I love the peace and tranquility of the Maine woods, especially waking up on a crisp winter morning like today and discovering deer tracks all over our property. Up until this weekend, they’ve enjoyed a mild winter with plenty to eat including the endless mounds of acorns we raked up this fall. Then we got 30 inches of snow. Fortunately for the deer, we put out food blocks for them to gnaw on if they get really hungry. All that nutrition condensed in a big block is a convenient way to get extra nutrients. You can do the same thing this winter without trudging through three feet of snow. I promise that it will also come in a slightly smaller package.
Robin Williams is one of my favorite comedians who put a whole new spin on Disney’s animated version of Aladdin. Williams uncorked the Genie and took us all on a dizzyingly wild magic carpet ride with his over-the-top characters, voices, and improv. When describing his plight as a genie confined to a lamp, he laments, “phenomenal cosmic powers…itty-bitty living space.” The same is true when it comes to the tiny, often forgotten seed. Seeds are a powerful and convenient protein source. They are also rich in essential oils and other nutrients. Let’s check out their superior specs:
- Heart Health
- Muscle development and support
- Improved Digestion
- Bone density
- Cholesterol reduction
- Brain health
- Immune system support
Since seeds are the reproductive part of flowering plants, they are loaded with heart healthy and muscle promoting nutrients including the following:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Trace minerals like zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium
A Sprinkle A Day
Seeds are easier that you think to incorporate into your daily eating. They can be sprinkled on cereals, blended in smoothies, and added to salads to boost protein levels. They also make an excellent snack. Here are some of my favorite seeds, their benefits and suggested servings.
- Flax — 2 grams protein per tablespoon (Tbsp), 3 grams of fiber, may be soaked over night then baked in a low temperature oven to crisp them up. Add some almonds and dried cranberries to make your own flax granola.
- Chia — 3 grams protein per Tbsp, 5 grams fiber, (think seed not infomercial pet) tiny little seeds that taste similar to a poppy seed and can be easily incorporated into cooking and baking recipes to boost nutrient levels.
- Sunflower — 5.5 grams protein per ounce, 3 grams fiber, a great replacement for peanut butter. My trick is to slightly toast the seeds then blend in a food processor for 5 minutes to release the natural oils and add a sprinkle of natural sweetener (I use Relivables® All-Natural Sweetener made from Rebiana — see below for ordering info)
- Pumpkin — 8.5 grams of protein per ounce, 2 grams fiber. Remember spicing them up and roasting them at Halloween? The raw seeds are also excellent on salads and sautéed with veggies.
- Sesame — 1.5 grams of protein per Tbsp, 1 gram fiber, more that just a phrase to open magical doors, sesame seeds add a rich nutty flavor to vegetable dishes. I use a combination of sesame seeds, almond meal, cumin and olive oil as a crunchy topping for baked haddock and other white fish and poultry. A healthier alternative to fried.
- Hemp — 2.5 grams of protein per Tbsp (note that this is not a marijuana plant — there is no THC in hemp and it is perfectly safe), a complete and low carb protein with a light, nutty flavor.
If you buy in bulk like I do, buy fresh, raw and organic whenever possible. Seeds have a high fat content so they can go rancid over time just like other oils. Store seeds in a cool, dry, airtight container. Some producers recommend that seeds should stored in the freezer to maintain their freshness. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill found in many grocery stores and online.
Mighty in Moderation
Adding seeds to your diet is a great way to boost your protein and fiber. Due to their high oil content, seeds also pack a caloric punch so make sure you account for them if you are counting calories. If you are not a fiber fanatic, add seeds into your diet slowly so your body can adjust to the additional fiber. Now, go enjoy your newfound cosmic power!
Supplement Smarter: Get great protein, omega-3 and fiber in Reliv ProVantage®, Fibrestore®, 24K™ (healthy energy/focus/stress relief) and LunaRich X™ (most pure, concentrated form of lunasin). For your free customer account, product ordering & great discounts go to www.my24kvip.com enter VIP code: GOLD
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
Copyright © 2013 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.