grams of fiber, which is vital for intestine well being and helps you are feeling fuller for longer. (More on this in a second!)
- Protein: Sometimes known as the “building blocks” of your physique, protein is important within the well being of your muscular tissues, pores and skin, bones and extra. It’s additionally key to shedding weight and constructing muscle, amongst different well being advantages.
And that’s not all. “Chia seeds are considered a superfood,” Czerwony says. “They have some nice vitamins and minerals, like phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc — though quite honestly, not too many people have those deficiencies.”
Can chia water actually make it easier to shed some pounds?
Chia seed water is strictly what it appears like: A spoonful of chia seeds dropped right into a glass of water. But why?
Chia seeds can take up as a lot as 12 instances their weight. When they get moist, they swell in measurement and tackle a gelatinous texture — which is a well mannered method of claiming that they get fairly slimy. Think tapioca, however much less flavorful.
The concept behind consuming chia seed water is that the moist seeds will enlarge in your abdomen and take up area, stopping you from getting hungry. That might, in flip, trigger you to develop into much less hungry and finally make it easier to to shed some pounds.
So does it work? In a phrase, sure. Kind of.
“The chia seeds mix with the water and your gastric juices, and they expand in your stomach,” Czerwony confirms. “It keeps you fuller longer because it takes up space, and all of that soluble fiber slows down digestion.”
When your digestion slows, your physique releases blood sugar at a slower charge, stopping the spikes and valleys in blood sugar that trigger elevated urge for food (a.ok.a. being “hangry”).
The dangers of chia seed water
But Czerwony warns to not go overboard with the chia seed water. While it’s superb to do each every so often, wish to fend off that late-day urge to snack, it shouldn’t be seen as a key technique for weight reduction.
For starters, consuming chia seeds isn’t a substitute for a nutritious diet — only a helpful trick for use from time to time. And in the event you’re gulping down quite a lot of fiber, make certain you’re additionally gulping down quite a lot of water, otherwise you would possibly find yourself with some fairly disagreeable digestive points, together with constipation, bloating and gasoline.
“Too much of a good thing is too much,” Czerwony says. “If you’re eating a lot of fiber and not drinking enough fluid along with it, the chia seeds will start to absorb the fluid in your gut and cause you to have hard stool.”
How to make chia seed water
Czerwony recommends placing one or two tablespoons of chia seeds in an eight- to 10-ounce glass of water. If you’ve by no means consumed the seeds earlier than, you might need to begin with a smaller quantity to see how your physique tolerates them.
And whilst you need to soak the seeds in water for a few minutes earlier than consuming the concoction, don’t wait too lengthy. “You’re going to have to drink it pretty quickly to get it down before it starts to solidify,” Czerwony advises.
The texture of chia seed water generally is a little bit off-putting, to say the least, so be at liberty to taste yours with lemon, lime, or no matter else makes it extra palatable.
Alternatives to chia seed water
Not thrilled about glugging gelatinous goop? Chia seed water isn’t the one approach to fill your self up on fiber with out going overboard on energy.
“Chia seed water is trendy right now, but it doesn’t do anything for your body that you couldn’t get from eating other sources of fiber,” Czerwony says. You’ll get the identical results from an enormous salad or a bowl of wholesome oatmeal, which is able to preserve you fuller longer than meals with no excessive fiber content material.
If you’re offered on chia, although, you possibly can nonetheless take pleasure in the advantages of chia seeds with out consuming them in water. Here are only a few different varieties through which to take pleasure in them.