Seeds shouldn’t be underestimated for their health benefits. The app features seeds heavily due to their high nutritional value plus they are good for those following a tree-nut free diet. Each comes from plant families that are not closely related to nut-producing trees. Therefore, they don’t necessarily contain the same allergenic proteins that tree nuts have. (1)
Seeds feature heavily in the Wholesome World top anticancer ingredients which you can find in the app due to their valuable fibre content with a wealth of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
Our choices of top seeds are flaxseed, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and chia seed. Using these throughout your cooking will ensure you get a good dose of everything they have to offer without too much effort. Check out some of my favourite seed recipes below or simply sprinkle on anything from soups to salads, breakfast bowls to baking and everything in between.
Which seeds should you be having?
FLAXSEEDS (Linseeds) are considered a highly prized food due to their high level of omega 3 and their fibre and protein content. They also have very good levels of vitamin B1, copper and manganese. The omega 3 makes this a beneficial anti-inflammatory food.
Flaxseeds also contain phytoestrogens which often worries those who have a hormone related cancer. However these mild oestrogenic effects have been found to be protective of cancers such as breast and prostate cancer and supportive of hormone therapies such as tamoxifin.
The best way to gain the therapeutic effects of flaxseed is to eat it ground in smoothies or sprinkled on your healthy breakfast cereal. Always grind the seeds before you eat them as this preserves the oils in their healthy form. Often easily available from most supermarkets or health shops already ‘ground’.
PUMPKIN SEEDS are a good source of zinc. Zinc is considered an essential nutrient, meaning that your body can’t produce or store it. For this reason, you must get a constant supply through your diet. (2)
You will gain more zinc from the seed if you eat them unshelled so when you use a pumpkin don’t waste the seeds, scoop them out, roast them briefly and sprinkle on a dish or as a simple snack. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of many other important minerals too plus vitamin E in its many bio-available forms.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS are an excellent source of vitamin E and a very good source of vitamin B1. They are good sources of other minerals and B vitamins, including selenium which is known for anticancer properties.
Sunflower seeds have only a trace amount of omega 3 but higher levels of omega 6 therefore eat them alongside other nuts and seeds to gain a balance of omega 3 and 6.
CHIA SEEDS are packed with omega 3, fibre, protein and antioxidants. They are extremely versatile in cooking. Enjoy a chia porridge for breakfast or add them to foods which need binding. They absorb moisture and become gelatinous so can be substituted in dishes where egg is used as a binder.
Why are these nutrients good for you?
B vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. As the building blocks of a healthy body, B vitamins have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism. (3)
Not all fats are unhealthy. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the “good” types of fat. They may help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis. Your body can’t make them. You have to eat them (4)
Some omega-6 fatty acids have shown benefits in treating symptoms of chronic disease. Omega-6 fats are essential fats that provide energy for the body. However, people should eat more omega-3s than omega-6s. (5)
My favourite Wholesome World recipes featuring seeds:
Wholesome World’s top seed recipes are our Seeded Spelt Crackers. Perfect to make in bulk and store in the cupboard for those impromptu picnic days. This nutritious cracker is NF and uses old age spelt flour for protein and good dietary fibre.
You don’t know when that sunshine is worth jumping out of bed for, so I make sure to have these Seeded Oat Bars in bulk in my cupboard. Perfect for breakfast, mid morning snack or afternoon pick me up. A rich source of omega 3 and 6 for bone strength, prebiotic fibre to keep our gut in good balance and good fat from the coconut oil too.
The Seeded Apricot Balls are in fact a perfect blend for a gut friendly food. The seeds provide the essential anti-inflammatory omega fats and are another good source of fibre. The apricots are excellent sources of vitamin A and contain many antioxidants.
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