Fort Berthold Diabetes Program

Thinking Of Adding Chia Seeds To Your Diet?

By Komiko Garcia- Health Education Tech

 

Chia seeds have been added to peoples regular diets for many many years. Going back as far as the Aztecs and Mayans, who used them for providing sustainable energy. “Chia” actually means “strength” in ancient Mayan. Chia seeds are very small black seeds that come from the plant salvia hispanica. These tiny seeds are loaded with many nutrients and very little calories. There are many health benefits to ingesting chia seeds. One ounce serving contains 11 grams fiber, 4 grams protein, and 9 grams fat. Out of the adult daily requirements the chia seeds contain 30% magnesium, and 27% phosphorus. 

There are many perks to using chia seeds. One benefit is that they are loaded with antioxidants. Oxidants from foods are highly recommended from doctors. Antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, which cause cell molecules and can cause aging and diseases like cancer. They are also high in protein. Protein intake helps lower appetite and has been shown to reduce thought about over eating by 60% and the feel to snack late in evenings by 50%. These little seeds are a great source of protein especially for people who eat little amount or vegetarians,

Chia sees are also known to help lower your risk of heart disease. Beings the seeds are high in fiber, protein, and omega-3’s, they can help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering certain risk factors like triglycerides, inflammation, insulin resistance, and belly fat. They can also raise HDL (good) cholesterol. There are a few studies that show that chia seeds significantly reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension, which is a high risk factor for heart disease. There are many health benefits to adding chia seeds to your regular diet but in order to have the highest effect you must still include healthy eating and regular physical activity.

It is very common for people to lack getting the nutrients they need for their bone health that we may get from dairy products. Chia seeds are high in many nutrients needed for our bones including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and protein. But you must be careful because chia seeds also contain phytic acid, which reduces calcium absorption somewhat.

One of the biggest benefits of chia seeds is they may reduce blood sugar levels. Having untreated diabetes can result in high blood sugar levels which if not taken care of can lead to so many complications to your body like nerve damage, heart disease, vision lost and even amputations. There have been studies that show chia seeds may help improve insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugar levels after meals. Chia seeds are a whole gain which helps keep you full longer and lessen your appetite. With that it will reduce blood sugar levels from spiking after eating a high carb meal.

Chia seeds are easy to incorporate in your regular diet. They can be used over your salad, added to your drink, or blended in any of your foods. They can be used to help better your health with all the nutrients but no used to replace any medications provided by your primary provider. If you would like to schedule an appointment on helping you balance a healthy eating routine please feel free to schedule an appointment with our Registered Dietitian at the Fort Berthold Diabetes Program at 701-627-7931.