Nutri Nugget: Sow the seeds of good health

I like to fill a jar with about 50% flax seeds (also known as linseed) and 50% sesame, hemp and pumpkin seeds. These little beauties are packed full of nutrients, fibre and good fats. They are incredibly good for you and so simple to include in your diet.

In this blog I discuss how best to harness the awesome power of seeds.

As with all food, eating organic is favourable as some producers, keen to get a share of the health food market, use pesticides etc to help boost their crops and increase yield. Try to minimise exposure to these toxins by eating organic wherever possible.

How you eat your seeds is also important in order to maximise their nutritional benefits. Munching on seeds whole or putting them in your salads often means that they go straight through you without your digesting any of their goodness.

GRIND EM

Grinding seeds enables much better absorption of their nutrients. However, I would not recommend buying pre-ground bags of seeds. This is because sitting in a bag will kill off nutrients and oxidise those good fats turning them into bad fats. It’s far more favourable to buy a coffee grinder (about £15), then grind your own seeds and throw them in your porridge, pancake mix and bread dough as and when needed.

SOAK EM

Another good way to improve the digestion of seeds is to soak them overnight. I mix oats with a couple of desert spoons of chia and flax seeds and leave in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, I soak these seeds overnight in a glass of water then add to a smoothie the next morning.

SPROUT EM

Finally, it is possible to sprout your seeds. Leave them on some damp kitchen paper for a few days and they will sprout little green shoots. Sprouted seeds have the maximum nutritional benefit. Just make sure you chew them thoroughly.

MY TOP FIVE SEEDS

 

  • Flax seeds  (linseed) contain fiber, omega 3 fats, lignans and polyphenols. Evidence shows they may help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and even the risk of cancer.
  • Chia seeds are a good source of omega 3 fats and have been shown to lower blood sugar and lower risk of heart disease.
  • Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids and their oil may help reduce symptoms of eczema and other chronic inflammatory conditions.
  • Sesame seeds are a source of lignans and may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil are good sources of monounsaturated and omega-6 fats, and may help improve heart health.

CORE MESSAGE: GRIND EM, SOAK EM, SPROUT EM, SMASH EM. THEY’LL DO YOU NO END OF GOOD!!


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