Diabetes Superfoods: Small Seeds But Strong Stuff

Diabetes superfood Chia is valued for its ability to sprout.  Eating these seeds helps with blood sugar control, lowers the risk for cardiovascular problems as well as reduces insulin resistance.  In fact it is used by the Mayans and the Aztecs both as food and as medicine.  No wonder for it is rich in alpha linolenic acid known as omega-3 oil.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber with 10 grams for every ounce.  They are also rich in calcium, antioxidants, protein and other nutrients.  They come from an old grain under the Latin name Salvia hispanica.  They are generally sold at health food stores.  I have not developed a taste for them yet for right now, I eat seven walnuts a day.

Canadian researchers found these seeds reduced the cardiovascular risk factors when they were assigned to eat 2 1/2 tablespoons of chia (37g) a day.  After 12 weeks, the blood pressure and AIC levels were lowered as well.  Another report published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found chia seeds decreased abdominal fat and reduced insulin resistance as well as triglycerides levels. 

How they did it was by giving the study participants different amounts of chia seeds which were baked into white bread.  The researchers took notes of the hunger level and blood sugar levels of the participants.  They found that even small amounts prevented spikes and reduced appetite. 

How do you add it to your diet?  There are many ways you can do this.  Chia seeds look like a cross between poppy seeds and sesame seeds.  They have almost no taste to them but it turns into a gel when mixed with liquid so you can easily add these to smoothies or mixed in other dishes like casseroles.

You can also toast the seeds so they won't gel and can be added to the baking or you can sprinkle them into the yogurt or salads.  Toasting should be done only in a small skillet for two minutes in high heat.  Then store it in a container that is airtight.  Talk to your doctor though before doing this if you take diabetes medications or insulin as this may lower your blood sugar level and so may need to adjust your medication dosage.  

Chia Seeds 2 Pounds