Health

Turn Off Fat Storage, Curb Hunger Pangs, and Regulate Blood Sugar With These Superfood Seeds

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain five times more calcium than a glass of milk! That’s key because calcium curbs the output of a fat-storing hormone (calcitriol), prompting fat to be burned for fuel instead.

The result: A study in Obesity Research found that subjects who increased their calcium intake lost 38 percent more weight than those who skipped it.

Sipping a chia-spiked smoothie can keep you full for up to four hours. The reason: When exposed to liquid, these tiny seeds swell to absorb up to 12 times their own weight, creating a viscous gel that slows the movement of food through the GI tract, prolonging feelings of satiety.

The magnesium in chia seeds increases cells’ sensitivity to the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin, nixing fluctuations in blood sugar that cause cravings. Indian researchers report that this can help slash blood-sugar swings by 41 percent in two weeks. Magnesium also helps convert sugar into usable fuel, doubling energy levels in just seven days.

The three smoothie recipes below topped with tiny seeds deliver big benefits, like extra energy and speedy weight loss. Plus, they taste great!

Cucumber-Lemon Refresher

  • 5 mini cucumbers
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. chia seeds

Puree first 3 ingredients and 1 cup ice. Sprinkle with chia seeds; drink immediately. Makes 2 servings

Bonus! Cucumber kills energy-sapping yeast.

Pineapple- Mango Dream

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1⁄2 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbs. chia seeds

Puree first 3 ingredients; divide between glasses. Sprinkle with chia seeds; drink immediately. Makes 2 servings

Bonus! Pineapple enzymes cut the risk of indigestion by 55 percent.

Very Berry Blastoff

  • 1 1⁄2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 mint sprig
  • 1 Tbs. chia seeds

Blend first 3 ingredients on high speed until smooth. Divide between 2 glasses. Stir in chia seeds. Chill until seeds swell and soften, about 30 min. Makes 2 servings

Bonus! Anthocyanins in berries lower inflammation by 70 percent.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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