It’s not always easy to eat right when you’re on the run or busy…
So instead of sitting down to a well-balanced meal three times a day, most of us may end up getting at least one meal a day in the drive-thru…
Or worse, you might miss a meal altogether and end up binging on a not-so-healthy snack to quell your gnawing hunger, like that box of doughnuts calling your name from the office breakroom.
Each of these scenarios can result in blood sugar spikes, or dips, that create dramatic ups and downs in your energy and mood. That’s no fun for you — and not good for your insulin sensitivity.
Because reduced insulin sensitivity leads to insulin resistance — putting type 2 diabetes just a hop and a skip away.
But there’s a little (tiny, actually) food that can help…
Tiny seed, big superfood
Chia seeds boast high amounts of beneficial fats, protein, fiber and loads of vitamins and minerals — just a few of the reasons this little seed has superfood status!
But research has uncovered two more that can help keep all of us on track when it comes to maintaining healthier blood sugar levels — and eating better…
Because, when researchers gave a group of healthy participants a glass of water containing 25 grams of ground chia after a meal containing 50 grams of carbohydrates (which is a lot for one meal), they found it not only helped reduce spikes in blood sugar, but also helped them feel full.
Lower blood sugar with chia
The study, published in in the European journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that “chia seed water” reduced peak glucose levels by 39 percent, following the study participants’ high carbohydrate meal.
That’s impressive, especially when you consider similar studies have shown that chia consumption with meals reduces peak glucose by an average 35-41 percent. You might say the proof is in the overnight chia seed pudding!
These findings are incredibly important to blood sugar control because the results are not only the immediate blood sugar-lowering effect, but indicated that chia seeds may also prevent downward surges in blood sugar.
If you’re struggling with energy issues or fatigue, or have blood sugar regulation issues like prediabetes or diabetes, adding 2 teaspoons of chia seeds with your meals may make a big impact. If you’re dashing out the door sprinkle some seeds in your water bottle. According to builtlean.com, it’s also a great way to intensify your hydration because the whole seeds soak up and hold water.
Feel fuller longer with chia
Satiety refers to your feeling of fullness. It’s how foods influence your hormones and hunger responses so your brain registers that you are full.
And you know how important that is to controlling cravings and decreasing your appetite.
During the same research, scientists discovered that chia seed intake improved all satiety measurements, outdoing its closest competitor — flax seed, a superfood in its own right — by a mile, in all of aspects of satiety measured, including:
- Desire to eat
- Prospective consumption
- Overall appetite
While both seeds are high in dietary fiber, their “fiber make up” is different. Flax actually consists of five times the amount of soluble fiber on a per gram basis. Logically thinking, flax should outdo chia but that was obviously not what happened in this study.
Chia well and truly outperformed flax…
On further exploration, the researchers discovered that chia has a much higher viscous gel-like fiber content, practically 4 times higher, than flax. The two seeds also consist of different fiber compounds and this affects their water holding capacity and vulnerability in the acidic environment of your digestive tract — which is a big part of the chia’s success…
This viscous gel and superfood strength of chia seems to alter the rate at which carbohydrate is absorbed — and has a stronger impact on hormones and enzymes that control blood sugar and satiety.
Try adding a few seedy friends to your daily routine — both seeds have health benefits but chia seeds are the clear winner of the superfood-status race!
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- Vuksan V, et al. Comparison of flax (Linum usitatissimum) and Salba-chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds on postprandial glycemia and satiety in healthy individuals: a randomized, controlled, crossover study. — European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2017;71:234–238.