Remember those ch-ch-ch-chia commercials years ago for Chia Pets? As a kid I found them so intriguing. They were selling kits that included a little terracotta pot and a small packet of black seeds. In just a few days, you could grow a green-haired puppy, pig, or even Mr. T.
Now-a-days those little black chia seeds are often referred to as a superfood. Claims have been made that chia seeds can help with weight loss. This seems to make sense since chia seeds are a good source of fiber and high fiber foods help people feel full for longer, and they are usually low in calories.
However, there is not much evidence to support these claims. A review, published in the Journal of Obesity, concluded that “there is limited data to suggest the use of chia seeds for weight loss.” Another study, published in Nutrition Research, concluded that, in overweight adults, chia seeds have “no influence on body mass or composition, or various disease risk factor measures.”
Although they may not help to shrink your waistline, chia seeds are nutritious and have some health benefits. Plant-based foods have long been associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Chia seeds are black in color and they have a mild, nutty flavor. They are relatively easy to find online or in any major grocery store. They can be sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, and oatmeal or added to smoothies. They can also be used in baking. One tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water will form a gel that can be used instead of eggs in baking.
One of my favorite uses for chia seeds is to make pudding. If you’re looking for a dairy-free creamy dessert, check out this Strawberries and Cream Chia Pudding. For those times when you’re craving chocolate but really don’t want to eat junk food, give this easy recipe for Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding a try.