Mark and I have been adding seeds and nuts – the superfoods – to our diet on a regular basis. They are a wonderful, fast food and a first choice in our house.
This is a great plus because of the added nutrition and the presence of the ‘good’ fats every body needs. It is important to note though, that seeds and nuts are very high in fat and should be used sparingly.
All seeds and nuts have some level of benefit to the digestive system and can help with cancer prevention.
I have a problem in that I sometimes can’t stomach the thought of breakfast in the morning, but I also know if I don’t eat breakfast, I tend to gain weight. To counter this effect, I keep about an ounce of one or more seeds and nuts mixed in a container by my side to munch on throughout the morning. I do take a full tablespoon of them with my morning coffee to start off in place of a full breakfast.
Another favorite way of adding seeds and nuts to our diet is in our salads and stir fries. I find the extra texture and crunch (not to say flavor) add more appeal.
Although most can be purchased salted, my personal preference is the unsalted option. I find the flavors are not overpowered by the salt content, and they’re a better choice for a salt controlled or salt free diet.
Following are some suggestions for seeds that can be easily added to your diet.
Called a superfood by some, Chia seeds contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids as well as high levels of fiber and minerals such iron, calcium, magnesium etc.
Enjoy them on your oatmeal or cereal, stir it into your veggie shakes or add to yogurt for a nutritious boost. You can also try adding to baking goods.
Popular and known as Pepita in Mexico, they are rich protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium and some fatty acids. They also contain L-tryptophan can also help with anxiety attacks, depression and mood disorders.
Enjoy them toasted by the handful or add them to your salads
Eden Foods Dry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Original, 4 oz – $3.25, See Site shipping – Available at Tropical Traditions
A truly versatile plant, Hemp is used in a variety of products, from clothing to food. It contains a high percentage of edible oils and fatty acids.
Enjoy them raw, ground in a powder, sprinkle into your favorite cereal or shake or use in baking.
Organic Hemp Hearts Raw Shelled Hemp Seed (12 oz) by Manitoba Harvest – $15.89, 5.59 shipping – Available at Amazon.com
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. In addition, vitamin E plays an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and contribute to the lowering of cholesterol.
Bergin Fruit and Nut Company, Sunflower Seeds, Roasted & Salted, 16 oz – $3.98, 6.75 shipping – Available at iHerb
Sesame seeds contain copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber.
Sesame seeds have lower cholesterol in humans, and prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals.
Flaxseeds are the number one source of omega-3s, which can lower cholesterol and are helpful to the cardiovascular system. Their mucilage content provides special support to the intestinal tract.
Flax seeds can be added to cooking and baking, and can be substituted for the fat or oil in some baked goods.
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