Super Seeds: All Rounders

What better way to add variety to your diet than with nutrition packed seeds? Not only do these little wonder packages contain highly concentrated amounts of beneficial vitamins and minerals, many make a tasty addition to salads, snacks and a host of other meals. Discover which seeds are the best for you in the third and last part of our seeds series:

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin-Seeds-Big-white

Look no further than pumpkin seeds for your daily dose of Zinc. Just two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds provides over 25 percent of your daily requirement for Zinc, the mineral which is essential for healthy skin, balanced sex hormones, normal sense of taste and smell, and eye and skin health. They also contain the antioxidant vitamin E for healthy skin, hearts and circulation, and magnesium for energy production, muscle and nerve contraction, and relaxation.

How to use them: Pumpkin seeds are delicious roasted, so try popping them in a low oven (about 75 degrees Celsius) for 15 to 20 minutes with a sprinkle of tamari sauce. Sprinkle the toasted seeds on salads and sautéed veges, or just enjoy as a snack. Raw pumpkin seeds are also great in muesli or try spreading pumpkin seed butter on your toast.

One tablespoon of pumpkin seeds contains 56 calories, 3g of protein, 5g of fat and 0.6g of dietary fibre.

Coconut

Coconut-Shredded

Coconut is a stiff competitor for green smoothies as the “it” food of the moment. And with so many health benefits, it’s not hard to see why. Coconut has been used as a traditional medicine by Pacific and Asian cultures for centuries, so in many ways, its recent cult status is just playing catch-up.
Over half of the fat content in coconut is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. Interestingly, the only other place lauric acid is found is in breast milk. Lauric acid is converted into Monolaurin in the body, which has powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Coconut is also a potent anti-inflammatory.

How to use them: Use coconut flakes in baking and muesli, coconut cream in curries, coconut oil to cook with (it is stable at high heat, so is very good to cook with). It adds a natural sweet flavour to foods without the need for sugar/honey, etc. Coconut oil has a high smoke point, so can be cooked at high temperatures without burning the way oil and butter do.

One tablespoon of shredded coconut contains 40 calories, 3.7g of fat, 0.3g of protein and 0.7g of fibre.

Read Super Seeds: A Healthy Sprinkle