Flax seeds and Diabetes

Flax seeds and Diabetes


Glycemic index:


Calories per 100 g:

534 kcal

People with diabetes need to make tough decisions on their diet and lifestyle due to their condition’s dire nature. For this reason, a special diet of fresh, fiber-rich foods and vegetables, seeds, and nuts is recommended for them.


Flax seeds fall under the recommended seeds for diabetics as they are believed to have positive results in managing this condition. This article expounds more on this by looking at what research has to say on the relationship between eating flax seeds and diabetes, and gives reasons as to why it is so.


Nutritional value

  • Protein 18.29 g
  • Carbohydrate 28.88 g
  • Fat 42.16 g
  • Fiber 27.3 g
  • Sugar 1.55 g
  • Cholesterol 0 g

Nutritional Facts of Flax Seeds


Flax seed is a highly nutritional food with high protein value and low carb content. Its high protein value makes it a good choice for diabetics watching their weight. The seeds also have a high content of dietary fibers. Dietary fibers slow down the absorption of sugar from the gut and help improve blood sugar levels.


With its low carb content, people with diabetes do not have to worry about spiking their blood glucose level on consumption. It is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Their importance to diabetics will be explained better in the following section.


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Why Should Diabetics Include Flax Seeds in Their Diet?


In a research conducted on 120 patients where one half was fed with food containing flax while the other half with a diet devoid of the seeds, reduced fasting blood sugar and cholesterol levels were noted in the former. The blood-glucose-lowering effect could be attributed to several properties, as we would see below.


High Dietary Fiber Content


Due to their high fiber content, flax seeds are considered a low glycemic food, meaning that they won't spike your blood glucose level when consumed. This is because its fiber content enables the slow release of sugar into the bloodstream, making it ideal for controlling sugar levels.


Increases Insulin Sensitivity 


By reducing insulin resistance, flax seeds offer immense benefits to diabetic individuals. Mainly, flax seed affects the body's response to insulin via its lignan content — a potent antioxidant. This antioxidant property of flax seed increases insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes.


In a flax seeds and diabetes study done on nine obese glucose intolerant people who consumed 40 g of ground flaxseed daily for 12 weeks, the results supported that the antioxidant property of flaxseed caused a decrease in their insulin resistance.


Rich in Omega-3 Fat


The omega-3 fat content of flax seed also has rich benefits to people with diabetes. Namely, it reduces blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity. This is backed up by a Chinese study on 186 type 2 diabetes patients, where it was concluded that the omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds enhanced their insulin sensitivity.


How Can Diabetics Eat Flax Seeds?


Although some individuals chew flaxseed in the whole form, there are other exciting ways to consume them. Here are some tips on how to consume them without compromising your blood sugar levels as a diabetic:

  • Soak them overnight to make them easily edible
  • Grind into powder and add directly into food, soups, and drinks
  • You can use them in salads
  • Mix them with other nuts to prevent gastric problems 

Wrap Up


Although the use of medically prescribed drugs for treating diabetes should not be neglected, flax seeds can be implemented into diabetics’ diets. Overall, it is safe for consumption and has positive effects on blood sugar levels.

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