The start of a new year often sees lots of dietary resolutions made, with many of us pledging to really focus on what we’re eating to help give ourselves a health boost… and if that sounds familiar to you, you may want to consider stocking the cupboards full of organic seeds, as these can be incredibly good for you and they’re easy to start incorporating into your weekly meal plans.
Seeds really are very nutritious, with lots of fibre, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants inside them, so they’re great at helping to reduce your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol when consumed as part of a healthy diet.
Flaxseeds, for example, are one of the best seeds you can eat, a wonderful source of both dietary fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. However, you might want to make sure that you’re eating ground flaxseed or using flaxseed oil, as it’s hard for us to digest the outer shell of the seeds themselves, which is where a lot of the goodness is contained.
Another seed to think about adding to your diet is chia seed – and these are versatile and a lot of fun, which you’ll soon discover for yourself.
They absorb liquid so you can use them to create delicious puddings that taste like they should be bad for you but in reality are doing you nothing but good! They’re a great source of fibre and omega-3 fats, much like flaxseed, but are also a good source of calcium, as well.
Or what about stocking up on some pumpkin seeds? These contain the likes of zinc, protein, iron, phosphorus and omega-3 fatty acids, while being low in carbohydrates, so a great little snack to have close to hand. Roast them gently to help bring out the delicious natural flavour and then sprinkle them over salads, or just nibble on them throughout the day.
And don’t forget about sesame seeds! These are full of protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc… the list goes on! They’re also great sources of vitamin E and it’s thought they can aid digestion. A true powerhouse!
They’re easy to use – all you need to do is sprinkle them liberally over your food, or you could buy some tahini, which can be featured in a variety of savoury dishes.
What’s brilliant about introducing seeds into your diet is that, because they’re so nutrient rich, you don’t have to eat a huge amount. A couple of tablespoons each day should suffice and give you the health benefits you’re looking for. They’re also incredibly versatile and can be used in all sorts of ways so you’ll have a fab time working out how you like to enjoy them.
Check out the BBC website for lots of recipe ideas featuring seeds.