When you think of seeds you might think of planting a spring garden and sewing them deep into the ground for a summer harvest. But have you ever thought of them for their healing power way before they grow into a plant? Not long ago, I had a very limited amount of seeds in my diet, but that all changed when I started learning about their amazing health benefits.
Don’t let their small size fool you. Seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch that helps regulate your body in many ways and prevents disease. They have been used for centuries to heal and I am going to share some of the seeds we use on a daily basis.
1.) Flaxseed – I listed this one first for a reason. It’s my go-to seed for hormone balancing, digestive health, and mental clarity. Flaxseed is also known as linseed that comes from a plant. It is a small dark brown oval seed that has been used for improving health since ancient times.
In order to unlock all the healing power of this little seed you have to grind it fresh. As a side note, you can buy ground flax at the grocery store, but the minute it is opened the bag is only good for 24 hours. You optimize the benefits by grinding the amount you need before each use. We bought a small coffee grinder that does the trick.
Flaxseeds are very high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Once ground and eaten, it expands in your digestive track acting as a scrub brush clearing out old debris. For that reason it is also good for weight loss. Because of its high fiber content it helps you feel fuller.
Originally, I began using flaxseeds to help regulate my hormones and to aid in metabolizing my estrogen levels. Our bodies are bombarded by chemicals daily that act as estrogens. Most synthetic chemicals mimic estrogen called xenoestrogens. See my previous blog post on how to avoid toxins here. This affects both men and women. Flaxseeds bind to these xenoestrogens and help pull them out of your body.
We put freshly ground flaxseeds in pancakes, smoothies, oatmeal, overnight oats, and just about anywhere else we can think it would taste great. It’s a nutty taste and our kids love to eat a spoonful straight from the grinder.
Chia is great for calcium, manganese, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, fat, and protein. Gram for gram chia seeds have more calcium that most all dairy products. We don’t eat dairy so we get more than enough calcium from eating these tiny powerhouses.
2.) Chia Seeds – We love chia seeds. These little guys do not have to be ground in order to reap the benefits like flax. They are a powerhouse of both fiber and protein. Chia seed benefits are vast. They help create stronger bones, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. They are high in antioxidants, they lower blood pressure, and can boost your energy…just to name a few of their amazing health benefits.
Chia seeds are great sources of calcium, manganese, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, fat, and protein. Gram for gram chia seeds have more calcium than most all dairy products. We don’t eat dairy so we get more than enough calcium from a few spoonfuls.
We use the seeds for making chia pudding for breakfast or a snack. We also put them in smoothies and overnight oats. The seeds expand in water or nut milks giving it a tapioca kind of texture.
3.) Hemp Seeds – I fell in love with this seed at first bite. This seed also known as hemp hearts comes from a hemp plant, but does not contain THC, which is the active ingredient of marijuana.
Hemp seeds are great for heart health. The seed contains high amounts of the amino acid arginine. An increase intake of arginine has been shown to correspond with lower blood pressure and can reduce your risk of heart disease.
In addition, hemp seeds are a good source of protein, calcium, iron, fiber, and many essential fatty acids. We use them in a variety of ways to add a little crunch. We typically put them in oatmeal, granola, topping for salads, smoothies, quinoa, and overnight oats.
4.) Pumpkin Seeds – I go absolutely ga ga over these seeds. My treat at Halloween treats are the fresh seeds with harvest from our pumpkins. You can eat them with the hard white shell exterior, which is commonly found in the pumpkin, or you can eat them without the shell commonly found in the grocery store. Shell-free seeds are flat, oval and green.
Pumpkin seeds contain cooper, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin K, fat, protein and fiber. Diets high in pumpkin seeds have been associated with a decrease in certain types of cancers such as stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers.
In case you need more reason to incorporate these seeds into your life they are also great for improving your heart health, helping you sleep better, stabilizing blood sugar, and lowering cholesterol. We like to eat the seeds shelled or shell-free as a snack, salad topper, thrown in smoothies, or as a topping on oatmeal.
There are many more seeds that I have not mentioned that have a high concentration of nutrition. I have just named a few we love to use daily. I hope after reading this you will not underestimate their ability to help give you vital nutrients to heal your body. As an added bonus these seeds are reasonably priced and very easy to find at your local grocery store.
If you want a recipe that includes all these seeds, you can click here for my recipe on how to make an acai bowl.
I know we can all learn from each other so I would love to hear what seeds you eat and how you incorporate them into your diet.
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