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Chia Seed Diet Review - 11 Things You Need to Know

The Chia Seed Diet is based on consuming Chia seeds. Chia seeds are black or white seeds that consist of numerous beneficial nutrients such as protein, fiber, carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins, which can support the body in many ways including supporting healthy weight loss. While evidence exists that the Chia seed is beneficial in many ways, can it really aid weight loss?

In addition to no research supporting the claim that Chia seeds aid in weight loss, Chia seeds may also cause some side-effects. With that in mind, our research team investigated the science of the Chia seed to determine if it’s a worthwhile addition to a person’s diet. Here’s a summary of their findings.

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Overview

What is the Chia Seed Diet?

The Chia Seed Diet is based on Chia, an edible seed that has its origins in the desert plant Salvia Hispanica, initially grown in the region known as modern-day Mexico, during the times of Mayans and Aztecs, per the scientific journal Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny

“Chia” translates to strength, and legend has it that the ancient civilizations based in this region used these tiny black and white seeds to energize their bodies, which is a sensible thing to do, as these seeds are packed with healthy nutrients including protein, fiber, carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium and antioxidants, according to Phytochemistry Reviews.

Chia seeds are a whole-grain, organic superfood, accepted by the human body as seeds, contrary to flaxseeds, which are not.

The Chia Seed Diet consists of making Chia a part of your meal in various forms to reap the benefits of its long list of nutrients. Their nutty, mild flavor makes them a very convenient addition to regular foods and beverages. It’s a very versatile ingredient.

Chia Seed Diet

 

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How Did the Chia Seed Diet Start?

The Chia Seed Diet is not an invention of the modern age, as it dates back to as early as 3500 B.C. when Chia was a significant part of the Aztec diet.

Apart from being eaten whole, it was used as an ingredient in medicines, added to drinks, pressed for oil and ground into powder. It was convenient for travelers, as it could be stored for long periods of time.

Although Chia seeds have been categorized mostly as a “novel food” for most of modern history, in the past few decades, health-conscious individuals have diverted their attention to making seeds a part of their regular diet, as they are packed with beneficial nutrients, while lacking the more harmful ones.

It is also used by environmentally conscious individuals who follow a vegetarian diet, using a substitute for eggs in baked items.

Nutritional Information

The Chia Seed Diet Nutritional Information

Below is the nutritional value per 100g (3.5 Oz) of raw, dried Chia seeds according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference:

Amount per 100g % Daily Value

  • Energy 486 calories
  • Carbohydrates 42.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber 34,4 g
  • Protein 16.5 g
  • Fat 30. g

Vitamins

  • Vitamin E 0.5 mg 3 %
  • Vitamin C 1.6mg 2 %
  • Folate (B9) 49 μg 12 %
  • Niacin (B3) 8.83 mg 59 %
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0.17 mg 14 %
  • Thiamine (B1) 0.62 mg 54 %
  • Vitamin A 54 μg 7 %

Minerals

  • Iron 7.7 mg 59 %
  • Phosphorus 860 mg 123 %
  • Magnesium 335 mg 94 %
  • Potassium 407 mg 9 %
  • Manganese 2.72 mg 130 %
  • Zinc 4.6 mg 48 %
  • Calcium 631 mg 63 %

Percentage daily values are based on the recommended 2,000-calorie diet for the average U.S. adult. Your daily values may vary according to your requirements based on weight, age and activity levels.

Chia seeds diet results

 

Benefits and Results

The Chia Seed Diet Benefits and Results

Improves Digestive Health

Chia seeds contain plenty of fiber with only one tablespoon, packing 4.8 grams of fiber, which is equal to around 19 percent of the daily recommended fiber intake. This abundance of fiber dramatically benefits the digestive system by ensuring regular bowel movements and healthy stool. The high fiber content also helps people feel full more quickly by absorbing large amounts of water, as well as expanding in the stomach upon consumption.

Improves Heart Health

Chia seeds can improve heart health by regulating cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, according to the Journal of Food Science and Technology

Source of Omega-3 Fats

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which play an essential role in maintaining good heart and brain health. Research shows that daily consumption of Chia seeds in healthy amounts leads to a sharp increase in omega-3 fatty acids in the body.

Improves Brain Function

A good source of B vitamins, Chia seeds can help improve the function of your nervous system by providing it with the energy it requires.

Improves Red Blood Cell Count

Chia seeds can improve the production of Red Blood Cells inside the human body with only a single tablespoon containing 6 percent of the daily recommended intake of Iron, a nutrient necessary to the production of red blood cells.

Strengthens Bones

Making Chia seeds a part of your diet can lead to stronger bones, as the seeds are a major source of Phosphorus, Manganese, Calcium, and Copper, which are all nutrients that play an important role in the formation and strengthening of bones.

Environmental Friendly

Chia seeds can and are being used to replace egg content in baked goods, thereby reducing the reliance on the poultry industry and reducing the global carbon footprint.

Prevents Premature Skin Aging

Chia seeds are extremely beneficial for skin, due to the massive amount of antioxidants present in them. These antioxidants accelerate the skin repair process and prevent them from further damage; hence preventing premature skin aging, due to inflammation.

Boosts Energy

According to studies, chia seed consumption produces the same results as sports energy drinks; hence giving you the same amount of energy without the high-sugar content or the unhealthy chemicals.

Improves Dental Health

Chia seeds can do wonders for your teeth as they’re packed with calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, and zinc. Calcium is one of the most fundamentals minerals required to help maintain healthy teeth. Zinc avoids tartar by preventing plaque from solidifying on your teeth and also acts as an antibacterial agent keeping bad breath away.

Promotes Muscle Growth

Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein and can significantly assist people trying to build a lean and muscular body by providing them with the right nutrients, minus all the fat and sugar.

Chia seeds and weight loss

 

Details on the Chia Seed Diet and Weight Loss

Consuming Chia seeds has often been hyped as a great way to lose weight because of their tendency to expand in your belly, making you feel full while eating less. Another reason Chia seeds are believed to be linked to weight loss is that of their high-fiber content (approximately 10 grams of fiber per ounce of seeds) which can make us feel full for longer, as it takes a longer time for our bodies to absorb nutrients from the fiber.

Additionally, fiber provides energy for gut bacteria, which reduces inflammation in our bodies, often linked to weight loss, as that inflammation is one of the primary causes of obesity.

Despite all the claims of Chia being the magical key to losing weight, scientific evidence tells a conflicting story.

A study conducted in 2009, published in Nutrition Research, found that Chia seeds showed no weight loss in 90 overweight adults after 12 weeks of consumption when compared to a placebo group. The study even found that the consumption of Chia seeds in large quantities may also interfere with nutrient absorption, causing bloating.

However, another study conducted in 2014, published in Nutrición Hospitalaria, found that subjects who consumed Chia in various forms exhibited a slight reduction in weight and waist size when compared to those who didn’t, suggesting that Chia may help burn belly fat.

While Chia has many nutrients that can promote weight loss and provide numerous other benefits, conflicting scientific research shows that the claims about Chia seeds acting as a magical key to weight loss are just an overstatement.

Therefore, Chia seeds should be complemented with proper exercise, as well as an overall healthy diet to achieve weight loss.

chia seed diet

 

Directions

How to Utilize the Chia Seed Diet

You can add Chia seeds to your diet in various forms. Some of them include Chia seed oil, powdered Chia, and whole seeds sprinkled on foods such as smoothies, pancakes and protein bars.

The following are different ways you can consume Chia seeds:

Raw

While consuming Chia seeds in their raw form is not recommended because of their tendency to stick to your teeth and to cause dehydration, it is the quickest and most convenient method of consumption. You may chew them on their own or add them to your favorite foods and beverages.

Soaking

To soak the Chia seeds, mix them with water in a 1:10 ratio, which is approximately equal to 1.5 tablespoons of seeds in a cup of water. Let it sit for 1-2 hours. Note: If you decide to consume Chia seeds without soaking, make sure to stay hydrated, because Chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, and if consumed unsoaked, they would absorb the water from your body.

Ground

An alternative to soaking is grinding Chia seeds in a grinding machine to break the outer shells. Once turned to powder, the resulting Chia seed flour can be used in place of regular flour in bread, pasta, and baked items.

One study published in RESPYN found that ground chia seeds can improve their digestibility.

Oil

Another way to reap the benefits of the vast amount of nutrients packed inside Chia seeds is to extract its oil, which makes up for 25-40 percent of its weight. It can be used as an alternative to regular cooking oils, which have many harmful effects, such as raising cholesterol levels.

Whereas, Chia seed oil has been known to have the very opposite effect on cholesterol levels by lowering them even further, according to the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology

The daily recommended average intake of Chia seeds is 20 grams (1.5 tablespoons) twice a day, but it may vary according to the individual’s weight, size, age and activity levels.

Side Effects

Potential Chia Seed Diet Side Effects and Interactions

  • Stomach Discomfort
    • Due to the high fiber content present in Chia seeds, they may cause many different types of stomach discomforts, such as diarrhea, bloating and cramping, especially when consumed in large amounts.
  • Blood Pressure Medicine
    • Chia seeds are known to lower blood pressure and may enhance the effect of blood-pressure-lowering medicines. Therefore, people who are currently taking anti-hypertensive drugs should consult with a qualified health care practitioner before making Chia seeds a part of their diet.
  • Blood Sugar Medicine
    • Studies have shown that Chia seeds contain specific compounds that may assist in regulating serum glucose levels, thereby enhancing the effect of medicines designed to control blood sugar. Therefore, people on medication should consult with their physician before making Chia seeds a part of their diet.
Cost

Cost

A typical monthly supply of Chia Seeds, according to the recommended dosage for a single adult, costs around $10-$20, which is quite reasonable when compared to other foods/supplements that contain the same amount of nutrients as Chia seeds.

Chia Seed Diet Alternatives

If it’s difficult for you to get a hold of Chia seeds on a regular basis, or if you have grown tired of their taste, then don’t worry, because there are plenty of alternatives to the “super-food.”

Sesame Seed Diet

Sesame seeds have always been a part of recipes in virtually every culture in the world since ancient times.

They are not just an amazing source of fiber, which promotes a healthy digestive system, but they are also packed with several vitamins and minerals that are essential in and maintaining overall health, says Pharmacognosy Review

Sesame seeds contain B vitamins which are essential for efficient metabolism and also promote radiant skin, strong hair, and muscles.

The seeds also promote healthy bones by being a rich source of calcium and also contain magnesium, which can help in the absorption of this calcium, in addition to maintaining thyroid function.

Sesame seeds, packed with nutrients essential to maintaining good health, when consumed help treat conditions, such as high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

The seeds can also aid lung function, reduce inflammation, strengthen bones and reduce bad cholesterol levels.

Just like Chia seeds, you should only consume small amounts of sesame seeds.

The recommended daily intake is just 1 to 2 tablespoons, which would allow you to reap the maximum nutritional benefits without going overboard. People with food allergies should exercise caution and should consult with their physician if any allergy symptoms should occur upon consumption of Sesame Seeds.

Flax Seed Diet

Flax, a plant native to the Mediterranean, has been grown as a source of food for over 5,000 years. People use flax seeds for various health benefits.

Although slightly larger, they are similar in shape to sesame seeds and have smooth, shiny and hard shells. Flax seeds provide a maximum nutritional benefit when ground since it enhances the absorption of their nutrients inside the human body.

Flax seeds, like Chia seeds, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, iron and dietary fiber. They also contain phytochemicals called lignans..

The consumption of oil extracted from flax seeds has been proven to reduce bad cholesterol.

Other benefits of flaxseed oil include relief from skin irritation, due to dryness and constipation.

Hemp Seed Diet

Hemp seeds, derived from the hemp plant are extremely nutritious and have a mild, nutty flavor.

Just like Chia seeds, they also contain beneficial fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, which are linked to several health benefits.

They are also an excellent protein source since more than a quarter of their calories come from protein, considerably more than the 16-18 percent protein content of chia seeds and flax seeds.

They also contain several vitamins and minerals.

Hemp seeds can be consumed in various forms: cooked, toasted or raw. They can also be pressed for oil, which has been used in China as an ingredient in foods and medicines for at least 3,000 years.

Moreover, studies on animals have demonstrated that hemp seeds may lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of blood clot formations.

Hemp seed oil may also be beneficial to dry skin, as it can improve itchiness, acting as an alternative to skin medication.

Despite a lack of scientific evidence, hemp seed consumption has been known to significantly reduce the intensity of symptoms experienced by women going through menopause.Although its exact working is unknown, it is thought to curb the hormonal imbalances and reduce the inflammation caused by it.

Hemp seeds are also an excellent source of fiber, and their regular consumption in moderate amounts is linked with improved digestive health.

Rich in all sorts of beneficial nutrients, hemp seeds are extremely beneficial for people of all ages and genders. However, they do contain trace amounts of THC, which is the active component in marijuana, responsible for its reputation. Therefore, people who have been addicted to cannabis might want to avoid hemp seeds in all forms.

What Users Are Saying

“I have wanted to learn what can be expected of Chia seeds. This book not only explains but gives receipts which is very helpful, Thank you.”

“Easy to follow, good recipes, and the chia seeds were easy to find. I bought mine at The Vitamin Shop. No flavor to speak of; they take the flavor of whatever you mix with them. Just started the diet so I can’t vouch for its effectiveness, but I’m going to give it a serious try.”

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on the Chia Seed Diet

What’s the real deal with Chia Seed Diet? Not an actual weight-loss plan, this more of a basic idea of adding the food to your diet. In theory, it increases your fiber intake, which should help control appetite and blood sugar, making it easier to eat less. But, in practice? We have reservations.

If you want to shed those extra pounds, why not try your hand with a supplement that contains clinically tested ingredients that are known to help increase metabolism? For best results, combine it with diet and exercise.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Noom. It’s made using four key ingredients shown in clinical tests to help boost fat loss, curb hunger and improve fat loss. Our research revealed no negative comments or mentions of harsh side effects, letting us know people are pleased with their results.

Plus, the makers of Noom are giving all customers a 14-day trial, which is the kind of the thing we love to see.

Learn More About Noom »
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Chia Seed Diet

Q:
Are Chia seeds good to lose weight?
A:

Chia seeds have a high fiber and protein content. They can help you lose weight.

Q:
How long do you have to soak chia seeds?
A:

Take one-fourth cup of chia seeds and soak them in one cup of liquid about 20 minutes.

Q:
How do you eat chia seeds?
A:

You can eat dry chia seeds by adding it to juices, yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies.

Q:
What are the benefits of chia seeds?
A:

Chia seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants and provide your body with fiber, calcium and iron.

Q:
What is one serving of chia seeds?
A:

A serving size is one ounce or two tablespoons.

Q:
How many times a day should I eat chia seeds?
A:

The recommended amount for adults is between 15-20 grams per day. For children, age 10-18, they should have about 10 grams of chia seeds each day.

Q:
Do chia seeds need to be ground to be effective?
A:

Chia seeds do not need to be ground to be consumed. The FDA classifies this as a food and not a supplement, so they can be consumed without restrictions.

Q:
Where does the chia seeds come from?
A:

The chia plant is native to southern Mexico and Guatemala. It’s a flowering plant in the mint family.

Q:
Do you actually digest chia seeds?
A:

The human body can easily digest chia seeds. However, it should not be the only source of protein a person consumes.

Q:
How do you make chia pudding?
A:

For chia pudding, combine the seeds with sugar vanilla extract. Allow them to sit in a bowl for 10 minutes. Stir and cover to refrigerate overnight. Add raisins or coconut to the top to increase taste.

24 Chia Seed Diet Reviews

  • I have Crohns disease - is there any reason I should not eat these seeds?
    katie

    I have Crohns disease – is there any reason I should not eat these seeds?

    Reply
    • Maribel (Editor)

      Hello Katie, because of possible interactions with Crohns Disease, please make sure to consult with your physician before taking this product.

      Reply
  • Poornima Verma

    can these seeds create pimples problem or not

    Reply
    • Yedy Torres

      Hello Poornima,

      These are not one of the side effects listed for this product, however, we recommend to consult your physician in regards to any side effects caused by this product.

      Reply
  • Is this good with this condition?
    Disha

    Chiya seed is good for person who have uric acid problem?

    Reply
    • Maribel (Editor)

      Hello Disha, because of possible interactions with having a Uric Acid problem, please make sure to consult with your physician before taking this product.

      Reply
  • Gained 20lbs in 5 months !
    Your Name (Verified Purchase)

    Chia seeds added 20 lbs to me in just 5 mos without any other change to my diet

    Reply
    • Shelly Moore

      It added or you lost 20 lbs 😯

      Reply
  • I lost 4 lbs the first week.
    LuvChia (Verified Purchase)

    I take one tablespoon in a large glass of water add some water enhancer wait till they expand and drink it down. I always have a glass ready to drink in the fridge. I lost 4 lbs the first week. I drink it before each meal. I ride my exercise bike one hour a day. I also drink plenty of water on its own. I am rating chia seed not any kind of book which I have never read.

    Reply
  • It works for me.
    Jennygb (Verified Purchase)

    I started using them in every meal no diet and I lost 25lbs,even working 11hrs a day 6 days a week in a cubical!!!!

    Reply
  • Loved the product.
    Nickie (Verified Purchase)

    I have been using Chia seeds for about a weeks and I feel really good. I am diabetic and it has helped me with my blood sugar a lot!!

    Reply
  • Just started will update later.
    MG (Verified Purchase)

    I have been on the chia seed diet for a week now. I drink smoothies in the morning eat a good lunch and then a smoothie at night and eat some almonds for a snack in between. I have lose 4 pounds but i don’t know if it is water weight or these seeds really work. It does regulate me. good luck to everyone who is trying it!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Does it cause any side effect?
    kb

    I was wondering if those of you using this product, have all of you experienced any issues with your BM’s? Does it regulate you? Or is it non affective?

    Reply
    • A

      I suffered from constipation and started drinking chia seeds in my water and it fixes the problem!

      Reply
    • Your Name

      chia seeds cause intestinal blockage that’s fatal !!! I went into toxic shock …and the seeds are still passing ,its been 4 mos, chia seeds stay in your body 3-6 mos and wild chia seeds even longer 🙁

      Reply
      • Alicia

        I now have a stoma because of chia seeds. The gas produced by chia seeds immobolized my colon, doctors didn’t know what was going on I had to have surgery

        Reply
    • Maribel (Editor)

      Hi! If you combine Dietspotlight Burn with diet and exercise than you can potentially lose weight, without having any BM side-effects. Good luck!

      Reply
  • Loved the product.
    Val (Verified Purchase)

    I bought Chia Seeds from a health food site off Amazon. I made sure the store was legit, and the seeds were black seeds and whole. I take 2 tbsp twice a day, straight with a spoon and down with a glass of water. Can’t stand the goo after seeds are soaked. After 30 min, I feel full for 6-8 hours. I lose 1/2 a lb per day, every day. They do work, I don’t have any side effects, no dehydration. I drink plenty of water. I have noticed that my mood has changed dramatically-haven’t felt this good in years!

    Reply
    • Maddie

      I read an article about Chia Seeds in the latest Women’s World magazine and I ran out to buy it today. I can’t wait to try it tomorrow morning. Thanks for sharing your experience with it. Good luck with it! 🙂

      Reply
      • alice

        Maddie I saw this today and was wondering if it really works you will have to let me know if it helps with hunger and how much weight you loose

        Reply
  • How to eat Chia seed?
    liz

    Do I have to eat it on everything?

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      No…I put mine on whatever I am having for breakfast. Just sprinkle a couple of tablespoons on. Doesn’t have much taste, but does give a really cool crunch.
      It makes my fingernails grow and helps my hair!

      Reply
  • displeasing smell and taste
    Kara (Verified Purchase)

    Chia can dehydrate you since it absorbs water. The way this information is presented makes it sound like you should take the chia by itself and let it expand in the stomach, thereby reducing hunger. Since it absorbs 8x its weight in water, dehydration is a serious concern.

    For diet concerns, chia ends up taking the same space whether it’s pre-soaked or not. It’s a matter of where the water comes from.

    Reply
    • Sarita

      Which is the best brand to buy chia seeds??

      Reply