Chia seeds – what’s all the hype about?

November 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

Chia is one of those new ‘superfoods’ gaining a lot of notoriety these days.  If you don’t know what chia is, think chia pet – it’s actually the same stuff!  You may have also heard it called by the brand name its most commonly sold under: Salba.

Among the many purported benefits of chia seed is its ability to produce weight loss.  Unfortunately, there is insufficient evidence to support this claim.  Click here to read an article that discusses a study which found no real connection between chia seed and weight loss.

All hope is not lost for chia however!  Chia seed does happened to be high in omega-3, soluble fibre and calcium (which is not usually found in abundance in grains).  Soluble fibre, among other things, can aide in weight loss if used as part of an appropriately designed weight loss plan as it can help you stay fuller longer.  It can also help control blood sugars, keep you regular and eliminate excess dietary cholesterol.  Soluble fibre works by forming a gel like substance in your stomach which slows down how fast food empties from your stomach into your intestine.  If you want to see this process in action, try our Chia pudding recipe (found in our recipes sections) you’ll watch the seeds turn into gel right before your eyes!  (It actually tastes good too ;) .

So it seems that this ‘superfood’ actually does have some benefits but like all things, too much is too much.  Because of the high omega-3 content of these seeds, the literature recommends consuming NO MORE than 37g per day.  More than that can lead to less than optimal blood clotting.

I therefore recommend adding a tablespoon of chia to your morning cereal or having 1/3 cup of the pudding as a snack to help your meal or snack last you longer, eliminate additional cholesterol, help control your blood sugars, keep you regular and contribute to your overall daily calcium intake. Enjoy!