Published: 02/04/2016 - Updated: 07/09/2017
Want to lose weight without losing muscle mass? Are you thin but have a swollen abdominal area? Want to gain bulk without accumulating fat? Chia is a powerful little seed with great nutritional properties, currently defined as one of the most effective health foods for maintaining an ideal weight.
This little seed has large amounts of vitamins, minerals like calcium, antioxidants and phytonutrients, and is also an excellent source of fibre, protein and omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) fatty acids of vegetable origin. They can be used in diets to lose weight, help gain muscular bulk and bring a great amount of energy to the body and nervous system. In addition, it is also great for nourishing the skin and tissues, giving them strength and helping rejuvenate them, especially when combined with nutrients such as those mentioned below.
Using Chia in diets is a good way to lose harmful fat, nourish cells, tissues, organs and systems in the body.
Helps you feel satisfied because when combined with yogurt, citrus juice or tea/liquids of any type, it absorbs large amounts of water to form a thick gel in the stomach using its high quality, nutritious and soluble fibres. This is especially effective if Chia is combined with juices rich in vitamin C, E and A, such as orange, carrot, alfalfa, aloe and lemon.
- Nourishes the muscles and help evacuate harmful toxins while you are eating.
- Slows down rising sugar levels in the bloodstream, so it is recommended in diets for diabetics.
- Is great for nourishing your body if you are an athlete. There are many athletes of outstanding performance, such as Christopher MacDougall, who backs the claim that a tablespoon of Chia in a juice or smoothie is equivalent to eating salmon, spinach and special growth hormones.
- Has great properties for combating triglycerides or high cholestrol.
How to include Chia in your diet
If you want to lose weight without losing muscle mass, it is recommended to drink lemon tea while fasting. If you want to emphasise and accelerate results, remove flour, refined sugar and milk from your diet, in this way the Chia will collect bad fats in your body and will not have to fight with other foods in your body.
For breakfast, have papaya, pineapple or apple and add a cup of sugar-free yogurt, kefir, or sour cream. Top with raw oats, almonds and chopped nuts, and then add a tablespoon of Chia seeds and another of flax seeds.
At lunch and dinner, combine a cooked food with a salad to help the body to evacuate toxins. Use cranberry, sprouts, peanuts and extra virgin olive oil in your salads and various vegetables every day. Do not forget avocado: Rich in protein as well as amaranth, salmon, tuna and sardines.
Food to include at lunch or dinner:
You can try to include lentils, broth beans, peas, normal beans, cottage cheese, goat's cheese and vegetable broth with brown rice.
Chia smoothie to increase muscle while burning fat:
Prepare a smoothie at midday with banana, mango or some fruit that you like, and use almond milk that is full of protein and nutrients. Add a teaspoon of Chia, amaranth if you have, and one egg yolk. Beat well and add agave syrup. Drink in the afternoon or after doing your weight training or other exercise.
It is recommended that you eat granola bars or crackers, dried fruits that are rich in minerals and nutrients and help you maintain your weight but gain energy, as well as fruit salads and sour cream which are great foods to include in your diet.
Combine this diet with some weight training if you want to gain muscle mass: If you activate your muscles, Chia will help you strengthen and nurture them.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Whenever you consume Chia you must take care to drink at least two litres of water a day, as these seeds absorb water ten times their original size. If you do not drink enough water, it can cause constipation, excessive gas or bloating in the stomach. If this happens, it is a warning that you need more fluids in your diet.
Cases where consumption of Chia should be avoided
Despite all of its benefits, there are some people who should refrain from taking Chia:
- People with diverticula should avoid small seeds and fibre, of which Chia has a very high content. In your case, it is recommended that if you are overweight, you include papaya and peeled apple in your diet instead.
- Those who have either high blood pressure (hypertension) or low blood pressure (hypotension): Chia may affect blood pressure especially if taking regulatory medicines. In this case, a great alternative is canary seed milk, which is another extraordinary little seed.
- People taking anticoagulants: As Chia already has an anticoagulant effect, it can enhance the effects of medications and generate bleeding. However, it can serve as a natural medicine for people who do not want to take anticoagulant drugs and prefer natural alternatives for healing.
- Those taking medications for diabetes: It is a known fact that the Chia seed slows the absorption of sugar into the blood and so this will inevitably enhance the effects of diabetes medications. However, as explained above, Chia can provide a natural medicinal alternative for people who do not want to take medication and rely on other healing alternatives.