Six seeds to add to your world

Friday, April 02, 2010

Seeds are small but incredibly nutritious! Adding them to your daily diet is a great way to add protein and various vitamins and minerals. You can add seeds to your cereal (hot or cold), salads, smoothies, granola or trail mix, pancakes, and baked goods. Here are my favorites:

Chia - Very rich in omega-3 fatty acids (even more than flaxseeds) and an excellent source of fiber. Try adding them to yogurt or make "chia fresca".

Flaxseeds - Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Be sure to grind them before eating them.

Hemp - Excellent source of iron, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Pumpkin - Just a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds provides ~25-30% of the RDA for iron! They are also rich in manganese, magnesium, and several other vitamins and minerals. Eating pumpkin seeds (and other iron-rich foods) with foods containing vitamin C will greatly increase your iron absorption.

Sesame - Sesame seeds aren't just for buns (hamburger that is)! They contain a ton of calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, and iron. Try them in hummus or stir fried veggies.

Sunflower - Loaded with vitamins E and B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, folic acid, and more.

Many of these are available in the bulk food section of your grocery store (or online). Look for raw seeds rather than dry roasted or otherwise cooked versions and keep them in the refrigerator. The oils in nuts and seeds are delicate and will begin to smell a bit like paint if they have gone rancid.

You will get the most nutritional value from consuming raw nuts and seeds. However, if you wish to toast them, please use a temperature that is 300°F or less to preserve the value of their delicate oils.

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