Chia seed water offers many health benefits, as it is rich in vitamins and minerals. But is chia seed water the best drink for weight loss?

Chia seeds are small oval shaped seeds that have been hailed as a superfood. These seeds are tiny, but are packed with fiber, vitamin B, iron, protein, magnesium and other nutrients. You can sprinkle them on your oatmeal or salad or have them with fruit juice. If you have a sweet tooth, you can also prepare chia seed pudding. But simply soaking one teaspoon of chia seeds in water overnight, and consuming it the next day is another way to enjoy their health benefits. When people mention chia seed water, they mostly think of weight loss due to its fiber content. So, does drinking chia seed water for weight loss really work?

Chia seed water for weight loss

Chia seeds absorb 17 times more water than their size, says Ayurvedic expert Dimple Jangda. When they get wet, they swell in size and turn into a jelly-like substance. So, when you drink chia seed water, wet seeds get big in your stomach and take up space. This prevents you from getting less hungry, and so it may help in losing weight.

Chia seed water benefits: Is it effective for weight loss?
Chia seeds are a superfood. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

But you also need to remember that they are relatively high in calories. About 28 grams of chia seeds contain 138 calories, according to the US Department of Agriculture. So, if you have chia seeds in excess, you might end up gaining weight.

Also, there is limited research on the benefits of chia seed water for weight loss. But if you have chia seeds with a hypocaloric diet (low in calories), it can lead to significant weight loss, according to a 2023 study published in the Journal of Medical and Health Sciences.

Just don’t get overboard with chia seed water, and make it a part of a balanced diet. You can begin with just a one-tablespoon serving for weight loss and other potential health benefits, such as:

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1. It may be good for the gut

About 28 grams of chia seeds have 9.8 grams of fiber, as per the USDA. Fiber is excellent for digestive health, as it improves bowel movement and even enhances good gut bacteria, says Jangda.

2. May benefit heart health

Chia seeds are good for your heart, as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They help reduce inflammation in the body and lower cholesterol levels. Lowering cholesterol, especially low-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol, may help reduce the risk of heart attacks, and strokes.

3. May help to stabilise blood sugar levels

Chia seeds may help stabilise blood sugar levels, as it slows down the rate at which carbohydrates are converted into sugar, says the expert. The fiber present in chia seeds may also help to reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar levels.

4. May strengthen bones

Chia seeds also contain calcium, magnesium and phosphorus which are needed to support bone health. So, drinking chia seed water may improve bone density and help prevent or delay onset of osteoporosis.

5. May contribute to healthy skin

Chia seeds are good for skin as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help improve skin barrier and reduce inflammation, says Jangda. They are also a rich source of anti-oxidants, which help reduce oxidative stress and free radicals in the body. Chia seeds help improve hydration which is again very good for healthy skin.

Chia seed water
Soak chia seeds in water for health benefits. Image courtesy: Freepik

How to prepare chia seed water?

Here’s a quick chia seed water recipe! Take one tablespoon of chia seeds, and soak in one glass or one bottle of water. Let it sit overnight or at least for an hour, to ensure they are fully swollen. You can also add lemon juice, and honey to chia seed water, suggests the expert.

When is the best time to drink chia seed water?

Ensure to soak chia seeds overnight, and then you can consume the water in the morning to help hydrate and assimilate nutrients from it. You can also add chia seeds to curd or fruits and vegetable bowl and consume before a proper meal. It’s best to not mix with heavy meals, as you may not receive full benefits, says the expert.

Chia seeds are healthy, and may support weight loss. But don’t add spoonfuls due to their calorie content as they may lead to digestive issues such as constipation and gas.

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