Seeds?? That’s bird food isn’t it…?
There are many tasty seeds out there which can be eaten raw as a snack, added to smoothies, sprinkled on salads or used in cooking various dishes, including cakes and biscuits. Not only are they delicious, they are extremely nutritious.
Seeds are high in fibre. For example, one tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5g fibre – one sixth of our recommended intake, according to the British Nutrition Foundation. Eating a fibre rich diet not only keeps the digestive system healthy, it also helps to reduce cholesterol levels which in turn assists in the prevention of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes. Fibre is also known to reduce the chances of suffering from bowel cancer and can help with IBS and other bowel related problems.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Protein
The body can’t produce essential fatty acids, it’s therefore imperative that we include them in our diet. Seeds are an excellent source of Omega 3s. These fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation which in turn can help prevent heart disease, arthritis and joint and muscle pain. They are also important for hormone balancing, neurological function and cell membrane maintenance.
Seeds are also an expected source of concentrated protein. For example, both chia seeds and hemp seeds have 3g of protein per tablespoon, while pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds contain 2g per tablespoon.
- Vitamins, Minerals and Amino Acids
We all need vitamins, minerals and amino acids to keep our body functioning at optimal levels. Seeds are absolutely packed full of these essential building blocks. Let’s look at one example – the humble sunflower seed: –
- All essential amino acids
- High in B vitamins
- Vitamin E
Each seed has its own special benefit, for example, pumpkin seeds are valued for their high zinc content and sesame seeds are full of iron