You probably know that chia seeds are super healthy. But, do you know what makes them healthy and which health conditions can be improved by regularly consuming them? Well, one of them is diabetes.
Why Are Chia Seeds so Healthy?
The nutritional content of chia seeds includes high levels of fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and calcium. They are a total protein, unlike many other plants, according to Jewels Doskicz, RN.
Thanks to their content, chia seeds help prevent and treat many health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, and more.
Reportedly, a high-chia seed diet reduces the bad (LDL) cholesterol and increases the good (HDL) cholesterol in animals. Moreover, adding lots of these seeds to your diet helps reduce triglyceride levels.
The high levels of heart-healthy fats and fiber in chia seeds help improve heart health in those with diabetes. A diet high in fiber helps lower blood cholesterol levels, thus cutting the risk of heart disease.
Chia Seeds and Diabetes
The journal Diabetes Care published human research which investigated the effects of Salba chia seeds (a variety of chia) in people with diabetes. The results showed that it helped control blood sugar levels, and lower blood pressure and the major risk of heart disease – C-reactive protein.
The antioxidants and omega-3s in chia seeds are healthy, but the fiber is even healthier. They slow down the passage of glucose into the blood, keep you full for longer and reduce appetite. Also, the oils it contains boost your energy levels.
Researchers discovered that chia seed supplements could reduce inflammation and support weight loss in overweight people with diabetes. Half of the participants took 30 grams of chia seeds a day for 6 months.
At the end of the study, they had a reduction in the levels of C-reactive protein (an inflammatory marker), as well as waist circumference and body weight. On average, the participants lost 1.9 kg of body weight and 3.5cm waist circumference.
Results from past research showed that chia seeds help decrease HbA1c. They may support the weight loss process by raising the levels of the protein adiponectin which takes part in the breakdown of fat.
So, participants who took the seeds had 6.5% higher adiponectin levels. What’s more, the seeds are abundant in ALA (α-linolenic acid) which can help reduce fat mass.
Web MD that supplementing with 25 grams of chia seeds a day for 7 weeks increases the levels of ALA by 138% above the baseline.
Last but not least, high omega-3 levels are said to reduce chronic inflammation and fat tissue – both of which took part in diabetes and obesity.
How to Use Chia Seeds
You can add them to almost everything. For instance, use them as a nutritious thickener for milk, water, or juice. Or, add some seeds to smoothies and yogurt to make them even healthier.
Also, they go well with different salads, salad dressings, soups, stews, rice, and barbecue sauces. For even more ideas, here are 40 ways to use them.