Seeds: Not Just for the Birds | Veggiecation© a Culinary-Nutrition Education Program About Vegetables
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Friday, 06 December 2013 09:22

Seeds: Not Just for the Birds

If you are like a most people and crave the occasional crunchy snack, go for a handful seeds rather than the bag of chips or pretzels.  Seeds are nutrient dense and versatile so you can feel guilt free when you indulge in the occasional snack.   

If you’re someone who’s steered away from seeds because of their high fat value, remember that fat (along with protein and carbohydrates) is a macronutrient.  Macronutrients are necessary for us to produce energy and are the main components of a healthy diet.  The type of fat found in nuts and seeds are exactly the type of healthy fat you want to consume.  Just be aware of serving sizes and understand that the fat in a serving of seeds is much healthier for you than fat found in a processed snack. 

Beyond containing the kind of fats that we need in our diets, here are a few benefits of consuming seeds on a daily basis:

Satisfy the need for snacking

Increase energy levels

Studies have shown that nuts and seeds help maintain a healthy weight

Studies have also shown a link to lower cholesterol

Let’s get specific!  A few of VeggiecationÒ’s favorite seeds:

Sunflower Seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that promotes heart health.  Sunflower seeds are also high in vitamin B1, which is beneficial for memory.  Women who suffer from anemia can benefit from eating sunflower seeds because of its high folate content.

Flaxseeds are high in fiber and support our digestive health – keep our tummy happy.  The nutrient in flaxseeds that balances estrogen levels in the body are also though to protect against breast cancer.

Sesame Seeds are a good source of copper, a trace mineral known for its anti-oxidant properties.  Copper also has properties that increase the elasticity in skin, blood vessels, bones, and joints.  All things that make the body look and feel healthy!

 

Chia Seeds are a part of the mint family and have become widely popularized over the past few years for their overall health promoting properties.  Chia seeds have been shown to promote heart health, increase weight loss and are high in fiber, protein, and calcium.

Pumpkin Seeds have a nutrient in them that promotes prostate health by preventing the body from converting testosterone into the more potent form that leads to prostate growth.  The amount of zinc in pumpkin seeds keeps the bones strong and has been shown to prevent osteoporosis.

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