08-11-2017 03:30 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
These diminutive but power packed seeds help us live long
While discussing the onset of winter season, a friend told me that she doesn’t remember the last time she had caught a cold or fallen sick even when her colleagues or friends were overcome by illness due to the change in seasons. She attributed her enhanced immunity to the morning glass of milk that she has daily. Wel, that’s not all, she added powdered seeds like pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds and sesame seeds that made it a super drink, boosting her immunity and keeping her in the pink of health.
We have always glorified nuts and know about their innumerable benefits, however, we have ignored the importance of including seeds in our diet which are precious little packages of nutrients. They are loaded with dietary fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They can be easily incorporated in a variety of dishes adding a boost of flavor, nutrition, and crunch. Following is the information about seven super seeds that contribute to our good health.
Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E and folate that help to boost your body’s immunity. A quarter cup serving of sunflower seeds contains over 60% of the daily value of vitamin E that protects cells from damage and also helps to prevent cancer. Vitamin E is essential for good, healthy and glowing skin.
We have seen sesame seeds over burger buns, but they can also be used in chutneys or to coat cutlets or rolls for a delicate crunch. They can be added to salads or sprinkled over bread. Try to include these seeds in your diet as they are high in antioxidants and rich in protein. They are the oldest known oil crops and the seeds provide calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, B vitamins, and dietary fiber. Due to their antioxidants, a recent animal study showed sesame oil may help lower inflammation and improve brain health.
Pumpkin seeds are used in some Indian desserts to add a subtle flavour and crunch. Find ways to use it more often in your regular diet as they offer about 16 percent of your daily iron need in just 1/4 cup serving. You may be surprised to know that pumpkin seeds have more fibre content than many nuts. Consuming 5 grams of pumpkin seeds a day can regulate blood sugar, enhance regularity, and improve the digestive system. It also plays an important role in regulating blood sugar issues and diabetes.
Chia seeds are an important source of nutrients and are becoming very popular. These black and white seeds are identical to sabja seeds that are easily available in the market and are much cheaper, but they are different. Chia seeds are the richest plant source of heart-healthy Omega 3’s. They are packed with protein and antioxidants. By weight, chia has more calcium than whole milk. It also contains minerals like magnesium and boron, that are essential in the absorption of calcium and other vitamins.
Flax seeds are long been known to provide medicinal benefits. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and lignans (beneficial plant compounds), recent studies show flaxseeds may help reduce belly fat and lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. They are easily available in the market and are called ‘Alsi’ in Hindi.
Having now known the importance of these little storehouse of nutrients, do try to incorporate these seeds in your diet to maintain a healthy and robust body.