CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH CONDIMENTS DIGESTIVE HEALTH EYE CARE FAT HEALTH MINERALS NEUROLOGY NUTRITION TYPE 1 DIABETES TYPE 2 DIABETES WEIGHT MANAGEMENT WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

CHIA SEEDS CAN HELP CONTROL DIABETES

chia seeds are good for diabetics
Written by Dr. César Giral

Chia (Salvia hispanica) is an herb from the mint family that grows in tropical or subtropical weather. Originally from Mexico, was an important part of ancient Aztecs and Mayans diet. Chia in the Aztec language (náhuatl) means “oily” perhaps from its high fat content.

The actual seed (approximately 2 mm in length) is available in two varieties: white and black. The white (known as Salba) has a higher price in the market, and it is often difficult to find it. The black have small traces of white color in it. However, there doesn’t seems to be major differences from their nutritional point of view when comparing the two.

Chia is an excellent source of protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, antioxidants, soluble fiber and omega 3; which is a more amount of what is found in flaxseed, its closest “rival” in the herbal world. When Chia seeds are mixed with water, they create a gel-like in its surroundings (mucilage, a soluble dietary fiber), which have regulatory properties of the intestinal transit while helping slow, the absorption of sugars from food; helping to regulate postprandial glucose levels.

Preliminary scientific studies have shown that eating Chia seeds can help reduce blood pressure and C-reactive protein levels (a value related to inflammation) in people with type 2 diabetes. In relation to cholesterol consumption may contribute to lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides (“bad” fats in the cardiovascular system, when in excess) and increase the good HDL cholesterol.

More research is needed to define the effects and benefits of Chia seeds for overall health, however, history has shown that they are safe and definitely worth using as a daily nutritional supplement.

There are two situations in which its consumption, like with any other food rich in omega 3, should be done with caution.

1 – In people taking Warfarin and/or Coumarin.

2 – In case of prostate cancer.

In the case of treatments the require anticoagulants because the omega-3 can increase the effect. In men with prostate cancer, the reason is that eating high amounts of ALA (a type of omega 3) can promote disease progression. In these particular circumstances the general observations go for any food or supplement-containing omega 3 and not just specifically to Chia.

The important thing is to be aware of what we eat and how to eat healthier. Let’s go back to the past: more whole grains, whole wheat, brown rice, oats, chia, flaxseed, quinoa, etc., and less refined derivatives such as white bread, white rice, processed oats, etc. A simple change like this can make a big difference in our gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and endocrine health. Therefore, these nutritional recommendations are for not only those with diabetes but anyone who wants to enjoy a healthier life.

In regards to Chia, our recommendation is to give it a try. Two tablespoons a day (30 grams) as a supplement in your food could bring great benefits.

 

Enjoy this super food!

 

Comments

About the author

Dr. César Giral

6 Comments

Leave a Comment