Can a chia seed “gel” really help me lose weight?  A friend just let me in on her secret to losing 15 pounds in three weeks: chia seeds. But she doesn’t simply add whole or ground seeds to salads and smoothies-she soaks them in water to make a gel, which she claims suppresses her appetite. What’s that about?

Chia seeds are rich in satiating fiber and slimming omega-3s (even more than flaxseed). They’re effective whole or ground, but an ancient way of using chia has become popular again: soaking the seeds in water to create a bulky gel. This mixture slows digestion, so you feel satisfied for hours, experience fewer cravings and eat up to 50 percent fewer calories during subsequent meals. It also acts as a colon cleanser. To make: Add a cup of chia seeds to 2 cups of water, stirring well to prevent clumping. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours to allow the seeds to absorb the water. Eat 1/4 cup to 1 cup daily, having it all at once or in two doses, ideally when overeating might occur.

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