Chia (seed, oil): do you lose weight? See benefits and how to use

Chia is a seed so small that it even resembles the grain contained in the grape . But anyone who thinks that these two tiny seeds are the same is wrong.

Coming from Central and South America, legend has it that it was used in Aztec and Mayan cultures – there was a preparation in the food of the warriors before the battles that used to include chia.

The small grain helped the warriors’ health due to the presence of vitamins and minerals, which gave more energy.

Today, the chia seed has become popular in the diet of many people, being an aid in diets for weight loss, as it helps in the feeling of satiety.

Are we going to know all the benefits of this food?


What is chia?

Chia is a seed from the plant Salvia hispanica L., which has been grown in the Mexican desert since the days of the Maya and Aztecs.

Chia seeds are edible and have a light nutty flavor, which makes them easy to add to recipes to obtain their nutrients.

Some of them are minerals, carbohydrates , fibers, vitamins, protein, calcium, antioxidants and omega 3. It is common to find the seed in sauces, vegetable salads and cereals.

They still have a very favorable peculiarity: as they absorb liquid, when left to soak, they acquire a gelatinous consistency and can be used as a thickening agent in recipes, and can even replace eggs.

In general, chia seed can be consumed mixed with water, in the form of flour, raw, in the form of gel or oil.

What is chia for?

Chia is considered a great food due to its nutritional properties. Therefore, its use is mainly as a reinforcement to the diet, giving flavor to various dishes.

In addition to the nutritive role, it helps in the feeling of satiety, being very associated with weight loss diets.

But it also helps to fight inflammation and detoxify the body. Therefore, it can be combined with the treatment of some diseases, such as obesity , diabetes and heart problems.

Read more: 8 benefits of detox juice that go beyond detox

In addition, it has a positive bonus for beauty: it manages to keep the skin looking healthy.

Chia lose weight?

No , the seed alone is not able to affect the balance. But indirectly it can be associated with healthy weight loss.

This is because, when hydrated, the seed helps to give more satiety and naturally reduce food intake.

In addition, many people combine the use of chia with foods associated with weight loss, such as lemon.

But it is worth remembering that consumption needs to be combined with other factors. For this reason, uniting the product with healthy eating and the practice of physical exercises contributes to reducing weight.

Chia with lemon

Lemon is a fruit widely used in diets, as several benefits are attributed to it, such as: prevention of inflammation, pH balance of the body, aid in the immune system, improvement in digestion and favoring the elimination of fluids.

Many people drink lemon with water to get all the benefits of the fruit, but what if we add it to the sizzle?

This combination is able to help with weight loss, give more energy, fight free radicals, detoxify the body, improve the functioning of the intestine and digestive system.

To do this, put water in a 200mL glass and add 2 tablespoons of the chia seed, letting it soak for an hour for the seed to hydrate.

Prepare a juice with 100mL of lemon and add the hydrated chia. It is recommended that consumption be made before meals.

Flaxseed, Chia and quinoa

The 3 options are good and contain common health benefits, such as vitamins, functional substances, minerals, fibers, etc. The difference between them is that quinoa is a cereal, while flaxseed and chia are seeds.

The 3 can be incorporated into the diet, according to the taste of each person, remembering to add to the diet in a balanced way, combining other healthy choices.

In addition, it is important to drink plenty of water, as they all contain many fibers that need water to perform their activities correctly, above all, making intestinal transit improve.


Chia is considered a source of minerals and vitamins, being a food that is very good for the body as a whole. In addition, chia seed has:


Carbohydrates are a kind of fuel, responsible for maintaining the activities of the whole body correctly.

Despite being feared in some diets, chia carbohydrates are considered good, as they provide energy along with other nutrients, so that their consumption is healthy.

Chia concentrates about 10.53g of carbohydrate in a 25g portion of the seed.


The proteins are responsible for growth and tissue repair, the transport of materials for our body work and also in the formation of hormones.

The chia seed contains about 4.14g per serving, which represents 8% of the need for daily consumption of the nutrient, according to the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), which recommends eating 50g of protein.


Chia seed is rich in fiber. In 25g of the grain it is possible to get 8.6g of fiber, about 34% of what we need to consume on a daily basis.

They help the intestine to function properly, in addition to providing a feeling of satiety.


Quite popular, calcium assists in several benefits for our body. There is about 158mG in a 25g serving of chia.

Calcium helps in the formation of bone and tooth structures, establishes balance with phosphorus, acts by coordinating actions in the muscular contraction of the heart, among other activities.


Phosphorus is responsible for balancing the body’s pH, which keeps the organs functioning properly.

In addition, the nutrient is part of the cell membranes and participate in the metabolism of proteins and absorption of carbohydrates in our body.

25 grams of chia seed contains about 215mG of phosphorus.


Magnesium is a mineral that helps protect the heart, controls blood pressure, regulates the reaction of insulin, helps in the production of collagen for the skin, in addition to contributing to the quality of sleep.
25 grams of chia seed contains 84mG of magnesium.


The main function of iron is in the respiratory process, in which it carries oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood throughout the body.

But iron also helps in maintaining the immune system, oxygenating the heart and producing energy.

In 25 grams of chia we find 1.93mG of iron.


Zinc is an important mineral for the immune system, as it helps in the defense of the body against bacteria and viruses.

This mineral also helps by decreasing the amount of free radicals (which cause premature aging) present in the body.
Zinc is obtained from food, and in chia, in 25 grams, there is about 1.15mG of the mineral.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps to protect the skin, strengthening immunity, and also has an antioxidant action (preventing various diseases).

In addition, it is important for the growth and maintenance of the tissues of some organs, especially the eyes.

In 25g of chia seed, 14UI of vitamin A are obtained.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Easily absorbed by our body, vitamin B1 helps the body’s energy by regulating its disposition. It also helps to metabolize the fats and proteins present in the body.

In chia seed, 0.155mG of vitamin B1 can be obtained in 25g.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, participates in many functions in the body, some of the main ones are to stimulate blood production in the body and keep the metabolism working properly.

We can get about 0.043mG of vitamin B2 by consuming 25g of chia.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

It helps to lower blood cholesterol, controls diabetes, contributes to the functioning of the digestive system and also helps in the maintenance of the skin and nervous system.

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is present in the chia seed, with about 2.208mG in 25g of the seed.

Benefits of chia

This small seed offers several benefits to our health, one of them is the ability to absorb water. But, how is it beneficial?

When you put a spoonful of chia in the water, it forms a gel and increases in volume, without varying in taste and calories.

By ingesting hydrated chia, it helps to control blood glucose (because it slows carbohydrate absorption), and produces a feeling of satiety.

Read more: Does cutting carbohydrate lose weight? Understand the effects on the body

Other benefits of chia are:

Improves skin and hair

Chia contains caffeic acid in its composition, which helps to detoxify the liver and prevent free radicals from destroying cells, causing premature aging.

It also has vitamin A that reduces acne and vitamin B2, which strengthens the health of nails and hair.

Reduces constipation

Because it contains a lot of fiber, the chia seed prevents constipation ( constipation ) and helps the digestive tract to function properly, excreting toxins through bile and feces.

Reduces cholesterol levels

Because it contains omega 3 and 6, considered fats good for health, chia is able to help reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol in our body.

Protects the heart

Chia contains omega 3, important for cholesterol levels and great for protecting the heart. The substance can reduce clot formation and regulate blood vessel pressure to function properly, increasing blood flow.

In this way, it is possible to prevent blood pressure from increasing and cause diseases such as stroke, hypertension and heart attack .

Strengthens bones

Chia is a source of calcium, an important mineral for bone health, fighting wear.

In a 30g portion of the seed it is possible to obtain about 18% of the recommended calcium per day.

For people who have lactose intolerance, chia is an option where calcium can be obtained at good levels.

Regulates blood glucose

Chia produces positive effects in reducing blood sugar, this is due to the fact that the seed has a high amount of soluble fibers, which reduce the absorption time of carbohydrates and sugars, preventing spikes in blood glucose.

When glucose is released in a smaller amount, it is able to circulate better through the body, preventing a situation called insulin resistance (when glucose accumulates in the blood) that can harm health.

Promotes satiety

Chia seed, when consumed in hydrated form, helps people to feel full. This is due to the digestion of the hydrated seed being carried out more slowly, preventing hunger from appearing early.

Protects the brain

In the composition of chia it is possible to find linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid, responsible for brain functions, transmission of nerve impulses and formation of cell membranes.

By consuming chia seeds we are also helping with brain connections and functioning.

How to consume chia?

Chia is a versatile food that can be consumed in different ways, but regardless of the choice it contributes to a healthy life:

Chia seed

Chia seeds can be eaten raw or mixed with other foods during the cooking process. It is also possible to add them in water or milk and take the refrigerator for two hours, during which time the grains absorb the liquid and form a gel.

When the seed goes through this process it can be added in juices, soups and even consumed only with water and lemon.

One option is to use chia seeds along with other grains in bread recipes, adding flavor. You can toast the seeds in the oven, wait for them to cool and add them to the fruits, soups and broths.

Chia flour

The chia flour has all the benefits that the seed, the difference is that in the flour the fibers present are in greater quantity.

It can be used in recipes for pies, cakes, pancakes, cereal complement etc. For celiacs or people with gluten sensitivity , chia flour is an option to replace wheat flour.

Chia oil

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, chia oil capsules become a good option. The seed oil, concentrated in the capsules, is rich in omega-3 which strengthens immunity, improves memory and concentration, in addition to preventing cardiovascular diseases.

What is the ideal amount of chia a day?

There is no right amount for the daily consumption of chia, but some studies have shown that 2 tablespoons, or 25g, are enough for the health benefits to be obtained.

To avoid a large caloric increase in food, the ideal is not to exceed this amount too much or to make food changes, especially in cases of calorie restriction.

Harm: does chia hurt?

In 2014, a case drew attention in North Carolina (USA), at a meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology.

In it, it was reported that a person had consumed a tablespoon of raw chia and, soon after, drank water.

It didn’t take long before she started to feel sick. Later, she was diagnosed with a picture of obstruction of the esophagus due to the ingestion of the seeds.

After this case, the question arose: is chia bad for your health? It depends on the case .

In the diagnosis of this patient from North Carolina, it was found that he had swallowing problems (act of swallowing).

When he consumed the seed, in its raw form, and then took water, inside the stomach there was the contact that makes the seed swell up to 7 times.

The size of the seed obstructed (clogged) the esophagus, making the patient unable to swallow even his own saliva.

Therefore, in some cases, chia should be consumed with caution, especially in people who have a history of stomach problems.

Other cases that need care when consuming the grain are:

  • Diabetes (for contributing to a drop in blood glucose);
  • Hypotension (due to lowering blood pressure);
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (may cause diarrhea);
  • Kidney diseases (may develop kidney stones);
  • People who have already had surgery involving the gastrointestinal tract (discomfort in digestion may occur);
  • Use of anticoagulant medication (chia can enhance the effect of the medication).

How to hydrate chia?

In a jar, add 1 tablespoon of the chia seed for every 5 tablespoons of water. Put the amount you want, always respecting the proportions. Then, let it soak for up to 30 minutes if you prefer the crunchy seeds, otherwise you can leave it for 3 to 8 hours.

After the soak time has elapsed, a gel is noticeable around the seed, which means it is hydrated. Add in your food the way you want and try to store the remaining seeds in the refrigerator to maintain the quality of the grain.

Read more: Step by step: how to make water and milk kefir?

Where to find it and what is the price?

Chia seeds can be found for sale in supermarkets, neighborhood or organic food markets, health food stores, pharmacies and also on the internet.

The seeds cost around R $ 5 to R $ 20 a kilo.

Regarding chia flour, it can be found from R $ 3.60 to R $ 18, depending on the brand or manufacturer. Already the chia oils in capsules can be found in the average values ​​of R $ 30 to R $ 50.

* Prices consulted at Consulta Remédios on 01/29/2019. Values ​​may change.

Among the options are:

  • Orange Health Chia Oil 60 Capsules
  • Chia Catarinense Oil 60 capsules
  • Chia Oil Equaliv 60 capsules

Recipes with chia

Chia seed can be used in different types of sweet and savory recipes, check out some:

Mango and chia pudding

Ingredients to be used:

  • 2 cups of almond milk;
  • 1/2 cup or 2 tablespoons of chia;
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract;
  • 3 tablespoons of cane molasses;
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon;
  • A pinch of powdered cardamom;
  • 1 large mature sleeve.

In a container, mix almond milk, chia, vanilla, cinnamon, molasses and cardamom until a syrup thickens. Reserve in the refrigerator for about 8 hours.

Peel and cut the mango into small pieces and process together with a tablespoon of molasses until it forms a cream.
Take the dessert out of the refrigerator and add the mango syrup. This recipe yields up to 4 servings.

Chia pancakes

Ingredients to be used:

  • 1 this;
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar;
  • 1 puff of salt;
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter;
  • 1 cup of wheat flour tea;
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder;
  • ¾ cup of milk tea;
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence;
  • 1 tablespoon of chia.

Mix the egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, wheat flour and gradually add the milk so as not to lump the dough.

When everything is well mixed, add the chia and baking powder. But there is a detail: the dough cannot be too soft.

Heat a frying pan and leave on low heat, place a portion of the dough in the center (you can use a soup quilt to help) and wait for the dough to form until small bubbles appear.

When these bubbles appear turn the pancake over to bake the other side. Remove and add the filling of your choice.

Banana muffin with oats and chia

Ingredients to be used:

  • ¾ of whole wheat flour tea;
  • ¾ of white wheat flour tea;
  • ¾ of oat tea in fine flakes;
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seed;
  • 2 ripe bananas;
  • 2 eggs;
  • ½ cup of brown sugar tea;
  • ⅓ cup of canola or sunflower oil;
  • 1 puff of salt;
  • 1 coffee spoon of lemon juice;
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder.

Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Mix all ingredients except the yeast, which is last. Stir well until the dough is incorporated and then add the yeast.

Place the finished dough in cupcake forms, filling only ¾ of the form, as the dough will rise in the oven.

Bake and leave for about 30 minutes. To find the right spot, do the toothpick test: pierce the dough and if the toothpick comes out clean, it is ready.

Common questions

How long does it take to hydrate chia?

Chia seeds take, on average, 30 minutes to 1 hour to be hydrated. When a gel forms around the seed and the volume is increased, it means they are ready for consumption.

How to consume chia to lose weight?

To lose weight, the ideal is to consume the chia in a hydrated form (forming a gel), along with the lemon juice without sweetening. It can also be a substitute for other foods, such as rice or other carbohydrates.

But for an effective weight loss, it is necessary to combine it with a balanced diet and physical activities.

What is chia with fasting water for?

It serves to perform a detox in the body. Chia in contact with water increases its volume, becoming a gel. When consumed on an empty stomach, it promotes a feeling of satiety.

In general, it is used by those who want to lose weight, obtain nutrients, feel less hungry and ingest more fiber.

How long can the sizzle stay in the water?

It depends, if you prefer the crunchy seed you can leave up to 30 minutes. Otherwise, the seed can remain in the water for 3 to 8 hours.

Is Chia bad for your kidneys?

In general, no . But if you have a history of diseases such as kidney stones (kidney stones) consumption should be balanced, as chia is a food with a lot of protein which can increase the risk of developing the disease.

Consumed sparingly, it poses no risk. But people who have any special condition, should consult a nephrologist to analyze and monitor the case.

Now that you know all the benefits of chia seed, share this article with your friends and family so they can get informed and include this rich grain in their diet.