Expert-reviewed by Ashwini S.Kanade, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator with 17 years of experience
Having fibre in your diet is inarguably a useful suggestion for people with diabetes, and we know you’ve heard it numerous times. However, trying to find appetizing fibre options without being drawn to other more tempting food choices is an everyday battle. We are here to help you by making the fibre decision a little easier – Chia seeds!
Chia seeds are tiny little superfoods. Barely a handful of them packs a punch of several health benefits recognised by not only Ayurveda but also the modern world. Historically, the plant is said to have been important in the Aztec food culture. In ancient Mayan civilization, the term ‘chia’ is said to translate as ‘strength’, which is what it provided their warriors with.
The tiny superfood is easily available in India. While the black colour seeds are commonly seen, they are also available in brown or white, all varieties offering the same benefits. One of the most popular qualities of chia seeds is its fibre-rich composition. Chia seeds offer soluble fibre, which dissolves in water and helps maintain blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Apart from this, such fibre content also keeps you full, eases digestion, and maintains your bowel health.
Looking to go natural with your diabetes care? Here are some science-backed natural remedies for diabetes you must try!
But a fibre pill is not all that chia seeds are! They also comprise proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, iron and calcium, all of which aid in diabetes control as well as overall health management. A quantity of 100 gms of chia seeds gives you 17 gms of protein (34% of daily value) and 34 gms of dietary fibre (134% of daily value) along with 42% of daily value of iron and 63% of daily value of calcium. They’re known to be useful in avoiding dehydration too.
By now, we’ve surely realised that chia seeds are beneficial to everyone, but especially so to people with diabetes. Including them in your diet is an easy way to boost up the fibre intake without having to give it much thought. Our diabetes care expert, Vrutuja Mone, has shared some interesting ways in which they can be consumed.
The best way to eat chia seeds is to make them drinkable. Chia seeds can absorb more than their weight in water, covering themselves with a whitish layer which gives it a gel-like appearance. These can be had in water, milk, or sherbet, and can also be used in smoothies or yoghurt. Soaking in water also activates the seeds, making them more useful as a fibre-source that keeps you full and maintains blood glucose.
While they’re essentially devoid of any obvious flavour, chia seeds sprinkled on a salad can add a little nutty crunch to your bowl. You can also use them in your cereal or oatmeal.
Who says people with diabetes need to have boring, bland food? Here are some delicious diabetes-friendly recipes you’ll love!
This is an option, especially for vegetarians. Vegans use this as a substitute for eggs in baking. It makes a great addition to multi-grain pieces of bread, muffins, cakes, biscuits as well.
Now that you know how good they are, why not start by including a little number of chia seeds in your diet as a tester. An appropriate quantity added to a decent diet should go a long way, diabetes or no diabetes! A word of caution though; if you are on medication for hypertension or take blood thinners, consult your doctor before you start having chia seeds.