Health

Type 2 diabetes: Best seeds to lower blood sugar – flaxseeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Type 2 diabetes: Best seeds to lower blood sugar - flaxseeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds 45

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition where the insulin your pancreas makes can’t work properly, or your pancreas can’t make enough insulin. The primary threat posed by impaired insulin production is rising blood sugar levels, which, if left untreated, can hike the risk of life-threatening complications such as heart disease. Fortunately, upping your intake of certain foods and shunning others can keep the threat of rising blood sugar levels at bay.

Certain seeds, for example, have been shown to lower blood sugar and can be enjoyed as a simple snack or sprinkled on your meals.

Here are three seeds proven to lower blood sugar levels:

Flax seeds

As a general rule, foods that rank low on the glycemic index are a tried-and-tested way to keep blood sugar levels in check.

The glycaemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates, showing how quickly each food affects your blood sugar level when that food is eaten on its own.

Carbohydrate foods with a high GI rating are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood glucose whereas foods with a low GI are broken down more gradually, reducing the risk of blood sugar spikes.

READ MORE: Type 2 diabetes: The food you should avoid eating for breakfast to lower blood sugar

Sunflower seeds

Studies have also linked sunflower seed consumption to blood sugar reduction, suggesting that people eat one ounce (30 grams) of sunflower seeds daily as part of a healthy diet may reduce fasting blood sugar by about 10 percent within six months, compared to a healthy diet alone.

Findings suggest that the blood-sugar-lowering benefits are derived from plant compound found in the seeds called chlorogenic acid.

To further enhance the blood-sugar lowering effect, studies also suggest that adding sunflower seeds to foods like bread may help decrease carbs’ effect on your blood sugar.

The seeds’ protein and fat slow the rate at which your stomach empties, allowing a more gradual release of sugar from carbs.

Pumpkin seeds

Several studies have found that supplementing with pumpkin juice or seed powder reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

According to the NHS, many people have type 2 diabetes without realising because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.

Symptoms include:

  • Urinating more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision

You should speak to your GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting it, advises the health body.

It added: “The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better. Early treatment reduces your risk of other health problems.”

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