In the first of a series of three blogs, Nutritionist Charlie Parker praises the virtues of seeds.
Seeds pack a powerful nutrition punch, they contain essential amino acids, fibre, various vitamins and minerals and ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) the plant source of omega 3 fatty acids which make them great for vegetarian and vegan diets and those that do not regularly eat oily fish. Seeds differ in their nutritional virtues, so we’ve picked some of our favourites and provided a bit more information on why they are so great and how to use them.
Flaxseeds are often referred to as linseeds and vice versa, essentially they are the same thing. They are particularly rich in omega 3 and high in fibre, iron, zinc and magnesium. Flax forms a gel when added to water and has been used to treat constipation for many years. They can be eaten whole, but ground is even better as the fibre can act more effectively. Boost the omega 3 and fibre content by sprinkling some on top of your cereal, or try our Granola Dust.
Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, iron and copper and a source of fibre. Ideal sprinkled on salads and soups.
These are high in calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, fibre, omega 3 and they are reported to contain all 8 of the essential amino acids. They are great to include in baking and sprinkled on breakfast cereals and added to smoothies. See the Pantry Essentials recipe for Chia Seed Pudding. Recommended 15g serving per day.
How to include seeds in your diet
Drizzle on salads, stir-fry’s, soups and dips
Include them in breakfast cereals and porridge
Snack on a mix of seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin
Include them when baking bread, muffins, crumbles and cakes