September 23, 2010

Sunflower & Seeds

Lately I’ve been thinking more about nutrition. Seeds, in particular. They’re so good for you! There is no excuse for not incorporating seeds into your diet. You can easily add a scoop of ground flax seed into a smoothie. Hemp, as you may have read, is one of the most superior proteins – it’s high quality.  Pumpkin seeds are a favourite of mine, I often have a small handful over my morning cereal as well as a container of them in my purse. Sesame seeds add crunch to almost any meal, including salads, same with sunflower seeds. Below I’ve summarized some of the benefits of each by plagiarizing/paraphrasing from the excellent Thrive Diet. Sometimes when I need to be inspired I will read from this book. My form of a not-so-daily affirmation.

Flaxseeds have the highest level of Omega-3 in the plant kingdom. We hear a lot about Omega-3’s, an essential fatty acid. Essential because the body cannot produce it. Omega-3 is important for metabolizing fat and ” … a daily dose of about 1 tablespoon of ground whole flaxseed will allow the body to more efficiently burn fat as fuel.”  That is appealing, no? Flaxseeds are high in potassium, have both soluble and insoluble fibre, contain anti-inflammatory properties, are a complete protein with all essential amino acids and is easily absorbed and utilized. Why is it spelled flaxseed and not flax seed?

Hemp Seeds are a complete protein and contain all 10 essential amino acids. Hemp is a high-quality protein and a good replacement for other proteins. It is instrumental in muscle and tissue regeneration and metabolizing fat. As a raw food, hemp has high levels of vitamins, minerals, fats, antioxidants, fibre and chlorophyll.

Pumpkin Seeds are particularly high in iron. If you don’t eat red meat, pumpkin seeds are ideal to incorporate into your diet. High impact activities such as running can dramatically reduce iron levels. I heart pumpkin seeds!

Sesame Seeds are an easily absorbed source of calcium. Who knew? Think of a meal, any meal, and you can probably add them. Seriously. Try it.

Sunflower Seeds are about 22% protein. Not half bad for a little seed. Sunflower seeds are rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. How can they not be an excellent seed when they come from such a sunshiny flower?


One Response to “Seeds”

  1. pamela said

    How about them all together? A mixed spiced or honey sweetened nut/seed topping/granola/convenient snack in the purse would be a good one to try. Or pressed into a bar? That could be bar # 5? Or is it 6?

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