5 Seeds for Health
Seeds are an excellent addition to a healthy diet. Seeds provide fiber, Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and simply taste good. Eating a variety of seeds benefits your digestion, energy, skin, and much more. Seeds are very high in fiber, so they help you feel full and satisfied. These seeds are healthy, and each kind has some unique qualities.
Flax: Flax seeds are a super food. They are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients and help reduce blood pressure, improve mood, and support health. Flax has a particularly high amount of nutrients called ligans, which are antioxidant and can help balance hormones. Recent studies show that flax may have a protective effect against breast and colon cancer, and benefits heart health.
Chia: We all know about the Chia pets, but did you know that those seeds are great sources of nutrition? They were a prized food source of Aztec warriors. They are high in minerals, Omega 3s, and Vitamin E. Like flax and other seeds, they are a great source of fiber.
Sesame: Sesame seeds are delicious. They are high in B vitamins, and healthy oils that can help lower cholesterol. Look for brown or black sesame seeds; these have more fiber then the white, hulled seeds.
Sunflower: Sunflower seeds are full of healthy oils and nutrients. They also have a high amount of selenium, an important antioxidant. Sunflower seeds are great for your skin; people with eczema and other rashes often benefit from the oils in sunflower seeds.
Pumpkin: Pumpkin seeds are high in tryptophan, a nutrient that can improve your mood and promote deep sleep. Pumpkin seeds have been used traditionally to help prostate and bladder problems. They are a great ‘brain food,’ and may help with concentration and memory.
It is best to include a variety of seeds in your diet, so try them all!
You can easily prepare seeds by grinding them in a regular electric coffee grinder for 30 seconds or so. Grind sesame seeds less time, or they will turn into tahini sauce! You can eat the ground seeds right away, or store them in you refrigerator for later. A very simple way to eat seeds is to put them on yogurt. Take 2 tablespoons of ground seeds and mix with 6 oz of yogurt. It is a very simple, but delicious, nutritious, and filling dish.
Andrew Litchy, ND