Following a plant-based diet can be a huge amount of fun and, more often than not, it’s something of a voyage of discovery, a whole new world of delicious ingredients that you may not have encountered before.
A great way to get more of your essential nutrients and vitamins is to start eating more seeds but, if you’ve never considered this before, it can be a little daunting as there are so many different seeds out there – all with their own various different health benefits. Where on earth do you begin?
Seeds themselves are great sources of the likes of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and so on, so they make a wonderful addition to any diet. It’s also thought that they can help reduce blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure, so they could do wonders for your health!
But how do you go about adding more to your diet? Well, there’s all sorts you could do, such as adding ground flaxseed to smoothies, your morning porridge, even putting it in your baking, which will give your treats a somewhat nutty flavour.
Where flaxseed is concerned, going for the ground option is generally advisable, as it’s easier to digest and absorb than the whole seeds.
If you eat a lot of salads, why not consider throwing some sunflower seeds on top? You could easily do this with sesame seeds, as well, for a bit of added crunch. If fruit salad is more your style, what about sprinkling some chia or poppyseeds on top? These are both delicious and very good for you.
Chia, for example, are excellent sources of both fibre and omega-3 fats, while poppy seeds are especially rich in manganese, which is good for bone health and blood clotting.
In actual fact, chia seeds are a very versatile option, especially if you have a sweet tooth, because they can be used to make a delicious and healthy dessert option. It couldn’t be easier to do – simply combine half a cup of milk with two tablespoons of chia seeds and throw in a teaspoon of honey to sweeten it up.
Mix well, leave for a few minutes and then mix again, before storing in the fridge for a few hours. When it’s ready, top with some fruit, nuts and maybe even some more seeds and enjoy!
Another really quick and easy way to ensure you’re eating more seeds is to make energy balls. Check out this incredible recipe for superfood truffles on the Danilicious website, which calls for two tablespoons of hemp seeds. If you’re not a fan of this seed, you can easily switch it out for something else, or do one tablespoon of hemp and one of something else.
Hemp seeds, however, are full of all sorts of amazing nutritional compounds, including protein, fibre, unsaturated fats, magnesium, potassium, folate and lots more, so they’re great to include in your diet if you can.