Story of the Super Seeds – part II
Hemp seeds or Hemp hearts: contain 30 percent fat, rich in two essential fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6, and almost 30 percent high-quality protein.
The seeds can be eaten raw or roasted, sprinkled on salads, added to smoothies, or used as an ingredient in rotis, parathas, gravies and cookies. One tablespoon (tbsp) of hemp seeds (10 g) provides 60 kcal and 3 g protein. Hemp seeds contain a noteworthy amount of iron (20 percent of your recommended daily diet). This helps prevent anemia.
Hemp seed oil has numerous health benefits for skin, hair and heart health. It contains arginine, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Chia seeds come from the mint family plant, Salvia hispanica. Sixty percent of oil in chia seeds is from Omega 3 fatty acid. Thee seeds are also a good source of calcium, phosphorus and fiber (5 g per tbsp). One tbsp provides 70 calories and 2 g protein.
The mucilage fiber in the chia seeds slows digestion there by regulating the spike in blood glucose after meal and may lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein).
Research suggests that a healthy diet, supplemented with chia seeds, may lower triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure. There is also evidence from a recent study that consuming 5 g of chia seeds over three weeks improved cognitive function in young adult subjects. A recent study on rats found that long-term consumption of chia seeds increased bone mineral content and reduced fat deposits in the liver and rise in intestinal muscle layers.
The skin of the chia seeds is delicate and susceptible to breakage when exposed to moisture so they can easily be mixed with liquid like fruit juice, water, milk and eaten whole. Dry chia seeds are absorbed well when grounded. Chia seeds can be sprouted as well and used as micro greens in salads.
Sunflower seeds. There are more than 1,000 seeds in one flower; they are rich in the potent antioxidant combo of Vitamin E and selenium. Sunflower seeds are abundant in beneficial plant compounds, including phenolic acids and flavonoids, and help prevent chronic disease. A 1-oz serving alone contains almost half of the daily value of Vitamin E. They're exceptionally rich in phytosterol, fiber and protein content. The seeds have a pleasant nutty flavor, perfect crunch, protein and a storehouse of nutrients. You can top your salad with roasted or raw sunflower seeds, substitute it for peanuts in any chutney, make sushi dips with soy sauce, throw it on oatmeal, pasta, rice or grind and put in breads. One tablespoon of seeds contains 51 calories, 2 g protein.
Pumpkin seeds contain good range of nutrients: several Vitamin B, folate, Vitamin E, magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium. Good source of protein, Omega 6 fatty acids and unique blend of antioxidants. They contain small amounts of several forms of Vitamin E, and research suggests there's a health benefit to consuming Vitamin E in all its different forms. These seeds can be eaten raw, roasted or in a powder form. To preserve the nutrient quality of pumpkin seeds, roast it only for about 15 minutes. One tbsp pumpkin seeds provide about 47 calories and 2 g of protein.
Plant Power bites
- Hemp - 1 tbsp
- Walnut halves - 2 tbsp
- Pecans - 2 tbsp
- Almonds - 2 tbsp
- Sunflower seeds - 1 tbsp
- Cinnamon powder - ¼ tsp
- Saffron - 1 tsp
- Maple syrup - 3-4 tbsp
- Shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
Pulse and grind the nuts in a coffee grinder. Then grind the seeds separately. Mix both the powders in a bowl, add cinnamon and saffron. Make a well in the center of the powder and add maple syrup in it. Mix it well with the powder and make small bite size balls of the mixture and roll it in dry shredded coconut.
These bites satisfy the sweet tooth and the fiber regulates the spike in the blood sugar post consumption of this ladoo.
To our health!
Bhavi Nirav is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, Registered Dietitian/M.S., R.D., L.D., and can be reached at email@example.com