Are You Eating Chia Seeds The Wrong Way?

Chia seeds are one of the superfoods people have added to their diets for weight loss benefits. Chia seeds are used in smoothies, sprinkled on salads and yogurt and baked into muffins. They have antioxidants, plant protein,omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are an excellent addition to a healthy diet.

In whole form, the nutrients in chia seeds are not bioavailable. This may be contrary to what you have seen or heard. Plenty of videos and blog posts suggest that eating them whole is the easy way to go. It wasn’t until recently that chia seeds were put to the test for their weight loss benefits. Whole chia seeds did not affect weight loss or waist circumference. Ground chia seeds made a significant difference.

One study measured weight loss and waist circumference in subjects given whole chia seeds. At the end of the study they had not lost any more weight or inches than the control group. A second study compared the effectiveness of ground chia seeds to oat bran. Both are fiber rich foods. It is well established that fiber promotes weight loss. The ground chia seed group lost more weight and inches around their waist than their oat bran counterparts. This suggests there is something unique about chia seeds that promote weight loss. And it isn’t just the fiber.

The chia group had a reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. CRP is a marker of systemic inflammation and a predictor of disease. This suggests chia has an anti-inflammatory effect. The anti-inflammatory properties may have contributed to weight loss. There is evidence that overweight and obese people have higher levels of CRP. Inflammation is associated with weight gain and obesity.

Some doctors and researchers have suggested that obesity is an inflammatory disease. If they are correct that means that inflammation may lead to obesity. Since fat tissue is a site of inflammation, more body fat would result in more inflammation. It becomes a cycle you have to stop. Reducing inflammation will help with weight loss.

Eat one tablespoon of ground chia seeds with your first and last meal of the day. You will feel fuller longer, lose weight and reduce chronic, low-grade inflammation. Chia seeds are available whole and ground. Store them in the refrigerator to preserve freshness.