Chia seeds are a nutrient-rich food that is easy to find, inexpensive and may be able to help you trim down and burn unwanted fat off your body. These seeds have a long history of human use as a superfood, and recently have been touted as a great natural ally in the battle against obesity. Let's take a look at the facts about chia seeds and some of the information that has come to light recently about their role in an overall strategy to burn fat.
Chia seeds come from a sage plant, Salvia hispanica, that grows in Mexico. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, chia seeds were an important food crop for the Mayan and Aztec civilizations. Aztec warriors who needed a source of energy and highly concentrated nutrition used chia as a survival ration. One tbsp. of chia seed reportedly sustained them for 24 hours, and much of their modern usage as food that helps you lose weight comes from this appetite-suppressing ability.
According to Dr. Weil, chia seeds contain more omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds as well as high levels of antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, zinc and other nutrients. In a 2005 clinical study done at the University of Arizona in Tucson, chia seeds were found to lower triacylglycerol (fat cell) levels in rat blood as well as increase HDL cholesterol and omega-3 levels.
Besides their high nutritional value and beneficial fatty acid content, chia seeds also contain another property that may be linked to their reported ability to help you lose weight. According to Botanical.com, chia seeds contain a soluble fiber that forms a gelatin-like mass when bound to water. When this happens inside the human digestive tract, it slows the digestive process and helps to effectively alleviate and suppress hunger.
A 2009 study done at the Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, concluded that chia seeds did not promote weight loss or lower disease risk factors in a group of overweight adults. However, chia seeds were added as a supplement to the diet and not as a meal replacement or used as an appetite suppressant. The unique ability of chia seeds to suppress hunger may be their greatest value as a weight-loss supplement.
Since chia seeds seem to effectively suppress hunger and also contain a wealth of nutrients that support vital functioning in the body, they surely can be a great addition to any overall weigh-loss strategy. Used as a snack in between meals to suppress hunger and nourish the body, the little chia seed may be one of your best allies in the fight to lose weight.