Chia seeds are a healthy addition to any diet. These tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch, but a new trend suggests that adding them to water and drinking it could help you lose weight.
The chia seed water trend has been circling around Tik Tok thanks to user @happyandhealtholivia. To make it, all you have to do is put one tablespoon of chia seeds into a glass of water (adding a lime or lemon for flavor, if you like) and drink it 30 minutes before a meal. According to the video, “Chia seeds expand in your stomach and form a thick gel, reducing your appetite and increasing feelings of fullness which can help you stay in a calorie deficit.”
There are so many health benefits of chia seeds. They’re packed with nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and a hefty amount of protein, making them one of nature’s most prized superfoods.
And it’s true: If you’re trying to lose weight, chia seeds are a great option to add to your daily meals. Dietary fiber can help you achieve a healthy weight by enhancing digestion, controlling blood sugar, and increasing satiety. Better digestion improves our ability to eliminate waste products from the body, while reduced blood sugar means that extra glucose doesn’t get stored as fat. Just as well, fiber improves gut health by feeding the good bacteria in our microbiome, which can also contribute to weight loss.
So, should you add chia seeds to water and drink it to lose weight? Before you do, keep in mind chia seeds can soak up 10 times their weight in water. The American College of Gastroenterology says that those with a history of dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), esophageal damage, or diverticulitis (inflammation or infection in the digestive tract) should only ingest the seeds “when they have had the ability to fully expand in liquid,” which could take up to two hours. For these individuals, chia seeds could expand in the throat, esophagus, or digestive tract and cause a major issue.
However, according to nutritionist Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, drinking chia seed water is safe for most people and does in fact deliver on its promise of keeping you fuller for longer. “There are three main reasons why this occurs,” Shapiro told Shape. “First, chia seeds are high in fiber, which takes a long time to make its way through your GI [gastrointestinal] tract, keeping you full, as well as helping to decrease cholesterol levels. Second, they are rich in protein, which helps with satiety and keeping you full because it is the macronutrient that is digested the slowest. Finally, chia absorbs water so it takes up space in your belly, which will keep you full.”
So there you have it. Adding chia seeds to water and drinking it before a meal could help to curb your appetite while providing some essential health-boosting nutrients. For these reasons, it could be helpfully incorporated into a weight-loss diet. As always, talk to your doctor before making any dietary changes. And if you need some more inspiration for including these tiny wonders in your day-to-day, check out some of our favorite chia pudding recipes!