Eat Better ‘Food Bytes’ Don’t Forget Your Seeds!


April 26, 2013 by Dr. Sana Keller

sunflower-seedsOne of these days…the snow IS going to melt…even here in North Dakota…which means that many of us will be buying seeds and planting seeds with high expectations of a great harvest in a few months.

Although most of us tend to think of planting when we think of seeds, there are many seeds that have powerful health benefits (think flax seeds, pomegranate seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds…). Some of these health benefits (depending on type of seed) include antioxidant protection, great vitamin & mineral source, and an alkalinizing effect. The key to obtaining this powerful benefit is in how the seeds are prepared or processed. When seeds are exposed to heat (roasting), the nutrients in them change, dramatically reducing these health benefits, so look for raw, unsalted seeds. Seeds can be mashed (such as sesame seeds in Tahini) or ground, as long as a heat process isn’t applied, which would decrease their nutritional value.

Healthy Seeds to look for:

Chia seeds—seriously, these have so many wonderful health benefits, they deserve their own blog posting, which will be coming soon!

Sunflower seeds—remember to look for raw ones, not the heavily salted, roasted version

Hemp seeds—no worries about THC (compound found in marijuana responsible for the ‘high’)—hemp seeds have such a small amount (< 0.3%)—not even close to what it takes for any possible effect or drug test alteration)

Flax seeds—these also have numerous health benefits including cancer prevention and are in need of their own blog posting in the future—Grind 1 Tbsp in a coffee grinder & add daily to yogurt, juice, cereal, salad

Pomegranate seeds—edible seeds in juicy little sacs with wonderful antioxidants

Sesame seeds—these tiny seeds are a great source of calcium and many other minerals

Pumpkin seeds (Pepitas)—again, look for raw ones—these are great on green salads

Remember–it’s the raw, unsalted version of seeds that you’re looking for (‘sprouted’ seeds are great as well). They have great flavors and really add to salads, cereals, entrees, veggies–Enjoy!


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