I’m not going to refer to any plant based food as a ‘superfood’, as we’ve become a culture that likes to label everything, and in my opinion all plant based foods are superfoods!
I eat a variety of seeds with absolutely everything, I don’t think there’s a seed that I don’t like. I sprinkle them on salads, add them to wraps, mix them with my homemade oats, blend them into juices and smoothies and eat them as a snack.
Seeds contain all the nutrients and power to produce plants hundreds of times their size, and so it makes perfect sense to hijack that potential yourself by adding some to your diet.
Seeds are rich in unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. The question is really not whether you should get a little seedy, it’s which seeds you should go for and the tastiest way to add them to your life. Below are some of my favourite seeds I eat daily, there nutritional benefits and how they can heal your body of specific ailments.
Chia means ‘strength’ in the Mayan language and are known as ‘runners food’.These tiny little seeds are undoubtedly a nutritional powerhouse. A couple of tablespoons provide 10g fibre, a third of your daily requirements, as well as plenty of healthy unsaturated fats and protein.The chia seed is also nutrient dense and provides bounds of energy. Originally grown in Mexico, the seeds were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. In fact, they were even used as currency.
Omega -3 fatty acids
Omega -6 fatty acids
Vitamins A, B, E and D and minerals including sulphur, iron, iodine, magnesium, maganese, niacin, thiamine and a rich source of anti-oxidants
Healing your body
Manage your weight
Lower your blood pressure and cholestrol
Regulate your immune system
Fights heart disease
Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are a natural source of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Pumpkin seeds can be boiled, baked or eaten raw. They are low-calorie, high-nutritive snacks and can help improve various physical conditions including prostate and bladder problems, as well as depression. If you’re buying pumpkin seeds at the grocery store, steer clear of the heavily salted pepitas as they can add too much sodium to your diet. A 1 ounce serving of whole, unshelled pumpkin seeds can provide 17 – 26 percent of your daily fiber needs, while a serving of shelled pumpkin seeds provides just 6 – 9 percent. Although 1 ounce of seeds has almost 14 grams of fat, all but 2.5 grams are heart-healthy-mono and polyunsaturated fats.
Vitamins A, B, K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, calcium and iron
Healing your body
lower your risk of heart disease, cancer and arthritis
Regulate depression and anxiety
Manage your weight and diabetes
The sunflower is a beautiful flower, and it’s plentiful seeds are packed with health benefits that can heal your body. They’re easily available all year round, and just a handful of them can make a dramatic improvement to the way you feel. If you want glowing skin, then keep a pack in your bag. The vitamin E in the seed combats UV rays and keeps skin and eyes youthful. To ease every condition that’s inflammatory in nature, such as joint pain, gastric ulcers, skin eruptions and asthma. That’s because sunflower seeds are loaded with antioxidants. A couple of tablespoons will net you over half your recommended daily intake of vitamin E.
Vitamins B1, B3, B6, folate, viatmin E, zinc, iron, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin
Healing your body
Promotes cardivascuar health
Prevent ‘bad’ cholesterol from sticking to the walls of ateries, thus preventing heart attacks.
Hemp seeds are produced from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa L. While hemp is commonly confused with marijuana, as it belongs to the same family, the two plants are quite different. Hemp plants are cultivated for industrial use and harvested for their fibers, seeds, oils, and meal. Industrial hemp seeds are available in different forms. They can be sterilized, toasted, roasted, or cracked. Hemp can be pressed into oil or hulled into meal. Hemp thrives nearly anywhere, tolerating a variety of growing conditions. It’s rarely affected by pests or disease, making hemp quite hardy. In fact, the plant provides numerous benefits.The protein kings of the seed world, a couple of heaped tablespoons will give you 10g, and like many of it’s seedy brethren, hemp is loaded full of unsaturated fats.Hemp seed food products are also considered more allergy-free than many other seeds. Hemp seeds contain the perfect balance of essential amino acids for sustaining good health. In addition, hemp seed oil contains necessary fatty acids, also known as good fats.
All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids.
33% protein (considered a superior vegetarian source of protein)
Abundance of GLA
Polyunsaturated essential fatty acids
Healing the body
Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases.
Normalises blood cholesterol
A similar nutritional profile to chia seeds, providing a bounty of healthy fats, protein and fiber, but without all the ‘superfood’ hype. So Linseeds are generally mucher cheaper than chia seeds.
What is the difference between linseed and flaxseed? Linseed and flaxseed are often confused. Flax is grown as a fibre plant that is used for linen. Linseed is grown for its seed to make oil. The flax plant is taller than linseed and is pulled by hand or nowadays by machine. When you see products called flaxseed or flaxseed oil it will almost certainly be linseed or linseed oil. The linseed plant is shorter and generally has a bigger seed with more oil. The latin name for linseed Linum usitatissimum means most useful, and it has been used in all its forms for many thousands of years. It is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids (ALA), containing twice as much as fish oil. As it is plant-based, it is perfect for vegetarians and vegans, but it benefits everyone.
Vitamin B1 and minerals including, copper, molybdenum, maganesium and phospherous
Healing your body
A natural laxative which promotes regularity
Lowers blood pressure
Suppress the formation of several types of cancer, such as colon, breast, skin and lung
You can get all these seeds, and many more from any good natural food shop or a really good market that sells nuts and seeds. I would also recommend a bag of omega mix, which contains 5 different seeds. Pumpkin, sunflower, golden linseeds, brown linseeds and sesame seeds and will last for a long time and is very versatile.
So, if you want to improve you health and nutrition, there’s no better place to start than with a pack of seeds.