Hello, my name is Ayesha Nasir and I work at Cosma Studio as the best clinical dietitian in Lahore.
This article is about the use of Chia seeds as a weight-loss hack and all the ways that it can be consumed. Chia seeds are the edible seeds of a flowering plant called Salvia hispanica. They offer a wide range of benefits when consumed and are also readily available in many parts of the world.
There are many ways in which these seeds can be used. Some of them are described in detail below.
The use of chia seeds in Ramadan
Many of my clients inquire about what drink to have during Ramadan that keeps hunger at bay and also aids in weight loss at the time of aftar. And no one seems to want to leave lal sharbat and doodh soda out of their diet.
But my recommendations for my clients go deeper than what they want, I focus more on what they need in the long term. That is why, I always recommend a drink made of chia seeds in Ramadan.
This drink can be consumed both at times of aftar as well as sahar. For my drink, I use chia seeds of the brand called Chiltan Pure. These are completely organic as well as gluten free.
Be careful not to confuse chia seeds with tukh malanga which is a completely different ingredient. Chia seeds are commonly known in Urdu as tukh me daudi.
The many benefits of chia seeds
Weight loss aid
They aid in weight loss. Chia seeds are very high in fiber content. Just two tablespoons can have up to 10 grams of fiber which is about 40% of the daily recommended intake. This high fiber also helps you keep satiated for longer and reduces hunger levels.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Chia seeds are also known to lower cholesterol levels. This is mainly due to the soluble fiber and mucilage fiber in chia seeds. Mucilage is the substance that is accountable for the gluey texture of chia seeds once they have been moistened.
These fibers, therefore, may aid in lowering LDL cholesterol levels as well as slow down digestion, which can further prevent blood sugar spikes from occurring after meal consumption. In addition, they also promote feelings of fullness.
With Ramadan comes the demon of acidity. This is because our stomach remains empty all day and at the time of aftar, oil-fried foods are our go to favorites. A better alternative here however, would be a combination of a date and a chia seed drink as it can lower acidity.
Chia seeds are jam packed with fiber, protein, countless essential vitamins and minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Evidently, they are a very friendly superfood for people who are suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Good for diabetics
In addition, these seeds contain hardly any carbohydrates, which prevents them from spiking your insulin levels and thus, makes them a great source of nutrition for diabetic patients.
High in satiation and protein
As a diet hack in Ramadan, these seeds are magic. Due to their high fiber content, these seeds repress hunger and keep you full for many hours after sahar. This in turn reduces weight as well.
As for protein, these seeds have 17 grams of protein in every 100 grams making then a great source of food for bulking.
Prevents over hydration
After aftar, many of my clients tend to chug large amounts of water which results in over hydration. Chia seeds however prevent this from happening because they slow down the drinking process and keep your stomach walls from contracting too much.
How to use
Chia seeds can be mixed into dairy products such as milk and dairy as well as pure water. In addition, they can also be blended into shakes and smoothies along with fruits. These are better in terms of hydration.
As an alternative, you can also add them in acai bowls and combine them with oats to get your daily intake of proteins.
My way of consuming these seeds is to soak 1/4th of a teaspoon in water for about half an hour. I then add salt and lemon to taste. If you prefer sweet, you can even add honey to your glass and enjoy a delicious drink.
This makes the drink very simple to make and minimizes the number of calories you are consuming. Be sure to keep whatever you add in your drink, be it honey or sugar, no more than a teaspoon so it can aid in weight loss.
However, if weight loss or diabetes is not a concern for you, you can add as much and as many flavor enhancers as you please.
Difference between chia seeds and basil seeds
Basil seeds are black in color and in comparison, bigger than chia seeds which are browner and smaller. Be careful when buying these because a lot of basil seeds are sold under the name of chia seeds due to their many similarities.
To sum up, chia seeds have various health benefits, especially in the month of Ramadan and can be included in a wide range of drinks. So, get yours now and dive into the many benefits this drink has to offer.
One very trusted brand that I would recommend is that of Chiltan Pure. These are organic and gluten free.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do chia seeds reduce belly fat?
Yes, chia seeds reduce belly fat because they are rich in fiber and high in satiation. This in turn, enables them to repress hunger and helps you consume lesser food.
How long do chia seeds take to lose weight?
The intensity of weight loss may vary from men to women but one study found that eating 3 tablespoons of chia seeds everyday (about 35g) resulted in weight loss in a period of only 12 weeks.
What is the best time to drink chia seeds for weight loss?
Earlier in the morning is the best time to consume chia seeds. This is because they improve metabolism and aid in speedier bowel movements.
Do chia seeds make you poop?
Yes, due to their high fiber content, chia seeds speed up metabolism process and make your bowel movements more frequent.
Is it OK to soak chia seeds overnight?
Yes. Chia seeds contain digestive inhibitors that need to be soaked in order to release their potential. So anytime between half an hour to overnight can help the release of these digestive inhibitors.
What happens if you eat chia seeds every day?
In moderate amounts, chia seeds are not harmful even if consumed everyday. However, excess consumption can leave negative effects if you suffer from diabetes or other illnesses and can also cause digestive issues.
You will further find a detailed explanation into this topic here:
If your ultimate goal is weight loss then you need to know best weight loss tips according to a nutritionist.