Getting to Know Seeds
Tiny little seeds have started to make a big name for themselves. Most of us are familiar with sunflower and sesame seeds but some “new” seeds are starting to steal the spotlight and are being touted as “super-foods”. Here’s a quick look at some popular seeds, why they should be a part of your diet and how to use them.
When it comes to seeds, and nuts, always choose organic. They make quite tasty snacks for pests so they are loaded with pesticides which permeate their shells and end up wreaking have in the body.
Flax Seeds. Another rich source of omega 3 fatty acids- just one tablespoon provides you with the daily recommended allowance which will help reduce
inflammation. Flax seeds are also high in fiber, helping promote digestive health, regular digestions and the lignans in flaxseed have even been thought to help reduce chances of breast cancer. I love adding these to smoothies and they can also be used as egg replacers in baking- simply mix 1 tablespoon flax seed with 3 tablespoons water and let them gel for a few minutes.
Hemp Seeds. This is a complete protein which is rich in both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and is a great source of both soluble and non-soluble fiber. Its B vitamins can help metabolize fat and protein and keep your eyes, and skin looking radiant and keep your brain functioning properly. Vitamin D is also found in this little seed, a valuable vitamin that most Americans are deficient in, so adding some hemp seeds to your diet can provide a boost in the right direction. These are great in smoothies or sprinkled over oatmeal.
Chia Seeds. The most popular seed right now seems to be making headlines everywhere and becoming more of a regular household name. Just one serving provides 33% of your reccomended daily intake of fiber and 18% of the RDI for calcium. Even better they’re very high in Omega 3 fatty acids with one serving providing almost 5 grams. When mixed with liquid these seeds swell up and become gelatinous- making them great for making ‘pudding’. The longer it sits the thicker it becomes, you can play with the seed to liquid ratio to see what you prefer. Start with about 2 tablsepoons of chia seeds in 1/2 cup of your favorite milk (almond, coconut) and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Add your favorite fixins, great ones are honey, vanilla extract, goji berries or raw cacao powder. It makes a great breakfast when you want something a little different.
Sesame Seeds. Best known for important essential minerals including copper, iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorous and manganese. These minerals are important for bone health, the production of red blood cells and even strengthening the immune system. Sesame seeds make a great addition to Asian inspired dishes and anything prepared with Sesame Oil.
Pumpkin Seeds. These are another great option to keep handy for a quick snack, or even mix them into a trail mix. They contain lots of important vitamins and is high in the mineral zinc which can help prevent against osteoporosis. They also happen to the most alkaline-forming seed which can help balance your bodys natural ph level – the more acidic your body the more prone you are to illness and disease.
Sunflower Seeds. A perfect little snack to keep in your purse or diaper bag. A quarter of a cup will provide almost your entire daily requirement of vitamin E. Vitmain E helps neutralize free radicals, and helps reduce inflammation. Its selenium content will help protect you against cancer by helping repair damaged cells. Magnesium is incredibly important and many people are deficient without knowing it, some symptoms of magensium deficiency include trouble sleeping, fatigue, resltess leg syndrome, migraines, and sore muscles. Sunflower seeds are great eaten on their own.