I don’t know about you, but changing my eating to a more healthy plan has been a process over time. I have found that doing small changes has worked well for me. One addition to my diet is seeds. Seeds may be tiny, but they are nutritional powerhouses loaded with healthy fats, essential fatty acids, fiber, protein, minerals, vitamin E, and other life-enhancing nutrients.
Three great seeds I have added to our diet that can be enjoyed alone, added to smoothies, or other dishes are hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. Below you will find information for each seed including the flavor, uses, nutritional information, and the health benefits. I hope you find this information helpful and it encourages you to add seeds to your diet, too!
These seeds can be eaten alone or added to rice dishes, homemade breads and muffins, stir fries, trail mixes, yogurt, granola, cereal, and oatmeal.
Hemp seeds are one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. They have generous amounts of vitamin E, plant-based omega-3 fat, and the minerals manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid people suffering from immune-deficiency diseases. They are a rich source of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are the disease-protective element of plants which benefits include protecting your immunity and bloodstream. I have added these powerhouse seeds to our daily diet.
Chia seeds have a mild nutty flavor so can be added to dishes without altering the flavor of the dish.
These seeds can be eaten raw on their own or added to any kind of food such as juice, yogurt, soup, eggs, pancakes, salad dressing, and smoothies. My favorite is to add a teaspoon to hot cereal in the morning.
The chia seed is from the mint family (who knew?) and is tiny but extremely potent. The seeds are packed full of fiber, protein, nutrient oils, various antioxidants, and the minerals calcium and iron.
Studies have shown that chia seeds stabilize the blood sugar and promote heart health, both which do our bodies good!
The flavor of flaxseed is warm and earthy with a subtly nutty edge. These seeds can be enjoyed whole or ground into a meal. Ground flaxseed provides more nutritional benefit than the whole seed. If you grind your flaxseeds, remember to store them in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator (this prevents the ground seeds from going rancid).
Flaxseeds are a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and the minerals phosphorus, iron and copper.
Some benefits of flaxseed are promoting healthy bowel function, can lower blood pressure, and stabilize hormonal levels which can reduce symptoms of PMS, menopause, and andropause (male menopause), and potentially reducing the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer. I try to eat 1-2 tablespoons per day, adding to smoothies, hot cereals. or sprinkled on salads.
Here is a great recipe that has all three seeds! I hope you enjoy these nutrient-packed protein bars. Let me know what you think of bars, and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss any upcoming posts. I usually post once a week and don’t share email addresses.
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Callahan, M. (2013/May 5). Fiftysomething diet: 5 seeds you need to eat. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http.//www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/12/seeds-to-eat_n_3248618.
Group, E. (2014/June 12). The top 5 healthiest seeds. Global Healing Center. Retrieved from http.//www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/healthy-seeds/
Hand, B. (n.d.). The seeds of a healthy diet. Retrieved from http.//www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=597
Murray, M. (2005). The encyclopedia of healing foods. New York. Atria Books.
Summerly, J. (2013/February 20). The top 10 health seeds on earth. True Activist. Retrieved from http://www.trueactivist.com/the-top-10-healthiest-seeds-on-earth/
Disclaimer: This website is for general information only. This information provided is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Do not rely on information provided here for your own health conditions. If you have specific questions regarding your own health, raise them with your primary care physician.