During the past few years, there has been a sudden discussion and trend about seeds and their value in our diet. “Omega 3 fatty acids” is a term that has only recently entered our food vocabulary, especially for people following a strictly vegetarian diet. All of the seeds have been part of our traditional food cultures for several centuries, recognized by ancient medicine as well as being part of grandmothers wisdom. The needs of immunity and environment are changing. So we need to be mindful about the foods that we are consuming.
We have put together a small checklist of seeds to help you understand a few ideas for their usage:
Flax seeds were once cultivated primarily for their oil, and another way in which flax seeds were consumed were in the form of dried chutneys, many times they are mixed with mouth fresheners to eat after a meal.
This Omega 3 fatty acid-rich ingredient is also great to use in vegetarian or vegan baked products in the form of flours as the stickiness in the seed content is similar to that of egg whites.
Sprinkle flax seeds on your smoothie bowls or to the smoothie itself. To ensure you do not swallow them whole for better absorption, roast and powder them in a mixer and use this powder instead.
Add ground flax seeds to toasted dried coconut, garlic, chilies, and cumin seeds to make a dry chutney; add a spoonful of flaxseed powder to your oatmeal or curd bowl.
Sunflower seeds are excellent source of the fat-soluble Vitamin E; and this makes them a great choice for skin and hair health. They are also known to be beneficial for dealing with inflammation, diabetes and heart health.
There are two types of sunflower seeds, the big ones, black and white striped seeds, which are harvested from large sunflower heads, mainly for oil pressing, and smaller, peeled grey seeds, which can be lightly toasted and eaten as a snack.
Add toasted sunflower seeds to oatmeal, granola mixes and bars, sprinkle over salads or even make a sunflower seed snack all by itself by adding desi masalas during toasting the seeds.
Anybody who grew up in the India before processed food took over, will remember pumpkin seeds scooped out of their vegetable bowls and left in the sun to dry.
These were eaten as a small in-between snack, peeled and eaten raw or toasted and salted. Pumpkin seeds are packed with healthy fats, magnesium and zinc, providing protection against some cancers and risk of heart disease.
They can also help in reducing blood sugar levels.
Eat a handful of pumpkin seeds lightly toasted with salt and ghee. Sprinkle plain toasted pumpkin seeds on a bowl of creamy soup for texture.
The seeds of Chia plant are considered very beneficial for health. Its seeds are oval and are known as chia seeds. These small-looking chia seeds are full of energy and similar to ‘sabja' seeds. Even its name is derived from the word of ancient Mayan which means strength and strength. Seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids and fibers in abundance. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds not only provide nourishment to the body but also help in fighting a variety of diseases such as digestive disorders, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
They are also low-carb and high-protein seeds, making these low calorie and nutrition dense seeds a suitable choice for weight watchers.
Chia seeds absorb liquid and can be consumed after soaking them for some time. Sprinkle over smoothies for an extra crunch or soak and add to a glass of milk, flavoured water or lemonade.
We might be accustomed to spitting them out as we eat a juicy watermelon, and some people just opt for seedless. But the nutritional value of watermelon seeds may convince you otherwise.
Watermelon seeds are low in calories and are nutrient dense. When peeled and roasted, they’re crispy and can easily take the place of other unhealthy snack options.
You can make the seeds taste even better by toasting and adding a little olive oil and salt, or sprinkling them with cinnamon and a light dusting of sugar. If you prefer more flavor, you can add lime juice and chili powder, or even pepper.
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