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Can Chia Seeds Help Reduce Belly Fat?

| Reviewed By Dr. Sneha Krishnan

Trying to cut off those extra pounds but unable too? Well, we have an almost-new but been-there-for-ages ingredient to share with you that might be of some use in cutting those pounds and aiding in weight loss. It is none other than the ancient Aztec super seed, Chia.

Chia seeds are all the talk in the health town now. Loaded with antioxidants and a variety of nutrients, chia seeds possess the unique ability to absorb liquid and take on a gelatinous consistency. They provide a good amount of fibre, protein, healthy fats and micronutrients.

Chia seeds have even been called a superfood in recent years and it is not to be ignored. This member of the mint family was said to be a staple of Aztec and Mayan diets, but was later banned because of their ritualistic religious use - crazy right?!

Anyway, of the many articles the pseudo-grain possesses, today we will look at the role it plays in reducing belly fat.

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Chia Seeds For Weight Loss

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds, which are commonly found throughout Central and South America. They are now widely available in all health food stores. Food experts have been propagating the importance of including all types of nuts and seeds in our diets.

The fibre and antioxidants present in them are beneficial to us. The health benefits of chia seeds are endless. These seeds are power-packed with various nutrients which are essential for the proper functioning of our body.

Dr Sneha Krishnan points out, "chia seeds are the richest plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids. contains all 9 essential amino acids (not made by the body)," which makes them a good source of the fatty acids for vegetarians. The rich fibre content helps reduce inflammation and keeps the digestive system healthy. The seeds are rich in minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium and help reduces insulin resistance.

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How Chia Seeds Help You Lose Belly Fat

  • The seeds control your appetite: Chia seeds are packed with fibre, which keeps you fuller for longer and helps prevent overeating. Since chia seeds swell up and absorb the liquid they are soaked in, they make your tummy feel full and content after consumption.
  • It takes a long time to digest: After consumption, chia seeds take a longer time to digest and they stick on for a longer period in your stomach after consumption.
  • Is high in fibre: Foods that have a high fibre content have been linked with weight loss. Chia seeds are often considered to be a superfood because of its rich nutrient content. These little seeds contain soluble fibre, which decreases your appetite and prevents bloating. Consume a handful of these seeds every day or simply add it to your bowl of salad.
  • Is high in protein: Chia seeds are rich in protein that could help reduce appetite and food intake. Also, the seeds help in building muscle mass, which helps you to reduce your body fat in many ways. Protein is considered the most weight loss friendly macronutrient and can curb cravings, thereby preventing any excessive weight from targeting your belly.
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How To Use Chia Seeds To Reduce Belly Fat

Apart from being extremely healthy, chia seeds are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet. The mild flavour of the seeds makes it easier for it to add to anything from porridges to smoothies. To get the most of the seed, sprinkle chia seeds on top of cereal, yoghurt, vegetables or rice dishes.

As per nutritionists, it is recommended to use 20 grams (about 1.5 tablespoons) of chia seeds twice per day.

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Best time to eat chia seeds for weight loss

According to studies, the best time to consume chia seed for weight loss is before your first and last meals of the day. That is, before breakfast and before dinner. For this, plain chia seed drink is the most suitable.

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Chia Seeds Recipe For Belly Fat

1. Chia-lemon drink

Ingredients

  • Chia seeds, 2 teaspoons
  • Lemon juice, 2 teaspoons
  • Honey, 1 teaspoon

Directions

  • Mix the three well and consume it every morning, after breakfast, for a month.

How it works

This home remedy to reduce belly fat can work wonders in a month when used daily. Along with this remedy, you must also perform abdominal exercises and eat healthy every day. The combination of chia seeds, lemon juice and honey help speed up the fat burning in your body - in a healthy manner.

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2. Chia seed & yoghurt mix

Ingredients

  • Chia seeds - 2 tablespoons
  • Fat-free yoghurt - 2 tablespoons

Directions

  • Add the suggested amounts of chia seeds and yoghurt in a bowl.
  • Stir well to form a mixture.
  • Consume this mixture, every morning, after breakfast, for 2 months.

How it works

This kitchen remedy to reduce belly fat in just a couple of months has known to work exceptionally well when used regularly. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants which improve the metabolic rate of your body and help you burn belly fat at a faster rate. Fat-free yoghurt contains proteins which can tighten the muscles of the abdomen, thus making it flatter and more toned.

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3. Chia seed drink

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of chia seeds
  • 2 cups of water

Directions

  • Soak the chia seeds in the water and leave overnight.
  • Consume the drink in the morning, in an empty stomach or after your breakfast.

How it works

This smoothie is a natural remedy for weight loss as the fibre content in it will keep you full.

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4. Chia seeds & peanut butter mix

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of peanut butter
  • A cup of yoghurt
  • ½ glass of water
  • Chia seeds gel - made from leaving chia seeds in a cup of water for 5 minutes

Directions

  • Blend the gel along with the peanut butter, yoghurt and water in a blender.
  • Consume this smoothie daily.
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On A Final Note…

Following the aforementioned recipes alone may not be of much help in helping you attain a flat tummy, as certain lifestyle changes also have to be made. Eating healthy, avoiding oils, sugars, red meat, etc., exercising for at least 40 minutes every day, not sitting for too long, practising abdominal exercises are some of the things that need to be included in your daily routine, for these remedies to work and help reduce belly fat.

Also, going to a doctor and having yourself checked for the underlying causes for the accumulation of excess belly fat is important.

Dr Sneha says, "It is recommended to consume chia seeds after they have been soaked for at least 5 minutes before consumption to avoid choking hazard. A case report presented at the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting in 2014 made headlines describing a patient who ate dry chia seeds followed by a glass of water. The seeds expanded in the oesophagus and caused a blockage."

Note: While chia seeds are highly nutritious, boast a long list of health benefits and can be a healthy dietary addition - keep in mind that moderation is key.

Sneha KrishnanGeneral Medicine
MBBS
Sneha Krishnan
Read more about: chia seeds belly fat exercise
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