[box]When it comes to Super Foods it seems that the biggest benefits come in the smallest packages. Small seeds and nuts filled to the brim with nutritional value and each with their own unique health benefits to offer. Whether it is helping you lose weight around your midsection or preventing the risk of heart disease, these small super seeds are a fantastic addition to anyone’s diet.[/box]
Chia Seed Benefits
The first thing that comes to mind with these fantastically powerful and nutrient packed little seeds is a small clay sculpture covered in lush green grass. From novelty plants to supercharging your health, these ch-ch-ch-chia seeds are a great way to improve health and lose those extra pounds.
Chia seeds are used as a natural treatment for those dealing with type 2 Diabetes, it does this by slowing digestion and preventing glycemic spikes. Stabilizing blood sugar and reducing insulin resistance, which translates into a healthier, thinner you. Fighting belly fat and maintaining a healthy blood sugar level to help deal with diabetes naturally.
Enormous amounts of dietary fiber improve digestive health and function while providing a fantastic source for Omega-3 Fatty Acids. In a serving of chia seeds (28 grams or 1 ounce) provides around 5 grams of Omega-3. This aids in cognitive health and cellular function, a cornerstone to our overall health, touching every bodily system and required for everything from cellular energy transmission to a healthy heart rhythm.
Chia seeds are also a great source for many other minerals and nutrients, a source of calcium, manganese and phosphorus. Phosphorus is beneficial in the maintenance of bones, teeth and the growth / repair of our tissue’s.
A great addition to any weight loss routine, chia seeds are rich in protein and hold a few weight loss secrets to help keep the fat off naturally. Tryptophan is a chemical found in meats primarily, it is responsible for the satisfied feeling after a big meal, often responsible for a tired feeling when we overeat. By giving you this same satisfied feeling, you are far less likely to overeat, cutting out the cravings without feeling deprived. The true power of the chia seed is seen when you pour a tablespoon into a cup of water, given a few minutes it turns into a gel. This is because chia seeds soak up about ten times their weight in water, when we eat chia seeds they literally plump up in our stomachs, leaving us feeling full faster and for longer. Truly a miracle seed when it comes to our health and particularly effective for weight loss.
Hemp Seed Benefits
These seeds often stir up thoughts of illicit drugs and a peace love attitude. While they may come from the cannabis plant, they are far more beneficial than you may have thought.
Consisting of about 40-45% oils and 30-35% protein (the rest being fiber and carbohydrates) hemp seeds hold exceptional nutritional value.
Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and the all important Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), they also contain a rather unique polyunsaturated fatty acid complex. Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) and Stearidonic Acid specifically, these are often synthesized by breaking down Linolenic Acid within the body. GLA and Stearidonic Acid have been shown to greatly improve the condition of those suffering with skin conditions such as eczema.
Hemp seeds are a fantastic way to increase protein intake while promoting general health naturally. When cooking with hemp seeds or oils it is important to use low temperatures (212 degrees F and below) because of the low smoke point. When temperatures surpass the threshold the oils begin to smoke, releasing carcinogens into your food and negating any nutritional benefits.
Flax Seed Benefits
Booming in popularity since about 2010 in North America, flax seed can be found in an increasing number of food products; crackers, breads and even beverages. Popularity is due primarily to the numerous health benefits of this tiny super food. Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, it holds many benefits for our heart, brain and nervous system. The true power in flaxseed is the phenomenal amount of a powerful antioxidant found in plants known as Lignans. Flax seed has between one and eight hundred times more Lignans than other edible plants, making it a truly spectacular food.
Lignans found in flaxseed has successfully reduced atherosclerotic plaque by up to 75% making it a very beneficial dietary addition for anyone at risk of cardiovascular disease. Alongside the benefits for cardiovascular health, Lignans and Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) reduce inflammation which is a key component in relieving chronic pain and liver disease.
High amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber are found in flaxseed, this makes reaching the daily recommended value of fiber a simple task indeed. However the fiber content is really the least of the benefits of this wonder food.
[box] When you are looking for those Omega 3 rich eggs which have become more and more popular in the past few years, you should know that flax is what makes them possible. By feeding the chickens flaxseed, they enrich the Omega 3 fatty acid content of the eggs they lay, passing the benefits onto you![/box]
How to Ensure Your Seeds Stay Fresh and Effective
Follow these simple steps in order to maintain fresh seeds for longer, whether they are Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds or Hemp Seeds.
Buy whole seeds and grind before each use to achieve maximum freshness and minimal air exposure, preventing oxidation.
Keep you seeds frozen when possible, grinding them straight from frozen ensures maximum freshness.
- Store seeds in a dark airtight container or bag that is kept either in the freezer or fridge.