For a long time, chia is no longer new among people who want to lose weight or simply follow a healthier diet. With the scientific name Salvia hispanica L., chia is a plant native to the region that stretched from west-central Mexico to northern Guatemala.
It is believed that its seeds were already used by the people of Central American civilizations for many centuries, but it was a few years ago that the benefits of chia consumption began to be reinforced by nutrition professionals.
Andréa Marim, nutritionist specialized in Sports Nutrition, with complementary training in Herbal Medicines and supplementation for weight loss, Functional Nutrition, Probiotics and prebiotics and Nutrition and aesthetics, comments that chia has gained a lot of attention as it is considered a good source of polyphenolic compounds, protein, fiber and minerals.
It is worth noting that about 25 to 40% of chia seed is made up of oil – more than 60% of this oil is made up of omega-3 fatty acids.
So, points out Andréa, as chia seeds are a food with a high fat content, they can be cold pressed to extract their oil – a method that preserves most of the chemical properties and nutrients found in the seed, with the exception of fiber.
But what are the benefits of chia oil anyway? How to consume it? Does this type of oil also help you lose weight? Below you will clarify your main doubts on the subject.
6 main benefits of chia oil
The main benefits of consuming chia oil are:
1. It is a source of omega-3: as the human body is not able to synthesize omega-3, it is necessary to obtain the nutrient from food. Salmon, sardines and tuna are the best-known sources of these essential fatty acids, but chia oil can be a good alternative. Omega-3, it is worth mentioning, helps reduce inflammation, reduces the risk of heart disease, improves pain and can even prevent certain types of cancer, among other benefits.
2. Helps with weight loss: as chia oil contains more omega-3 than omega-6, it helps to normalize the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (which should be 2:1, or, at most, 3:1). Thus, inflammation is reduced, favoring the burning of fat and hindering the accumulation of fatty acids.
3. Regulates cholesterol: omega-3 helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thus helping to prevent cardiovascular problems.
4. It has antioxidant action: thus helping to fight free radicals and preventing both the emergence of some diseases and premature aging.
5. It is a good option for vegetarians and vegans: because it is rich in omega-3, this oil is a great option for people who do not consume animal products, since it is a vegetable source. In addition to being a good alternative for those allergic to fish.
6. Ally of beauty: this oil is very beneficial in the case of cosmetic use for skin and hair. Nutritionist Priscila Amadio, from Clínica Chiquetá, highlights, for example, that the oil can help improve the appearance of the skin and tone the scalp. In addition to antioxidant action (which helps prevent premature aging), it has anti-inflammatory effects, helping to reduce redness and blemishes on the skin, in addition to acne. It also works by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, helping to prevent wrinkles and expression marks.
Priscila points out that one of the main advantages of chia oil over chia seeds is the fact that many people do not like to “feel the gelatinous seeds in their mouth”… In these cases, the oil becomes a more practical option. “Also, the oil contains more omega-3s than whole seeds, and it can be added to both sweet and savory recipes,” she says.
Another difference between them is that the oil is not high in fiber, as in the case of chia seeds – which, in some cases, can be a disadvantage.
How to consume chia oil
Chia oil can be found in bottles or capsules. Check the usage recommendations:
Natural chia oil
This oil can be used in place of olive oil, for example, when dressing salads or finishing dishes, or even sprinkled on fruit.
Priscila recommends not taking it to the fire, as high temperatures oxidize the fat and can lead to the formation of toxic compounds.
chia oil capsules
In general, it is recommended to consume 1 capsule of 500mg of chia oil, twice a day, usually 30 minutes before main meals.
However, this recommendation must be passed by a nutritionist respecting the particularities of each case.
Chia oil for weight loss?
It is not correct to say that chia oil, by itself, will help you lose weight. Priscila remembers that it is even a food with more than 100 calories in a spoon. But, if used within a healthy diet, replacing other less healthy oils, it can have a beneficial effect, not only related to weight loss, but health as a whole.
It is worth remembering that chia oil, unlike oils such as canola or soy, contains a higher concentration of omega-3 than omega-6. And this is totally valid when the proposal is weight loss: because, by normalizing the proportion of omega-6 in relation to omega-3 (which should be 2:1, or, at most, 3:1), inflammation is reduced. , favoring the burning of fat and hindering the accumulation of fatty acids.
Contraindications of chia oil
According to Andrea, there are no side effects associated with the consumption of chia oil. But, like any other food, it should not be consumed in excess. In addition, for safety reasons, pregnant women, infants and children should not adhere to the product, unless there is medical or nutritional guidance.
Now you know that chia oil can be a good ally for your health, being an important source of omega-3 and even helping in the weight loss process. However, to know if its consumption is indicated in your case, the ideal is to rely on the guidelines of a nutritionist (and not adhere to the product simply because you think it “can work miracles”).
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.
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