9 Chia Seeds Benefits + Side Effects
Chia seeds (salvia hispanica) have become one of the most popular superfoods in the health community. They’re easy to digest when prepared properly and a very versatile ingredient that adds easily to recipes. Plus, chia seeds benefits are plentiful. Chia seeds are the best-kept secret of the nutrition industry! Download our simple guide to learn how they can improve your health and wellness routine. Originally grown in Mexico, the seeds were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. In fact, they were even used as currency. The chia seed is nutrient-dense and packs a punch of energy-boosting power. Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance. They said just one spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and chia seeds were known as “runners’ food” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle. Not only that, but recent research has found that the chia seeds benefits are even greater than we realized. Chia seeds benefits include promoting healthy skin, reducing signs of aging, supporting the heart and digestive system, building stronger bones and muscles, and more. They’ve even been linked to helping reverse diabetes. Continue reading for possible side effects, preparation instructions and a complete list of chia seeds benefits and nutrients. Chia Seed Nutrition Profile The reason chia seeds are so beneficial is due to them being rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. For example, one ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds contain about: (1) 137 calories 12.3 grams carbohydrates 4.4 grams protein 8.6 grams fat 10.6 grams fiber 0.6 milligram manganese (30 percent DV) 265 milligrams phosphorus Continue reading >>
6 Science Backed Benefits Of Chia Seeds In Diabetes
Diabetes is a health condition that includes Diabetes Insipidus(DI) and Diabetes Mellitus(DM). Diabetes insipidus is caused due to the kidney’s inability to respond to Anti Diuretic Hormone (ADH). ADH is a hormone secreted by the hypothalamus; it is responsible for regulating and balancing the amount of water in the blood. Diabetes mellitus can be further categorized as Type 1 and Type2. Diabetes mellitus is characterized by high blood glucose levels, insulin resistance and lack of production of insulin. Insulin is secreted by the β cells in the pancreas. Insulin regulates the glucose levels in the blood by sending out signals to liver, fat and muscle cells to take in the glucose thus reducing the blood glucose levels. A defect in this blood glucose regulation mechanism leads to Diabetes mellitus. The cause of Diabetes can be genetic or can be a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. Diabetes is a chronic disease. People diagnosed with Diabetes need to take care of their diet and health overall in order to not spike the levels of glucose in the blood. If the disease is not kept under check it may lead to further complications like cardiovascular defects, gangrene and retinopathy. The best way to avoid any further complications is to have good food and a healthy lifestyle. Chia seed is one such super food which helps manage diabetes. What are Chia Seeds? Salvia hispanica, the plant species whose seed is categorized under the umbrella of Super Foods, is native to the central and southern regions of Mexico and Gautemala. Chia as the plant is popularly known was a major commodity in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Historic and economic studies have made it evident that Salvia hispanica or Chia was as the staple food of that region and was given even more importance than maize. The Continue reading >>
8 Health Benefits Of Chi-chi-chia!: Blood Sugar, Belly Fat & More.
Finally! I'm dedicating an entire post to this gluten-free, ancient grain that I use several times per week. Yes, this is the same chia as the "chia-pet" from the 80's. If you were a kid/teen of that ancient time, then you know what I'm talking about (wink). Chia will make any meal more joyous, in other words, "healthier". It's also one of those foods you barely notice, making it ideal to sneak into your child's food, AH-HA. Or better yet, educate them on why you've added it to their morning cereal or sprinkled it on their dinner (I like that idea even better). 1. Balances and stabilizes your blood sugar Chia slows the effect at which glucose enters the bloodstream, making it ideal for diabetics and those wanting to prevent diabetes. Do you have wild kids and find it hard to calm them down? Along with a balanced diet, managing blood sugar is CRITICAL to good behaviour, attention span and your child's mood. 2. Improves insulin sensitivity and lower insulin This means it will indirectly help with belly fat as fat in this area is associated with excess insulin (and cortisol). 3. FIBRE-RIFFIC! For all you "BranBud/ALLBRAN-lovers" out there, guess who's got more fibre than wheat bran that won't bloat your belly and is GLUTEN-FREE? You guessed it, chia. Bye-bye bran, hello chia. Bran cereals are highly refined, despite their brown colour and are missing many of the essential nutrients and all their good fat - thanks to manufacturing. GO CHIA. 4. Good fat and high omega-3 In fact, the highest omega 3 content in nature - AMAZING HUH? This makes me wanna sing chi-chi-chia everytime I eat it for this very reason. Chia seeds are one of the greatest plant sources of a fatty acid called alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). 5. Contains high amounts of tryptophan This amino acid is the precurso Continue reading >>
Chia Seeds And Diabetes
Chia seeds are one of those foods that's been proclaimed to be a ‘superfood'. And the topic of chia seeds and diabetes seems to come up frequently with questions such as: Can people with diabetes eat chia seeds? Are there any benefits of chia seeds for diabetes? Is chia harmful for diabetes? Is chia good for diabetics? These are all similar questions so in this post we're going to explore the ins and outs of chia. What Is Chia? According to Wikipedia: “Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala”. It's an ancient seed that dates back to the 16th Century and is thought to be used by the Aztecs. The seeds themselves are harvested from the flowers and can be used for multiple purposes, which we'll cover in more detail soon. Chia Seed Nutrition As can be seen by this nutrition table, chia seeds are full of fiber, healthy fats such as omega 3, protein, and loads of vitamins and minerals. In fact, as far as seeds go, they really are a ‘complete' food source so we can see why it's been eaten for centuries. Please pin, share, or tweet this post Please pin, share, or tweet this post Data calculated from USDA Nutrient Database Can People With Diabetes Eat Chia Seeds? The short and small answer to this question is YES. Chia is a healthy food for diabetics to eat. Are There Any Benefits Of Chia For Diabetes? As a matter of fact there are quite a number of benefits. Improves glucose and insulin tolerance In a recent study in rats, one group of rats were fed a high fat, high fructose (sugar) diet (HFF), and the other group were fed a high fat, high fructose (sugar) diet along with chia seeds and chia oil (HFFC). The rats fed the HFF diet developed glucose intoleran Continue reading >>
Flax, Chia And Hemp Seeds
They may be small, but all types of seeds are gaining huge popularity in the food marketplace. Relative to their size, they contain a high proportion of nutrients. That’s no doubt why they are attracting so much interest! Five good reasons to add them to your menu There is no such thing as a miracle food! But seeds can round out, or boost, a balanced diet. Flax, chia and hemp seeds are: A source of protein. They belong to the “meat and alternatives” food group; A source of Omega-3 fatty acids and other fats that are beneficial for your health and heart; High in fibre, which helps control blood glucose (sugar) and blood cholesterol, and promotes weight management through the satiety (fullness) effect, which reduces the feeling of hunger. Fibre also contributes to proper digestive health; Low in carbohydrates, which affect blood glucose (sugar); Versatile! Seeds can add crunch to a wide assortment of dishes and drinks! Flax seeds Flax seeds are oval and flat, and usually dark brown. There is also a yellow variety, called golden flax. You can buy flax seeds whole or ground. In addition to the nutritional benefits mentioned above, flax seeds contain lignans, nutrients with the potential to prevent certain cancers. Whole flax seeds provide 3 g of fibre per tablespoon (15 ml), more than a regular slice of whole-wheat bread. The tough shell of flax seeds make them difficult to digest. When whole, they pass intact through the digestive tract and their valuable nutrients do not get absorbed. Consequently, it is best to grind flax seeds before consuming them. Storage tips If you want to keep flax seeds for an extended period, grind the whole seeds only when you need them. Use a coffee grinder, food processor, or mortar and pestle. Ground flax seeds keep for about a month wh Continue reading >>
Are Chia Seeds The Next Diabetes Super Food?
Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, Kate's Sweet Success, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com. When I think of chia seeds I immediately hear the song from that commercial for green, furry plant “pets.” Lately, however, the chia seed is being touted as the next big health break-through, with claims of improved heart health, lower blood sugars and slimmer waistlines. Are they really that good for us? In this Good Housekeeping article by Samantha Cassetty, M.S., R.D. we get to some of the truth behind these tiny seeds. Potential Benefits of Chia Seeds Weight loss: Foods that are filled with fiber and protein take longer to make their way through our digestive system. This not only helps you to feel full longer, but it can assist in keeping your glucose levels, well, level! Chia seeds have a boat-load of fiber and more protein than the same serving size of soy beans. This sounds good, but there aren’t many studies that show a proven weight loss benefit. Anti-inflammatory? Although chia seeds do contain omega 3’s, they aren’t the same type of fatty acids that are found in fish. Apparently, not all omega 3’s are created equal and there is no evidence that chia seeds have any effect on inflammation. Heart disease: Chia seeds also contain magnesium and potassium (more than a banana), which go a long way to help prevent heart issues. In fact, a study showed that eating more than an ounce of chia seeds each day helped reduce the risk of heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes. Chia seeds pack 139 calories per serving so, wh Continue reading >>
A Chia Pet For Diabetes?
Like swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano in the spring, Chia Pets begin appearing every December on late-night television and in the gift aisles of many stores. (Full disclaimer: I bought one for the Yankee Swap at Harvard Health Publication’s annual Christmas party.) Water these ceramic figures and they sprout a green “fur” from seeds embedded on the surface. Silly? Sure, that’s why they are such a hit. What you might not know is that the seeds may someday be a real gift for people with diabetes. Chia seeds come from a plant formally known as Salvia hispanica, which is a member of the mint family. It gets its common name from the Aztec word “chian,” meaning oily, because the herb’s small, black seeds are rich in oils. It was a staple food for the Aztecs, and legend has it that their runners relied on chia seeds for fuel as they carried messages one hundred or more miles in a day. Chia seeds contain more healthy omega-3 fats and fiber than flax or other grain seeds. They are also a good source of protein and antioxidants. Some preliminary research indicates that chia seeds could—I stress the “could”—help people with diabetes control their blood sugar and protect their hearts. Studies in animals show that a chia-rich diet lowers harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol. And a white-seeded variant of chia, called Salba, helped diabetic volunteers control their blood sugar, as well as their blood pressure and new markers of cardiac risk, such as C-reactive protein. The results were published in the journal Diabetes Care. Before you rush out to buy Salba, which is sold online and in health food stores, keep in mind that it worked only slightly better than wheat bran (which is less expensive and easier Continue reading >>
7 Diabetes Superfoods You Should Try
1 / 8 Embrace Superfood Diversity You probably know that salmon is a good choice if you have diabetes because it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may improve your body’s ability to respond to insulin. Broccoli is another good choice because it’s high in fiber and may help to reverse the heart damage diabetes can cause. But salmon and broccoli aren’t the only superfoods for a healthy diabetes diet. "Eating a variety of different types of nutrient-dense foods creates the healthiest diet since there is no one food that provides all of the essential nutrients our body needs for optimum health," says Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDE, a health, food, and fitness coach in Arizona and dietitian with the Mayo Clinic Diet online program. Liven up your meal plan and enhance your health by adding these seven good-for-diabetes foods to your shopping list. Continue reading >>
11 Proven Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They are loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain. Here are 11 health benefits of chia seeds that are supported by human studies. Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica, which is related to the mint. This plant grows natively in South America. Chia seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans back in the day. They prized them for their ability to provide sustainable energy... in fact, "chia" is the ancient Mayan word for "strength." Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple, only recently did chia seeds become recognized as a modern day superfood. In the past few years, they have exploded in popularity and are now consumed by health conscious people all over the world. Don't be fooled by the size... these tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch. A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains (1, 2): Fiber: 11 grams. Protein: 4 grams. Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s). Calcium: 18% of the RDA. Manganese: 30% of the RDA. Magnesium: 30% of the RDA. Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA. They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2. This is particularly impressive when you consider that this is just a single ounce, which supplies only 137 calories and one gram of digestible carbohydrate! Just so that we're all on the same page, 1 ounce equals 28 grams, or about 2 tablespoons. Interestingly... if you subtract the fiber, which may not end up as usable calories for the body, chia seeds only contain 101 calories per ounce. This makes them one of the world's best sources of several important nutrients, calorie for calorie. To top things off, chia seeds are a "whole grain" f Continue reading >>
Chia Seeds, Diabetes
Health-food fans have been talking up chia seeds for years. Now some studies show benefit for these seeds in diabetes. Possibly, chia seeds could help you. Chia is an herb in the Lamiaceae plant family, related to mint and sage. It grows in Mexico and Central America. It is the same plant that became a fad a few years ago as a “Chia Pet.” When you water a Chia Pet, it grows a “fur” and becomes kind of cute. But we’re talking here about eating the seeds and their health benefits. Why is chia getting so much media buzz now? Writing on Diabetic Connect, Jewels Doskicz, RN, explained: “Chia seeds are a total protein” (which not many plants are). “They are high in fiber, rich in healthy omega-3s (actually higher than salmon), and are also high in calcium and antioxidants.” A report in Harvard Health Blog highlights studies of animals in which a high-chia diet led to lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and higher HDL, the good cholesterol. Eating a lot of chia also lowered triglycerides (blood fat levels). In a study of 20 humans with diabetes, one variety of seed called Salba helped participants control blood glucose, reduce blood pressure, and lower C-reactive protein, a major marker of heart disease risk. The study was published in the journal Diabetes Care. The omega-3 oils and antioxidants in chia are healthy, but the fiber content may be a bigger benefit. Chia seeds seem to slow glucose passage into the blood. They fill you up and so reduce appetite. The oils are a good energy source — Aztecs used to carry bags of them to keep going on long walks at high altitude. If you want to try chia seeds, how do you take them? A reader on the American Diabetes Association online support group asked that question and received many answers from fans of chia. One Continue reading >>
Diabetes Type 2 Diet: Eating This 89p Superfood Can Help Control Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes type 2 diet: Eating this popular superfood can help control blood sugar levels Chia seeds are beneficial and high in fibre, health fats, omega-3s and calcium Because chia seeds are rich in alpha-lonelic acid and fibre researchers from the University of Litoral in Argentina set out to determine how chia seeds can help prevent metabolic disorders like dyslipidemia (excessive fat in the blood) and insulin resistance, which are two factors int he development of diabetes. The scientists, who published their findings in the British Journal of Nutrition, conducted two studies at the same time. The first test evaluated how heathy rats responded to three weeks of a sucrose-rich diet in which chia seeds made up the primary dietary source of fats. The second test took healthy rats and fed them a sucrose-rich diet for three months so they developed dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. Diabetes type 2 diet: Cutting certain foods out and eating more of others can be beneficial Type 1 Diabetes - An autoimmune disease that prevents the body from producing insulin to regulate blood sugar levels [Getty Images] Diabetes type 2 diet: Chia seeds are beneficial and high in fibre, healthy fats omega-3s and calcium They then fed the newly diseased rats a sucrose-rich diet and chia seeds for an additional two months. The research found that during the first examination, eating chia seeds completely prevented the onset of dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. The blood levels in the rats didnt change at all despite having 65 per cent of their diets composed of sugar for three weeks. With the second examination, after the dyslipidemic and diabetic rats were fed chai seeds and a surcrose-richh diet for two months, they completely recovered from their conditions. Diabetes type 2 diet: Diab Continue reading >>
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Chia Seeds Promote Weight Loss In Type 2 Diabetes, Study Finds
A new randomised controlled trial has found that supplementing with chia seeds may aid weight loss and lower inflammation in overweight patients with type 2 diabetes. Researchers in Canada compared the weight loss effects of two different calorie-restricted diets: one including 30 g of chia seeds per day and another supplemented daily with 36 g of oat bran, which served as the control group. They assigned 58 participants to either one of the diets and had them consult with a dietitian at two weeks and then every six weeks for six months, as well as keep food records to ensure compliance. After six months, participants in the chia seed group exhibited greater improvements in the levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein, body weight, and waist circumference. Participants assigned to chia seeds lost 1.9 kg on average, albeit a modest amount of weight, but those on oat bran only saw a reduction in body weight of 0.3 kg. The change in waist circumference was slightly more significant, with a reduction of 3.5 cm around the middle for people receiving chia seeds, compared to 1.1 cm in the control group. In terms of results for C-reactive protein, chia seed supplementation resulted in a decrease in levels by 1.1 mg/l, which is a notable but smaller reduction than what was previously found. Previous RCTs also suggested that chia seeds showed effectiveness in reducing HbA1c, however, no differences in glucose control measures were reported in this new study. Chia may provide weight loss benefits by increasing levels of adiponectin, a protein involved in the breakdown of fat. Participants taking chia had a 6.5 per cent increase in adiponectin levels. The beneficial effects of chia seeds could also come directly from their high α-linolenic acid (ALA) content. ALA Continue reading >>
Diabetes On A 65% Fat Diet, Chia For Breakfast, And Intermittent Fasting
80 days, 5 lbs of weight loss, and my strongest blood glucose numbers ever? I'm always experimenting in a constant quest to learn about my own diabetes and test things I hear about. This article shares the most fascinating food experiments I've been trying lately. Some of it has been so surprising to me that I thought it might be useful to share with diaTribe readers. If you find this article useful, check out my upcoming book, Bright Spots & Landmines! [Editor’s Note: As always, this article should not be interpreted as medical advice. Consult a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your routine, particularly if you are on insulin.] Three Fascinating Food Experiments 1. Over the past 80 days, I’ve seen excellent results from eating higher fat (65% of my calories) and a bit lower carb (about 90 grams per day) than I have in the past. I’ve spent 76% of the past 11.5 weeks in the tight range of 70-140 mg/dl, with a low average (118 mg/dl), low hypoglycemia, and low diabetes burden. Combined, these are the strongest numbers I’ve ever seen in myself over such a long time period. I’ve also lost 5 lbs. See CGM, weight, and cholesterol data below. 2. I now eat chia pudding most days for breakfast - little impact on blood glucose, very filling, three minutes to make (no cooking), inexpensive ($0.53/meal), highly portable, and stocked with Omega 3s and fiber. This is a breakfast game-changer, and I’ve created a recipe I really like. 3. For a week, I tried eating my first meal at 12pm and no food after 8pm (16:8 intermittent fasting). This schedule might be very effective for those struggling with breakfast highs or snacking too much at night. I loved having a clear line in the sand: “I don’t eat after 8pm. PERIOD.” Details, My Data, and Lesso Continue reading >>
Worried About Type 2 Diabetes? Learn How Fiber Can Help You!
The news will tell you that type 2 Diabetes is on the rise in the USA, and around the world, There are many studies, theories & articles going around trying to explain the rise. 3. More artificial flavors instead of health-benefit packed real herbs, spices & seasonings into sugars as you’re digesting (this is good for blood sugar levels.) 2. When fats are removed from foods, they’ll taste bland and no-one will want to buy them...so sugar is usually added for flavor instead. and 3. Real-food herbs & spices like cinnamon can have positive effects on natural insulin use. Obviously, removing fiber, adding sugar, and If you don’t have diabetes, it’s not too late to take steps to prevent it. And if you already have it, there’s a new way to help manage it. Studies have proven that the earlier you tackle any blood sugar problems, the better your chances are for success. It has also been made clear that losing excess weight can help ward off diabetes. If you could lose weight without being hungry, if you could add back precious fiber to foods, and if you could eat something You don’t have to turn all your habits upside-down or start taking expensive pills. All you need is the power of easy-to-eat fiber. The Chia Seed, while not well known, is actually a Superfood. It was lost for centuries, ever since the ancient Aztecs used its super-nutrition for their armies. With the ability to keep people feeling full, and being 23% complete protein by weight, it isn’t any wonder they were able to conquer so many lands. Every tiny seed was a powerhouse of nutrition, vitamins and essential omega-3 oils. They were light enough to carry, and Chia Seeds are actually one of the easiest things you can possibly add to your diet. It’s as simple as sprinkling them onto anything you a Continue reading >>
Is Chia Good For Diabetics?
Chia seeds are tiny dark, nutty-flavored seeds that are rich in nutrients like healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants, notes MedlinePlus. Because chia seeds are packed with nutrients but aren't high-carb foods, these seeds may show potential for people with diabetes. Blood Sugar Control According to Harvard Health Publications, some research shows that chia seeds may help diabetics control blood sugar levels. A study published in 2007 in Diabetes Care found that chia appears to help improve blood sugar control and heart-disease risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes. However, research is still ongoing to help determine the effects fatty acids found in chia seeds on blood sugar levels. Heart Health Because chia seeds are packed with fiber and heart-healthy fats, they may help improve the heart health of people with diabetes. High-fiber diets help reduce blood cholesterol, which in turn reduces your risk for heart disease. Harvard Health Publications notes that diets rich in chia improve cholesterol levels in animal studies. Furthermore, the heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in chia seeds could help reduce your risk for heart disease when eaten in place of saturated and trans fats. Weight Management Chia seeds can also aid in healthy weight management when you have diabetes. If you're diabetic and overweight, shedding pounds often hepls improve blood sugar control. Because chia seeds are rich in protein and fiber, two nutrients that help keep you feeling full without the extra calories, these seeds can help you control hunger -- and your calorie intake. MedlinePlus notes that just 1 tablespoon of chia seeds provides you with 19 percent of your daily fiber needs. A study published in 2014 in Nutricion Hospitalaria found that chia helps promote weight l Continue reading >>