One little seed packs a powerful punch. Infomercials have made it famous for something other than its nutritional value. But now a study suggests it could put an end to Type 2 diabetes.
Insulin injections have been the mainstream treatment for Type 2 diabetes. The problem? Insulin makes you hungry… You eat more food… Your liver converts those extra calories to fat… And you gain weight.
Dr. Vladimir Vuksan’s study on the seed found it to be an all-natural alternative. With diabetes control costing the U.S. an estimated $200 billion a year, it could be the $200 billion cure.
Dr. Vuksan is a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Nutritional Science at the University of Toronto. He’s also Associate Director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center at St. Michael’s Hospital and President of Natural Health Products Research Society of Canada.
Dr. Vuksan has published over 150 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals. His research on this “super seed” was published in Diabetes Care, a publication of the American Diabetes Association.
Studying the Seed
The seed is a whole grain rich in fiber. In fact, it has more fiber than flax or any other grain. Dr. Vuksan wanted to see if it “associated with improvement in major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with Type 2 diabetes.”
The experiment lasted 12 weeks. Twenty Type-2 diabetics participated. Their typical intake of the seed was 37 grams per day. They all followed a diet recommended by the Canadian Diabetes Association.
The results were exceptional. There were improvements in blood sugar control. And a drop in systolic blood pressure. But that’s not all… Their C-reactive protein dropped 40%. (C-reactive protein is a marker for cardiovascular risk.)
Best of all, no negative side effects. In the words of Dr Vuksan:
“There were no changes in safety parameters including liver, kidney, and hemostatic function, or body weight.”
Dr. Wayne Coates has been preaching about this seed for years. Nobody is considered to know more about it. He’s a research professor at the University of Arizona. He has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from Oklahoma State University. He’s researched the seed since 1991. He even authored a book on the topic.
“Individuals with diabetes should have no issues consuming [the seed],” says Dr. Coates. “In fact the soluble fiber in [the seed] appears to reduce glycemic spikes.”
Dr. Vuksan’s study concluded that the seed helped counteract the effects of major cardiovascular risk factors, including systolic blood pressure, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation), and von Willebrand factor (a protein involved in clotting). And it did so “safely beyond conventional therapy” and “while maintaining good glycemic and lipid control in people with well-controlled Type 2 diabetes.”
Remember those TV ads with the animal-shaped pots? Simply add water and watch the “hair” grow. CH-CH-CH-CHIA! Odds are, you’ve bought some of these “chia pets” yourself.
But you were also buying a superfood – the chia seeds.
As Dr. Coates points out, chia “has been consumed by humans for thousands of years.”
In Mayan, the word “chia” means strength. The seed was an important part of the ancient Mayan diet.
And the Aztecs called it “running food.” Their messengers could supposedly run for 24 hours on only a handful of the seeds. They were so valuable, the Aztecs used them for currency at one time.
More Good News About Chia
One of the major causes of diabetes is obesity. Chia seeds make it easy to eat less. As I said earlier, they’re high in fiber. And foods with fiber are processed slowly by the body. That means they make you feel full longer.
In addition to the fiber, chia seeds contain both omega-3 and omega-6 healthy fats. They’re also a solid source of protein and antioxidants.
The Nutrition Science Research Institute says 40 grams of chia per day will significantly decrease systolic blood pressure in diabetics.
Dr. Oz from The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Dr. Oz Show is a well-known chia supporter. He’s not only a cardiac surgeon, he’s a Professor of Surgery at Columbia University.
“The truth is, chia seeds are actually good for you – we’re talking really good for you!” he says. “In fact, they just may be one of the healthiest things around.”
Getting Chia in Your Diet
Something this healthy must taste disgusting, right? Actually, no… The seeds are tasteless. You can easily add them to just about any food.
And there are lots of ways to do it. You can enjoy the seeds whether they are whole, cooked, uncooked, or ground. Regardless, the nutritional value stays intact.
You can get chia seeds at any health food store. Chia is also available in capsule form. But give the seeds a try. That way, you can turn your favorite dishes into superfoods!
To your best health,
Managing Editor, NHD “Health Watch”