Is Flax Seeds Good for Diabetes? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Flax seeds are good for diabetes. Because they have fiber, ALA, and lignans and they can help lower blood sugar levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

Diabetes is a condition that affects your blood sugar levels and how your body uses and stores glucose.

In diabetes, your body either does not produce enough insulin or does not respond well to it.

Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose enter your cells to be used for energy.

This can lead to various health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, and vision loss.

One of the key factors in managing diabetes is diet.

What you consume can affect your blood sugar levels, which can impact your diabetes symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage diabetes, you should consume fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and avoid refined carbs and added sugars like white bread, candy, and soda.

Now, flax seeds are small brown or golden seeds that come from the flax plant.

People usually eat them whole, ground, or as oil.

Flax seeds are a treasure trove of insoluble fibers, which enable slow release of sugar in the bloodstream.

Flax seeds are good for diabetes because they contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory and blood sugar-lowering effects.

Flax seeds also have lignans, phytochemicals that may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce oxidative stress.

One tablespoon (10 grams) of whole flax seeds can give you 2.8 grams of fiber (11% of your daily needs), 2.4 grams of ALA (146% of your daily needs), and 85 milligrams of lignans.

Fiber can help stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream.

ALA can help lower inflammation and improve blood vessel function, which are both impaired in diabetes.

Lignans can help enhance insulin action and prevent glucose spikes after meals.

Furthermore, flax seeds are a low glycemic index (GI) food and low GI foods are good for diabetes.

Because, they cause a gradual and steady rise in blood sugar levels, rather than a sharp and sudden spike.

You can eat one to two tablespoons of flax seeds per day safely.

More than that can cause digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Also, you shouldn’t eat flax seeds if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners to prevent excessive bleeding.

Because, flax seeds can interfere with blood clotting.

You can buy fresh flax seeds in your local market or can order them online.

Always choose organic and unprocessed flax seeds.

Because, they are free of pesticides and retain their nutritional value.

You can store them in an airtight container in a cool and dark place for up to a year.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing diabetes effectively.

I always recommend my diabetes patients to follow a diabetes-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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