Seeds give life. Holding all the nutrients needed to grow the plant, they are nutritional powerhouses packed with essential vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids. Consuming seeds regularly will dramatically improve your nutritional intake – not to mention add valuable flavour and texture to your food. So what is each seed good for and how do you use them?
These tiny wee seeds (which look very similar to poppy seeds) are packed with soluble fibre for regularity and healthy cholesterol levels. Their high protein content helps keep blood sugars balanced and provides satiety to keep you going between meals. Add to this chia’s naturally high Omega 3 content, and a healthy dose of calcium, magnesium, manganese and you truly have seed superfood.
How to use them: Chia seeds are very versatile and can be sprinkled over cereal, added to baking, thrown into smoothies or even used in a “chia pudding” – similar to the old school sago puddings we used to enjoy.
One tablespoon of chia seeds contains 47 calories, 3.4g of fat, 2g of protein, and 3.6g of fibre.
Despite its dubious background – hemp is the plant that marijuana is derived from – hemp is actually one of the world’s most nutritious plants. The seeds are actually tiny fruit, with a flavour not unlike pine nuts.
Hemp seeds are rich in essential fatty acids, as well as magnesium, iron and potassium. Hemp seeds are also a complete source of protein for vegetarians, as they contain all the essential amino acids – just like quinoa.
How to use them: Sprinkle hemp on salads, granola or puddings and add to smoothies.
One tablespoon of hemp seeds contains 45 calories, 3g of fat, 5g of protein and 1g of fibre.
Flaxseeds (linseeds) are one of the major ingredients in LSA, alongside sunflower seeds and almonds. LSA provides valuable fibre to help keep bowels moving and remove toxins excreted by the liver during digestion. Flaxseeds are also a useful source of essential fatty acids, helping to reduce inflammation and promoting healthy skin, hair and nails.
How to use them: Flaxseeds should be ground to obtain the most nutritional benefit. Grind the seeds at home using a coffee grinder or blender and add them to smoothies, cereals and baked goods.
One tablespoon of raw flax seeds contains 37 calories, 3g of fat, 1g of protein and 2g of fibre.