Our nutritionist analyzes the health benefits of chia seeds
A quick Google, Bing, or Yahoo search on chia might have you convinced that chia seeds - infamous for forming an impressive green coat of fur on Chia Pets - have some seriously awesome health benefits. The seeds are credited with everything from improving cardiovascular health and stabilizing blood sugar to aiding with weight loss, making it ever more tempting to delve into the growing market of foods made with chia. But is it worth it? I asked my intern, Ann Lokuta, Masters of Public Health degree candidate from the University of Michigan School of Public Health (who is also studying to become a registered dietitian) to wade through the claims. Here's what she found.
Weight loss: Chia is loaded with fiber (1 oz. has 11g!) and contains more veggie protein than an equivalent serving size of soybeans. Fiber- and protein-rich foods take longer to digest, giving your brain time to register that you've eaten-potentially before you've overeaten. Still, studies on the weight loss benefits