We all know that chia seeds are a so-called superfood today, but what you may not know is just how certain nutrients in chia seeds actually contribute to weight loss better than other foods. Chia seeds’ nutrient profile is unique to any other nut, seed, etc. They are a tiny complex of nutrition heaven, and the best part is, you can add them to anything! There are endless amounts of chia recipes out there, so to encourage you to make some, check out these nutrients in chia seeds. These nutrients won’t just help you lose weight, but also help to keep you looking great too!
1. Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber is found in many foods, and is one of the most important nutrients found in chia seeds that aids in weight loss. Soluble fiber soaks up excess water in the digestive tract, which slows down your blood sugar, slows digestion to enhance nutrient absorption, and it enhances fullness quickly. This lowers your risk for diabetes and nasty sugar cravings, while also stimulating leptin, the hormone in your brain that tells you you’re full. Soluble fiber also helps beat bloating by reducing constipation and soaking up excess water, to excrete it from your body hours later. Chia seeds soak up into a gelatinous gel after soaking in water for 30 minutes or so, which shows you exactly what they do once inside your body.This will help reduce bloating, constipation, and help keep you full and energized for hours!
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Chia seeds have five grams of omega 3 fatty acids in just one ounce. They have more omega fatty acids than salmon per serving, and they are excellent to substitute for fish as a vegan source of these fats. Omega 3s help keep your skin supple, and they reduce and prevent wrinkles. They also keep your heart healthy by reducing cardiovascular disease symptoms and risks. When it comes to a fast metabolism, omega 3s are crucial. These healthy fats speed up metabolism, while also halting hunger, which creates a dual effect for beating weight gain and sluggishness. Researchers have even found the omega 3 fatty acids in chia to be used and absorbed by the body better than those in flax, which technically have even higher amounts of omega 3s than chia.
We are always hearing about how calcium in dairy can aid in weight loss, right? Oh, and don’t forget we need calcium for strong bones and teeth! Calcium does aid in weight loss since it seems to reduce stress and blood pressure, which reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol is the fat-storing hormone that our bodies send out when we are stressed. High blood pressure from a poor diet or stress is also powerfully quelled by a good dose of calcium. What most people don’t know is that dairy is actually not the highest or most bioavailable source of calcium, plus it is extremely acidic to the body and harsh on the digestive tract. Chia seeds have more calcium per tablespoon than dairy, and they reduce inflammation, instead of enhance it. Just one tablespoon of chia has 18% of your daily calcium requirements, so eat 2 tbsp. three times a day to meet your daily calcium quota. Add chia to smoothies, sauces, dressings, top your oatmeal with it, or even make chia pudding. I've noticed my nails also look so much better and don't ever break since adding chia seeds to my diet.
Manganese is one of the most overlooked minerals in foods today, if you ask me. Manganese is found in many foods such as nuts and seeds like chia seeds. It is a powerful and necessary nutrient to give you strong and healthy bones, that help to support your muscles. When your bones are weak, you muscles don’t have the support they need, and it can slow down your metabolism. With chia seeds’ manganese and calcium content combined, your bones will be well nourished to give you energy and the framework your muscles need to function at their peak level. Just one 2 tbsp. serving of chia has 30 percent of your daily manganese requirements.
Let’s talk about phosphorus, shall we? If you’ve never heard of this important mineral, it’s time for me to enlighten you! Phosphorus is a powerful nutrient in chia seeds that also contributes to healthy bones, but phosphorus is unique to other bone-building nutrients. Phosphorus also contributes to protein synthesis, which aids in muscle growth and repair. Guess what this means? A higher metabolism! If your muscles are weak and have no support to build protein, your metabolism will slow down quickly. Phosphorus has been found to aid in constipation as well, which can reduce bloating and sluggishness. To keep your smile beautiful, phosphorus keeps your teeth strong and supported, as well preventing them from breaking or chipping. All you need is just one 2 tbsp. serving of chia to obtain 27 percent of your required phosphorus levels for the day.
Protein is perhaps the most popular nutrient we hear so much about associated with weight loss and health. Protein IS important for weight loss and health, not to mention keeping you pretty! Protein is made of collagen fibers, which keep your skin supple and in tip top shape, which creates an anti-aging effect to the skin. Protein also keeps your muscles primed for burning fat for fuel and energy. The key is, we need more plant-based sources of protein because animal proteins are acidic to the body, which can actually age us instead of make us look more youthful. The rumor that plant proteins aren’t as bioavailable to our bodies has actually been proven to be incorrect. All sources of plant-based proteins are easily used by your body and chia seeds are one of the best sources per serving. In just 2 tbsp. you get 4 grams of protein, so next time someone asks you where vegans get their protein, tell them about chia!
Tryptophan is such an important nutrient for your body, especially for beating stress, anxiety and stress-induced eating that leads to weight gain. Typical tryptophan rich foods include yogurt, turkey, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, almonds, cashews and most nuts and seeds. Chia seeds are no exception! Chia seeds offer a rich source of tryptophan that calms down your nerves quickly and reduces stress-induced cravings. Tryptophan is crucial to the manufacturing of serotonin in the brain, which promotes a sense of calm and happiness. It also makes you fuller quicker because it calms you down. Add chia seeds three times throughout your day to get the most benefits. Tryptophan can also make you sleepy, so if you have insomnia, don’t reach for the cookies- just make some chia pudding!
Chia seeds can be bought online or in a health food store and are widely available. I like using them in smoothies, homemade protein bars, or just making some chia pudding by mixing them with stevia, cinnamon and almond milk. How do you enjoy chia seeds?