Chia seeds balance sugar levels. Chia seeds slow the rate at which carbohydrates are broken down into sugars, helping to balance blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds also improve gut health. Chia seeds have a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber, making them good for relieving constipation and boosting gut health.
Chia seeds are recommended for people suffering from diabetes and pregnant women
Chia seeds can be a beneficial addition to the diet of many people with diabetes because of their low glycemic index, high fiber content and potential to balance blood sugar levels, according to Haldurai.
“The combination of fiber, healthy fats and protein in chia seeds can slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, facilitating more stable sugar levels after meals,” adds the expert.
However, diabetics are advised to monitor their carbohydrate intake, including those from chia seeds. It is also good to consult a dietitian before including them in the diet.
The quoted nutritionist also explained that chia seeds can offer some benefits to pregnant women as they are nutrient dense and provide essential vitamins and minerals, including omega-3 fatty acids, important for fetal development and maternal health.
“The content can help soothe common digestive problems during pregnancy. The combination of fiber, healthy fats and protein can help control appetite and blood sugar levels. Equally, chia seeds help with hydration,” said the expert. However, it is important to consume them in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet, as excessive consumption can cause digestive discomfort.
What else you need to know about chia seeds
Chia seeds are a nutritious food that can be added to a variety of dishes. However, there are a few things you should know when consuming them, highlighted by Haldurai.
Potential allergies. Chia seeds are not a common allergen, but it is important to be aware of the possibility of an allergic reaction, especially if you have an allergy sensitivity.
Sugar content. They are low in sugar, but be wary of added sugars in recipes, especially if you have dietary restrictions or suffer from diabetes.
Hydration. They absorb water, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids when consuming them.
Digestive discomfort. They are rich in fiber, so it is better to start with small amounts and gradually move to larger portions to avoid digestive problems such as bloating, cramps and diarrhea.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Cthey contain omega-3 fatty acids, but mainly in the form of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), which must be converted into super fatty acids EPA and DHA (essential fatty acid, type Omega 3). It is better to get EPA and DHA directly from other sources, such as fish or flaxseed oil.
Myths and facts about chia seeds
Haldurai also debunked some very popular myths about chia seeds.
Myth 1: Chia seeds are a miracle weight loss solution
Fact: While they can help keep you full and contain healthy nutrients, they aren’t a magic weight loss solution in and of themselves.
Myth 2: They can be consumed in unlimited quantities
Fact: Overconsumption of chia seeds, especially without enough fluids, can lead to digestive discomfort. Start with moderate portions and gradually increase as your body adjusts to their high fiber content.