Last updated on July 20th, 2023
There are millions of individuals living with diabetes and above twice living with prediabetes. And, the numbers are continuously increasing. Flax seeds pack several health-promoting compounds. It comes with the potential to reduce glucose levels and delay the progression of type 2 diabetes, hence flax seeds are good for diabetics.
Flax seeds are one of the recent super-foods. This is due to their rich content of dietary fibers, omega 3 fats, and protein. Flax seeds lower a person’s risk of developing cancer, helps in arthritis, and improve heart health. Read this article to know about the safety of flax seeds are good for diabetics or not?
Also, about the advantages and disadvantages of flax seeds for diabetics.
Nutritional Information of Flax Seeds(Alsi)
Flax seeds are also known as Linum usitatissimum, alsi seeds, or Agase Beeja in Hindi. The seeds contain around 45% oil, 35% carbohydrates, and 20% protein and pack exclusive nutritional features. A tablespoon (about 10 grams) of whole flax seeds contains:
- Calories: 55 g
- Fat: 4 g
- Carbohydrates: 3 g
- Fiber: 2.8 g
- Omega-3 fats: 2.4 g
- Protein: 1.8 g
Flax seeds contain a plant-based compound known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It is an omega-3 fatty acid and it is important to obtain ALA from foods. As the body fails to produce it. In addition, flax contains an adequate amount of omega-6 fats to deliver an exceptional ratio of Omega-6:Omega-3 of 0.3: 1.
The carb content of flax seeds is majorly fiber, both soluble and insoluble types. Soluble fiber when mixed in water gives a viscous mass. And, flaxseeds are good for diabetics. Instead, insoluble fiber is not water-soluble. And, it works by enhancing the fecal bulk, assisting to prevent constipation.
Lastly, flax seed comprises a considerable quantity of digestible, superior protein and amino acids than soybean.
Nutritional Difference Between Flax Seeds and Flaxseed Oil
The extraction of flaxseed oil is done from dried flax seeds. That too, by solvent extraction or by pressing flax seeds. Therefore, flaxseed oil contains only the fat content of flax seeds. While its carbohydrate and protein contents are almost non-existing. That is, it doesn’t deliver any fiber.
For instance, one tablespoon (around 15 ml) of flaxseed oil offers 0 g of carbs and protein and 14 g of fat. Alternatively, a similar quantity of whole flax seeds provides 4 g fat, 3 g carbs, and 1.8 g protein. Yet, because of its higher fat content, flaxseed oil provides a greater quantity of ALA as compared to seeds.
Flax seeds and flaxseed oil are outstanding plant sources of omega-3s, chiefly ALA, they give plenty of protein and fiber, so it concludes that Flax seeds are good for diabetic patients.
Benefits of Flax Seeds and Flaxseed Oil for Diabetics
Both forms of flax seeds exert a positive effect on diabetes. As they are known to improve several of its risk factors. In addition, flax seeds are good for diabetics.
For a diabetic, the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels plays a crucial role. And, fiber is quite important in attaining this. Owing to their high fiber content, flax seeds fall in a low GI food range. And, this implies that having them won’t increase a person’s blood sugar levels. Also, it would cause them to elevate gradually, supporting better blood glucose control.
Flax Seeds(Alsi) for Diabetic Patients
This effect may be due to their soluble fiber content, particularly in mucilage gums. They delay the digestion of food and reduce the absorption of various nutrients such as sugar.
A study found that intake of 10 g of flaxseed powder each day lowered the levels of fasting blood sugar by 20% in the control group. Similarly, in another study, people who had 5 g of flaxseed gum daily with their food had a decrease in fasting blood glucose of 12 than the control group. Even if flax seeds are good for diabetic patients, studies indicate that similar cannot be true for flaxseed oil.
Thus, flax seeds are good for diabetics are just wow. Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fat, fiber, and magnesium. There is also an improved insulin sensitivity because of the low glycemic index of flax seeds.
Flax Seeds(Alsi) Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin is a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar. If a person’s body experiences trouble reacting to insulin, it needs higher quantities of it to reduce the glucose levels. This is known as insulin resistance. Also, it is a risk factor for the occurrence of type 2 diabetes. Temporarily, insulin sensitivity is how sensitive a person’s body is to insulin. Improving it may aid in treating and preventing type 2 diabetes.
Flax seeds comprise a good quantity of lignan, which works as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help in improving insulin sensitivity and delaying the progression of diabetes. The lignans present in flax seeds majorly contain SDG or secoisolariciresinol diglucoside. Studies propose that SDG comes with the potential of improving insulin sensitivity and delaying the progression of both type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Instead, ALA from flaxseed oil is also associated with improved insulin sensitivity. Actually, a study on obese people found a raised insulin sensitivity after they got a daily oral dose of the supplemental form of ALA.
Likewise, studies also observed that supplementation with flaxseed oil improved insulin sensitivity greatly. This implies that the higher the dose, the higher will be the improvement in insulin sensitivity, and hence we can say that flaxseeds are good for diabetic patients.
Also Read: Reverse Diabetes Within 30 Days
Benefits of Flax Seeds(Alsi) in Heart Disorders
Diabetes is a risk factor for cardiovascular problems and stroke. Moreover, both flax seeds and flaxseed oil are found to defend these conditions for several reasons. These can be ALA, SDG, and fiber contents.
Soluble fibers such as mucilage gum in flax seeds contain strong cholesterol-reducing activities. This is due to their ability to produce a gel-like compound. It has an impact on fat metabolism, therefore reducing the absorption of cholesterol.
A study observed that flaxseed fiber reduced the levels of total cholesterol by 12% and LDL (bad) cholesterol by 15% more than the control group. Furthermore, the major lignan of flax seeds, SDG works both as a phytoestrogen and antioxidant. Phytoestrogen is a plant-based compound that imitates estrogen, a hormone.
Antioxidants comprise powerful cholesterol-reducing properties. Also, phytoestrogens play a key role in reducing blood pressure. A study of males with high levels of blood cholesterol established that people who got 100 mg of SDG saw a reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels than the control group.
In conclusion, omega 3s ALA also contains effective anti-inflammatory properties. Studies recommend that it might aid in curing or even regressing the blocked arteries. These are risk factors for stroke. Besides, research in individuals having hypertension has observed potential results when people had roughly four tablespoons (about 30 g) of milled flax seeds each day.
They found a decrease of 10 to 15 mm Hg and 7 mm Hg in systolic and diastolic BP (top and bottom readings), correspondingly to the control groups.
Flax seeds contain rich amounts of soluble fiber, SDG, and ALA. Both of them lower the risk of heart problems and improves insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control.
Read More: Diabetes and Heart Diseases
Other Health Benefits of Flax Seeds(Alsi)
Alsi Beeja Benefits certain Cancers
Dietary flax seeds have been found to lower the risk of breast cancer and deaths from breast cancer. Studies of flaxseed in other tumors like those of the colon, prostate, liver, or lung have also shown potential results.
Alsi Benefits Heart Health
Studies indicate that flax seeds may be useful for the heart in 2 ways: It aids in reducing blood pressure and also might delay the development of atherosclerosis.
Alsi Benefits from certain Allergies
Flaxseed hypersensitivity occurs rarely. Yet, some anaphylactic reactions have also been seen. Furthermore, there is a cross-reactivity between flax seeds and other allergens like other seeds and legumes. Therefore, it becomes important to discuss with a healthcare provider in case a person suspects a flax hypersensitivity.
Studies state that flax seeds might be useful for treating constipation. Flax seeds are rich in fiber content, which is thought to improve digestion.
Disadvantages of Eating Flax Seeds
Flax seeds might also interact with a few medicines (metformin hydrochloride 500 mg) used for regulating the levels of blood glucose and blood cholesterol. This particularly applies to flaxseed oil, as it contains a greater omega-3 content.
For instance, omega-3s contain powerful anticoagulation properties. Also, this might enhance the effect of anticoagulant medications like warfarin or aspirin. These medications are helpful for preventing blood clots. Moreover, omega-3 supplements might inhibit blood glucose control by reducing the levels of blood glucose.
This implies that they may reduce blood glucose excessively. This might require a dose change of blood glucose-lowering drugs. However, the omega fats in flaxseed supplements might increase the efficacy of cholesterol-lowering drugs. In such a case, a person must speak to a healthcare provider before including flax seeds in the normal routine.
Consuming flax seeds has been found to hinder drugs useful for managing blood sugars. Therefore, a person must be careful prior to their intake.
Read More: Coconut Water for Diabetic People
How to Eat Flaxseed for Diabetes?
Flax seeds are very easy to cook. People may take whole, roasted, powdered, or as flour or oil. Yet, whole flax seeds might be difficult to digest. Hence, the person must adhere to the ground or crushed versions if he or she is exploring something except oil.
A person may also find them in several food products like juices, baked goods, dairy products, etc. in addition, a person may add them to almost everything he or she cooks. These may include thickening agents for sauces or soups to one’s favorite coating combination for a pleasant crust. One such easy and tasty way of enjoying flaxseeds is to make flax crackers.
Here’s what a person requires:
- One tablespoon (around 10 grams) of whole flax seeds
- One cup of ground flax seeds
- Two teaspoons of dried rosemary
- Two teaspoons of onion powder
- One teaspoon of garlic powder
- Half a cup of water
- A pinch of salt
- Mix the dry components in a small bowl. After that, pour water over it and make use of your hands to form a dough.
- Put the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll it to give a nice thickness.
- Afterward, take away the top part of the parchment paper. Also, cut the dough into squares. This gives around 30 crackers.
- Put the dough on a baking sheet. Then, bake it at a temperature of 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool it and serve it.
People may eat flax seeds in the ground, whole, as oil, or as capsules form. People may also add flax into sweet and savory dishes. Flax seeds are good for diabetics. Flax seeds contain rich amounts of omega fats, fiber, and exceptional plant compounds. These compounds are helpful for improving blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, etc. Also, they decrease the risk factors for cardiac ailments. Yet, a person must be watchful before having them. As they might interact with other medicines suggested for diabetes treatment.
Read More: Can a Diabetic Person Eat Dark Chocolate?
Are flax seeds safe to eat in raw form?
Flax seeds are safe for many individuals when had in moderate quantities. However, there are a few things to remember before having flax seeds to lose weight. Don’t take raw or unripe forms of flax seeds. Not only they would result in indigestion, but they might also comprise some toxic compounds.
What occurs if a person consumes flax seeds daily?
Consuming flax seeds regularly might aid in reducing blood cholesterol levels. The level of LDL cholesterol in a person’s blood increases the risk of cardiac problems, diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
Who should not consume flax seeds?
People experiencing any issue in relation to their intestines must not take flax seeds. If individuals having such health problem consumes flaxseed oil, then it may enhance their bowel movements. Not only this, it may even cause diarrhea and IBS.
Does flaxseed inhibit the action of Metformin?
No interactions were seen between Metformin and flax seeds.
Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.