Seeds, why are they so good for us?

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are now widely used and are a good source of phosphorus, monounsaturated fats and omega 6 fats.  They may be small but they are nutritional powerhouses.  Eating small amounts of them can provide you with a good quantity of healthy fats, magnesium and zinc.
They have been associated with numerous health benefits including improved heart health, prostate health and protection against certain cancers!
Super high in antioxidants which can reduce inflammation and protect your cells from harmful free radicals.
These tiny seeds are also high in magnesium which is very important for your blood pressure, heart health, bone health and blood sugar levels.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of dietary fibre which can promote good digestive health.
Overall they are so simple to introduce into your daily diet.  

Here are a few suggestions:
Add them to your morning smoothie
Delicious with Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit
Sprinkle on your salad
Add a crunch to avocado toasts
Incorporate into your baking
Amazing in bread mixed with other seeds
Perfect in homemade granola & bars
Or simply eat them on their own!

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds contain a good amount of monounsaturated fats, protein and vitamin E.  They are said to be associated with reduced levels of inflammation which is useful if you suffer from arthritis.  These tiny seeds are a super source of vitamin E which is essential for good skin and hair. They are rich in magnesium and iron and if consumed moderately can help to improve your mood and anxiety and promote good digestion. 
Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E which is an antioxidant that has been directly connected to the reduced symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions throughout the body. 
Try them in your sprinkled in your salad or perfect as a snack, use them like you would pumpkin seeds.

Linseeds (Flax)

These are really tiny little seeds and are often called flaxseeds.  They have a shiny brown coating and a distinctive nutty flavour.  Linseeds are high in fibre which is great for good digestion.  They are also packed with plant based omega 3 fatty acids.  We can synthesise most fatty acids apart from omega 3 and omega 6 which can only be obtained from your diet.  Omega 3 and 6 are vitally important for the function of the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous systems.  

  You can find milled linseeds in most supermarkets but make sure its been cold milled and not just milled.  Cold milled linseed is ground in a way that protects the omega 3 oil so the essential fatty acids stay intact.  They grind the seeds as they are so tiny they will literally pass through your body without you obtaining any of the amazing health benefits.
A daily spoonful can be used in a smoothie, sprinkled on salads and used in baking.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds seem to be everywhere these days.  Again tiny little seeds with a high nutritional content.  They are similar to linseeds as they are a good source of fibre and omega 3 fatty acids.   Chia seeds are an ancient seed, harvested from a desert plant.  Quite a verisitle seed as can be consumed whole but it expands in water making it suitable for both sweet and savoury baking.  Like linseeds they contain a high quality of plant based omega 3.  These tiny seeds are enriched with antioxidants, protein and fibre.
Sprinkle them onto your morning yoghurt, stir them into your smoothie or toss in with your salad.  If you use them for baking, soak in water for 15 minutes and stir them a few times to stop them sticking together.

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are generally used in asian cooking as the sesame plant is believed to originate from Asia or east Africa.  The plant has been cultivated for its seeds for over 5000 years!  Sesame seeds are a good source of calcium, copper, manganese and phosphorus.  These tiny little seeds contain phytochemicals called lignin's which slow the release of sugar into the blood and keep the digestive system healthy.  Sesame seeds may also help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can worsen symptoms of many disorders, including arthritis.  Try to find the black sesame seeds as they contain a higher antioxidant than the white, which have had their hull removed!  Sprinkle into salads, breads, smoothies and fish!

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