Monday, March 31, 2014

Seeds are not just for the birds?

I hope you are enjoying this gorgeous spring day. The birds are telling me that spring is here with their boisterous melodies outside my window. The birds remind me to remind you of the value of adding seeds to our diets.

Seeds are some of the simplest and most amazing sources of nutrients that we can easily add to our day of every meal.

Here are two general benefits:
  1. Their connection to the earth brings us a wide array of minerals as well as protein, fiber and important phytosterols (Phytosterols, which encompass plant sterols and stanols, are steroid compounds similar to cholesterol which occur in plants and help boost disease fighting T-cells, control cholesterol and boost immunity).
  2. Seeds have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that remove toxins from the body and help prevent a host of chronic diseases including the big "C."
Here are a few seeds and their specific benefits:
  1. Chia - these tiny seeds are mild and nutty and have more antioxidants than blueberries! They will remind you of poppy seeds if you have not seen them yet. They can be sprinkled on oatmeal, rice dishes and sauces. When wet, chia seeds form a pudding like texture. Chia seeds are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. If you soak the seeds before eating the betaine enzymes are released which help us break down protein and fat. If you sprout chia seeds, the fiber helps with blood sugar stabilization and elimination. Alarmingly healthy!
  2. Pumpkin - these seeds are chewy with a sweet flavor (also called pepitas). These are best raw or roasted. Use them in salads, sautés or as a snack. Pumpkin seeds contain a rich blend of antioxidants, including multiple forms of vitamin E.  Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, iron and protein as well as fatty acids that lower LDL cholesterol. These seeds support cardio-vascular health. Eat the unshelled version to get the most zinc. Alleluia, add these in!
  3. Flax - these seeds have a nutty flavor similar to wheat germ. Whole flaxseeds can pass through your body without being digested so it is best to grind them yourself or buy ground flax meal. If you buy them already ground store in the refrigerator or freezer.  Sprinkle on oatmeal, in smoothies and on salads. Flaxseeds are high in phytoestrogens called lignans and may help prevent breast, prostate and colon cancers. Sprouting flaxseeds releases more of their Omega-3s and protein. Unlike other seeds chia and flax have a higher ratio of Omega 3/Omega 6. Omega 3s are very sensitive so these seeds should not be heated, cooked or roasted or you will loose the benefit of the Omega 3s. Astounding!
  4. Sesame - these beauties have a light flavor and add a great crunch to dishes. Gomasio (sesame seeds with sea salt) is a great thing to have around to sprinkle over steamed veggies. Sesame seeds are high in oil content and are the main ingredient in tahini, a smooth creamy spread. Sesame seeds are also high in calcium, help to lower LDL, enhance immune response and lower blood pressure. Amazing!
  5. Sunflower - Raw sunflower seeds can be eaten as a snack, in trail mix, salads and stir-fries. When sprouted they can be added to your salads and the nutrient value increases from 100-300%! Sunflowers are especially high in B vitamins which support our immune system.  They are also high in vitamin E, they protect cells, maintain healthy skin and hair and contain selenium which helps to repair damaged cells thus helping to prevent cancer! Awesome!
The best way to consume seeds are raw or sprouted. You will find raw seeds and even seeds butters at your local farmers market or health food store. I highly recommend MOTOR CITY FOOD PRODUCTS at the Royal Oak Market. They make a wide variety of nut butters. My favorite is pistachio!

I encourage you to experiment with seeds. They are a nutrient dense food that will add health to every meal with disease prevention properties.

To Your Best  Health,

Denise Lovat
Certified Health Coach, AADP

If you are ready to take back your health, email me at

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note: this information adopted from Experience Life Magazine April 2014 issue.

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