Diabetes and high cholesterol are two health conditions that can cause serious health outcomes. Diabetes is the result of very high sugar (glucose) levels in the blood and high cholesterol is when there is too much of a fatty substance (cholesterol) in the blood.
While having high cholesterol can significantly increase a person’s risk of having a heart attack or a stroke, diabetes can lead to disorders of the immune, nervous, and circulatory systems.
However, if managed and treated correctly both these medical conditions can be significantly reduced. And one such effective way of managing diabetes and high cholesterol is to incorporate seeds into your diet, the Mirror reports.
According to experts, when consumed along with a healthy diet, seeds like flaxseeds and chia seeds can help with the effective management of diabetes and reduce high cholesterol.
Besides reducing blood sugar and cholesterol, seeds can also help to reduce blood pressure.
Seeds are highly nutritious and great sources of fibre. They also contain healthy fats, many vital minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
One study looked at how chia seeds affect men. A total of 15 healthy men were included in the research who randomly received a 50g glucose test.
The participants were provided with foods that were supplemented with 25g of Salba-chia seeds that were ground.
The participant’s blood glucose samples were collected along with satiety ratings at fasting and over two hours post-prandially.
Researchers found that the chia seeds had significantly helped to lower blood sugar by 39 per cent.
The chia seeds’ soluble fibre content was reportedly responsible for this decrease in blood sugar levels. It also proved to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.
According to Health Harvard, “The fibre in chia seeds is mainly soluble fibre and mucilage, the substance responsible for the gluey texture of moistened chia seeds.”
These fibres help to lower LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol and slow down digestion.
When chia seeds are incorporated into your daily diet it can help “prevent blood sugar spikes after eating a meal and promote a feeling of fullness.”
The National Library of Medicine reportedly published a study that further investigated the effect of flaxseed powder supplementation regarding the management of diabetes.
The study notes, “Flax seed (FS) is a functional food that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants and is low in carbohydrates.”
It adds: “In exploratory studies, flaxseeds were incorporated in recipes, which resulted in a reduction in the glycaemic index of the food items.”
Further trying to explore this theory, researchers divided the participants into an experimental and control group.
Participants in the experimental group received a diet that was supplemented daily with 10g of flaxseed powder for 30 days.
The control group did not get any flaxseed supplementation or placebo with their diet.
The study adds, “Supplementation with flaxseed reduced fasting blood glucose by 19.7% and glycated haemoglobin by 15.6%.”
It was also found that the consumption of flaxseed reduced cholesterol by 14.3%.
“These observations suggest the therapeutic potential of FS in the management of diabetes,” the study concluded.
Besides flaxseeds and chia seeds there are also some other foods that can help manage these two conditions. These foods include: