An ingredient that should never be missing from the diet? Flax seeds! And not only in the form of oil, which is very healthy, but also as whole seeds, ground and added to fruit salads or yogurt. In fact, flax seeds contain precious polyphenols, with an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antidiabetic action, capable of reversing the damage caused by hyperglycemia, which is a very common condition nowadays. This is what emerges from a recent scientific research published in the journal Nutrients by a team of researchers from Finland, Italy and Morocco (Mechhat et al, Nutrients, 2021).
The risks of diabetes
Diabetes is a condition destined to grow among the population. For 2045, estimates speak of 693 million cases of diabetes in the world. Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that affects insulin secretion and its mode of action, with long-term consequences, if not well treated, on the cardiovascular system, eyesight, nerves, kidneys and brain. The diet and some particular foods is helpful, helping to keep blood sugar but also the possible damage caused by excess sugar under control. One such food is given by flaxseeds.
Flax seeds, oil and more
Flax seeds are highly valued for their oil, rich in alpha linoleic acid that is an omega 3. But that's not all. In fact, flax seeds are a synergy of substances and their consumption should not be limited only to oil but also to whole seeds. In fact, the seeds also contain precious polyphenols, especially lignans, with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory action, but also anticancer, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Not only that, flax seeds have been shown to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol. Precisely to better understand the action of the polyphenols in flax seeds in the case of diabetes, the researchers developed a study, conducted on animals with impaired blood sugar.
The antidiabetic properties of flax seeds, the experiment
For 28 days linseed extracts were administered, containing all the polyphenols of these precious seeds. At the beginning and at the end of the study, blood tests were conducted to assess the state of health, inflammation and blood sugar. What emerged was that flax seeds were able to reduce blood sugar, even up to 70%. At the same time, flax seeds made it possible to regain body weight, which was lost in the case of uncontrolled diabetes. In this case, in fact, the kidneys are called to overwork to eliminate glucose through the urine, but this leads to a decrease in weight due to the loss of liquids and calories. Thus, observing weight gain means that the flaxseed extracts were able to normalize the blood sugar situation. Not only that, flax seeds acted by countering the levels of chronic inflammation.
The research has studied the effects of linseed extracts containing pure polyphenols, therefore, the action of flax seeds introduced with food is certainly lower. However, the benefits are proven and therefore adding whole flax seeds, and not just flax oil, in a healthy, varied and balanced diet is certainly a good choice to counteract inflammation and altered glucose values. Flax seeds should be eaten ground, for example with a coffee grinder, and added to yogurt, salads or fruit salads.