Diabetic? Add Chia Seeds to Your Diet
The term diabetes is the condensed version of Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes is a Greek word which means siphon (to pass through) and mellitus, a Latin word which means sweet. Hence, the name is perfectly in line with the diseased condition; a diabetic person has excess sugar both in the blood and the urine.
The fact that the term diabetes was first used around 250 B.C. gives us ample idea that this disease is not at all new. It used to be a death sentence during the ancient and medieval times but with the advancement of science, it is no longer the menace it used to be. It was only in the 18th century that the role of the pancreas in diabetes was understood. A study which removed the pancreas of dogs was able to replicate diabetic conditions in them which were similar to those in humans. Later, during the beginning of the 19th century, it was understood that the disease is caused by the lack of insulin. Today, diabetes can be controlled by making some well-informed lifestyle changes. Doctors worldwide emphasize that diet and exercise are key components in keeping your sugar levels in check. And medical researchers suggest that there is a host of food items that can help keep the sugar levels in check. One such food item is Chia seeds.
These are seeds of a flowering plant (Salvia Hispanica) from the mint family, native to Mexico and Guatemala. They come in white, black or dark brown colors and are a nutrient powerhouse. Rich in fibers, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium etc, these seeds has gained wide popularity owing to their health benefits and are claimed by many to be a ‘superfood’. These seeds give equivalent benefits both in their ground and whole forms.
Chia Seeds and Diabetes
The limited research done so far to understand the role of Chia seeds in improving a diabetic condition has had positive results. As per an article by Harvard health publications, some research suggests that Chia seeds could help control blood sugar. A study published in Diabetes Care states that preliminary tests performed on a handful of volunteers had indicated that a Salba (white colored variant of Chia) rich diet leads to lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic patients. This potential benefit is attributed to the high fiber content of Chia seeds. The fiber in these seeds is a unique blend of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which slows down the process of breaking down food to sugars and thus reducing the blood sugar levels.
Final Take Away
However, this effect was only slightly better than wheat bran which is also rich in fiber. Hence, the important point to understand here is that fiber is the component which does the trick. Therefore, moving to a fiber rich diet if you are diabetic is a good idea. Make healthy food choices by opting for whole grains rather than refined grains and choose fiber rich foods like Chia seeds to keep your diabetes under check.