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The superfood that makes you more productive and lose weight at the same time

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chia seeds

I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with foods. Especially how they affect my productivity. After trying out all sorts of stuff I’ve come across one superfood that made me more productive but also lose weight at the same time. Do you want to know what this “superfood” is?

Chia seeds.

This tiny little seed is the secret to get more work done while simultaneously getting thinner. I know, it almost sounds too good to be true. That’s what I thought when I was reading about the health benefits, but after experimenting with it I can confidently say this relatively unknown superfood really lives up to it.

On top of that:

  • It’s a complete protein – an easy way to increase your daily protein intake.
  • Low glycemic index – this ensures a slow and steady release of energy in your bloodstream. This avoids the initial burst of energy that is followed with a crash (compare it to eating a banana versus a watermelon).
  • It’s hydrophilic – when chia seeds come in contact with water, it forms a gel and it takes up to 10x its own weight. This makes you stay “full” longer.
  • Lots of omega–3 fatty acids – the “healthy stuff in fish”. In fact, chia seeds have the highest content of omega–3 – more than salmon and flaxseeds. This is great for stabilizing your mood, better focus and your brain.

Not to mention it has B vitamins (aids in turning foods into energy), antioxidants, iron, calcium and much more. Basically, this is a “superfood”.

Note: if you want to learn the basics of nutrition, I can recommend the book The Ultramind Solution by Mark Hyman. It will explain what carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, etc are for and also how the body and brain use them. You get the best of nutrition, neuroscience and bits of productivity in one book – perfect for every Asian Efficiency reader.

My Experiment with Chia Seeds

Every morning I have a smoothie for breakfast. It consists of almond milk, frozen blueberries, Vega One protein powder (love the vanilla chai flavor), a banana (sometimes frozen) and cacao nibs (healthy, makes it crunchy and who doesn’t like chocolate guilt-free). I love it. It’s really tasty, quick to prepare with a blender and easy to clean up – the perfect breakfast for quick morning routines.

This smoothie will usually last me about 2,5 hours before I get hungry again. As I was researching how to make my smoothie even healthier, I came across chia seeds. I looked up all the health benefits, talked to a nutritionist and I decided to give it a try.

With a pseudo-scientific approach to tracking this, I noticed that I usually could work longer in the mornings. Normally I would be eating my lunch around 11am but after putting chia seeds in my smoothies I started to eat my lunch around 12 or 12.30pm.

Basically, chia seeds helped me stay full longer, which allows me to get more work done. This is great for me because I’m a “morning person” and I get all my best work done between 9am and 2pm.

The more work I can do in that timeframe, the more I can relax the rest of the day as my most important tasks are taken care of.

Oh, did I mention I also lost weight? Admittedly, it’s not much – 2 lbs in 2 weeks. However, considering that I didn’t do much other than add chia seeds to my smoothies and sometimes to my lunch and dinners (and I’m relatively fit so it’s harder to lose weight), this is pretty great.

Must-Have Superfood

One thing we try to tell people here on this blog is that what you eat directly affects how productive you are. Your body uses food as fuel.

You want to avoid the “garbage in, garbage out” phenomenon (computer programmer joke, sorry I couldn’t help it). In other words, if you eat crap, you’ll be less productive. We’ve talked about this before.

What’s great about chia seeds is that they don’t affect the flavor of your foods and you can really put it in any dish. I’ve had it on my sandwiches, salads and even in a glass of water. You don’t have to go out of your way to add this healthy and productive superfood to your life.

If you’re lazy, this is the perfect superfood. You can get it at Whole Foods (in the US) or any health store. Or, you can just order it from Amazon. I personally use the Navitas Chia Seeds brand you can get almost anywhere.

Give this superfood a try and be prepared to be more productive!

Photo by Stacy Spensley.

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Posted by Niki  | October 31, 2016 at 7:00PM | Reply

Can I ask how much you put in your smoothie?

Posted by KJ  | February 26, 2015 at 7:17PM | Reply

What is the measurements for one smoothie’s worth of chia seeds and also the cacao nibs? I also have matcha powder, which I think is like green tea (right?). I never know how much to use…..

Posted by Eurobubba  | September 28, 2013 at 11:36AM | Reply

Are they from the same plant as chia pets?

Posted by HT Lee  | July 17, 2013 at 6:24AM | Reply

Thanks for this power tip. I’m gonna hunt for this in my local grocery store this weekend.

Posted by Sue  | March 8, 2013 at 5:56PM | Reply

Have you guys yet explored eating that is cheap, efficient, and healthy all in one? As a poor college student looking to get the most productivity out of my time, my priorities are in that order. I’m even willing to compromise utmost deliciousness (erm, within reason..).

I struggle with this, and ironically eat in ways which contradict my preferences (unhealthy and expensive, yay pizza!) because of discouragement.

By the way, you guys are amazing!

Posted by Aaron Lynn  | March 10, 2013 at 10:08PM

Does your college have dining halls/a meal plan? That may be one option where you just pick the healthier options out of there.

If you cook yourself you can start with super simple – protein source, vegetables, carbohydrate source and a good fat source and build based on that. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere (like the US, Canada or Australia) where most foods are available year-round then you can pick between different options and probably have access to organic options or grass-fed beef.

I hesitate to mention exact foods because it really varies between person-to-person and intended health/fitness goals. For example, Thanh loves the whole organic/raw/green thing and it works for him. I prefer a simple combination of chicken breast, beef (when it’s available – not too many cows in Thailand), rice and green vegetables.

Posted by Sue  | March 14, 2013 at 2:10AM

Oh cool! You guys are Thai? My grandmother currently lives in Chiang Mai. Sawadee.

Good reply, thanks.

Posted by Matt B  | December 17, 2012 at 1:39PM | Reply

Great post inspiring me to get back on the diet. Thanks!

Posted by Linda Summer  | November 29, 2012 at 11:09AM | Reply

Thanh, Thanks for sharing your experience with chia seeds, I didn’t know that they would also help you lose weight too, but makes sense since they keep you full longer. I have some just sitting in my cupboard so I will also start using them in my smoothies, etc since I can stand to lose a few pounds myself. I try to be mostly vegan but don’t beat myself up when I struggle and eat other things. I was just reading the book Superfoods by David Wolfe which also might be helpful to you and I am intrigued by the marine phytoplanktin that he mentions in his book. Nutrition is an awesome adventure and I agree it can make a huge impact on production.

Love your postings. Keep up the great work.

Posted by Thanh Pham  | December 10, 2012 at 10:39PM

Thanks Linda! I’ll check out the book.

Posted by Jason  | November 28, 2012 at 11:52PM | Reply

Is there a difference between regular chia seeds and white chia seeds?

Posted by Thanh Pham  | November 29, 2012 at 12:07AM

Yes, there is a small difference. The white chia seeds have a higher protein concentration but the black ones have more fiber and antioxidants. It’s a really small difference though. I always have the black ones just FYI.

Posted by Jason  | November 28, 2012 at 5:55PM | Reply

Add Vega Chlorella to your list. A whole food high in protein and detoxifies. I add it to the daily protein shakes. I use powder but comes in tablets.

Posted by Thanh Pham  | November 28, 2012 at 6:46PM

Hi Jason thanks for the suggestion! This looks really good. I’m going to give it a try too.

Posted by Chris L  | November 28, 2012 at 12:57PM | Reply

I love Chia Seeds!

Posted by Thanh Pham  | November 28, 2012 at 1:07PM

That makes two of us :-)

Posted by Meggin McIntosh  | November 28, 2012 at 9:02AM | Reply

I’m willing to give these a try, based on your recommendation. And your smoothie recipe sounds good, too!

Posted by Thanh Pham  | November 28, 2012 at 12:19PM

Awesome! I’m sure you’ll love it Meggin.

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