Posted by admin on February 19, 2013 in Health, Personal Development, Self Improvement · 0 Comments
HJ: Just what makes seeds such
incredible foods? As the storehouse of nutrients and enzymes for
plants-to-be, seeds contain everything a plant needs to grow and thrive
in its early stages of life. They must be nutrient dense powerhouses in
order to supply seedlings with a fighting chance in the unpredictable
natural environment were they grow. As humans, we can benefit greatly
from the concentrated nutrition of seeds by regularly incorporating them
into our diet. Gram for gram, seeds are some of the most nutrient
dense foods on the planet. Typically they are quite high in minerals,
Omega 3-6-9 essential fatty acids and high quality protein, which makes
them excellent foods for anyone and especially vegans and vegetarians.
The only downside to seeds is that most of them contain phytic
acid, which slightly inhibits digestability and can make their nutrients
harder to absorb. Certain seeds such as hemp seeds, are naturally free
of phytic acid. However, as a general rule of thumb, seeds should be
sprouted and lightly toasted to increase digestibility and nutrient
bioavailability whenever possible. It is also important to obtain fresh
seeds and use them as quickly as possible, as seeds have a tendency to
go moldy quite rapidly. Furthermore, this is not mold that is visible
to the naked eye. Toasting or lightly roastingseeds helps to destroy
most of the mold.
Despite these drawbacks, seeds are incredible foods and with
minimal preparation offer outstanding health benefits that are simply
too impressive to ignore. It is highly recommended to start
incorporating them into your diet for optimal health.
The Top 10 Healthiest Seeds on Earth
By John Summerly | Prevent Disease
They come in all different sizes, shapes and colours. The seed is an
embryonic plant itself and the origin of nutrition. A plant goes to
great lengths to produce each seed and fill it with high concentrations
of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils and dormant enzymes. If
you’re looking for a high quality, nutritious and filling snack, seeds
are tough to beat. Let’s look at the ten healthiest seeds on Earth and
how to consume them.
A seed is life. It is a living food. It is impossible to eat a raw
seed and not derive nutrition. Many seeds are edible and the majority of
human calories comes from seeds, especially from legumes and nuts.
Seeds also provide most cooking oils, many beverages and spices and some
important food additives. In different seeds the seed embryo or the
endosperm dominates and provides most of the nutrients. The storage
proteins of the embryo and endosperm differ in their amino acid content
and physical properties.
How to Eat Seeds
There is only one way to derive nutrition from seeds and that is to
eat them raw. Once they are exposed to heat, they produce toxic
substances and the vitamin, mineral and essential oil profiles are
denatured. By roasting a seed, its classification moves from a living
food to a dead food. There is no seed on earth that can withstand
roasting or heating without breaking down its nutritional components.
Always remember, eat seeds naturally…eat them raw. This also means they
can be soaked, ground or mashed (i.e. tahini), especially if a seed’s
shell or coat is to difficult to pierce with the teeth.
- Choose raw and unsalted seeds
- Avoid coated or roasted seeds (HJ Note: It is best to roast the seeds yourself rather than buy them pre-roasted)
- Avoid sugar coated seeds
The 10 Healthiest Seeds on Earth
1) CHIA SEEDS
Consider these facts about Chia seeds:
- 2.5 times more protein than kidney beans
- 3 times the antioxidant strength of blueberries
- 3 times more iron than spinach
- 6 times more calcium than milk
- 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
- 8 times more omega-3 than salmon
- 10 times more fiber than rice
- 15 times more magnesium than broccoli
The seeds are loaded with vitamins and minerals, are an excellent
source of fibre, protein and antioxidants, and are the richest plant
source of omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of chia seeds could help
reduce joint pain, aid in weight loss, deliver an energy boost and
protect against serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease.
The seeds are gluten-free, which also makes them appealing to people with celiac disease or an aversion to gluten.
Consumption of chia seeds may increase blood levels of the long chain omega-3 EPA by 30%, says a new study from the Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina.
Chia seeds are a source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of
“short-chain” omega-3 fatty acid, whereas fish is a source of the
“long-chain” fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic
acid (DHA). While growing research has linked consumption of EPA and
DHA to heart health, improved brain function and possible other health
benefits such as improvement in depression or rheumatoid arthritis,
studies are now suggesting that ALA may bring about redistribution
associated with heart and liver protection.
Consumption of chia seeds as a source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) may bring about redistribution associated with heart and liver protection.
The top benefits of chia seeds are far reaching and as far as superfoods go, this is undeniably one of the top ten.
Organic Chia Seeds are available at iHerb.com
2) HEMP SEEDS
More people are discovering the nutritional benefits of hemp seed, nut and oil.
- All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
- A high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.
- Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid, if not heal, people suffering
from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the
fact that hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies
brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that
causes the body to waste away.3
- Nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more
essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil.
- A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic
Acid — for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune
- A superior vegetarian source of protein considered easily digestible.
- A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of
plants with benefits protecting your immunity, bloodstream, tissues,
cells, skin, organs and mitochondria.
- The richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.
According to the hemp growers industry, industrial hemp grown
for food, fuel and natural fibers contains virtually no THC (less than
In fact, when hemp is processed into hemp seed oil and hemp seed
milk, for example, it further reduces the minute amount of THC in hemp.
And yet, there’s still a stigma due to the long-standing idea that hemp and marijuana are one in the same. Hemp
is actually categorized with marijuana as part of the Controlled
Substances Act of 1970 and is therefore illegal to grow in the US.
The best way to insure the body has enough amino acid material to
make the globulins is to eat foods high in globulin proteins. Since hemp
seed protein is 65% globulin edistin, and also includes quantities of
albumin, its protein is readily available in a form quite similar to
that found in blood plasma. Eating hemp seeds gives the body all the
essential amino acids required to maintain health, and provides the
necessary kinds and amounts of amino acids the body needs to make human
serum albumin and serum globulins like the immune enhancing gamma
globulins. Eating hemp seeds could aid, if not heal, people suffering
from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the
fact that hemp seed was used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought
on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the
body to waste away.
Organic Hemp Seeds are available at iHerb.com
3) POMEGRANATE SEEDS
Pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants. Therefore, it helps
to protect your body’s cells from free radicals, which cause premature
In simple words, pomegranate juice pumps the level of oxygen in your
blood. The antioxidants fight free radicals and prevents blood clots.
This eventually helps the blood to flow freely in your body in turn
improving the oxygen levels in your blood.
Pomegranates are especially high in polyphenols, a form of
antioxidant purported to help reduce the risk of cancer and heart
disease. In fact, pomegranate juice, which contains health-boosting
tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid, has higher antioxidant activity
than green tea and red wine.
The pomegranate, with its edible seeds inside juicy sacs, is high in
vitamin C and potassium, low in calories (80 per serving, which is just
under one-third of a medium fruit), and a good source of fibre.
The antioxidant properties of a pomegranate prevent low-density
lipoprotein cholesterol from oxidizing. This essentially means that
pomegranates prevent the hardening of the artery walls with excess fat,
leaving your arteries fat free and pumping with antioxidants.
“Mice that drank pomegranate juice were able to significantly reduce the progression of atherosclerosis, [by] at least 30 percent,”
said study co-author Dr. Claudio Napoli, a professor of medicine and
clinical pathology at the University of Naples School of Medicine in
Pomegranate health benefits run bone deep; it can reduce the damage on the cartilage for those hit with arthritis. This fruit has the ability to lessen the inflammation and fights the enzymes that destroy the cartilage.
4) FLAX SEEDS
Dietary fiber from flaxseed suppresses rises in blood levels of lipids after a meal and modulate appetite.
University of Copenhagen researchers report that flax fiber suppresses appetite and helps support weight loss.
lax has been cultivated for centuries and has been celebrated for its
usefulness all over the world. Hippocrates wrote about using flax for
the relief of abdominal pains, and the French Emperor Charlemagne
favored flax seed so much that he passed laws requiring its consumption!
The main health benefits of flax seed are due to its rich content of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), dietary fiber, and lignans.
The essential fatty acid ALA is a powerful anti-inflammatory,
decreasing the production of agents that promote inflammation and
lowering blood levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a biomarker of
inflammation. Through the actions of the ALA and lignans, flax has been
shown to block tumor growth in animals and may help reduce cancer risk
Lignans are phytoestrogens, plant compounds that have estrogen-like
effects and antioxidant properties. Phytoestrogens help to stabilize
hormonal levels, reducing the symptoms of PMS and menopause, and
potentially reducing the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer.
The fiber in flax seed promotes healthy bowel function. One
tablespoon of whole flax seed contains as much fiber as half a cup of
cooked oat bran. Flax’s soluble fibers can lower blood cholesterol
levels, helping reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Ground flax seed provides more nutritional benefits than does the
whole seed. Grind the seeds at home using a coffee grinder or blender,
and add them to cereals, baked goods and smoothies.
Organic Sprouted Flax Seeds are available at iHerb.com
5) PUMPKIN SEEDS
They are the only seed that is alkaline-forming in this world of highly acidic diets.
Add pumpkin seeds to your list of foods rich in protein. 100 grams of
seeds on a daily basis provide 54 percent of the daily requirement in
terms of protein.
Most of us pop pills to replenish deficiency of vitamin B-complex,
try pumpkin seeds next time. Pumpkin seeds are a good source for vitamin
B like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and
For those who are down in the dumps, pumpkin seeds can help fight
through depression. The chemical component L-tryptophan is the secret
ingredient to boost your mood.
Did you know that pumpkin seeds can prevent kidney stones? Studies
suggest that pumpkin seeds can help prevent certain kidney stone
formations like calcium oxalate kidney stone.
Pumpkin seeds even hold the secret to fighting parasites, especially tapeworms.
Organic Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds are available at iHerb.com
6) APRICOT SEEDS
Apricot kernels are, like most nuts and seeds, very nutritious. Among
the nutrients they contain is one called amygdalin, which is also known
as vitamin B17. This attacks cancer cells, and thus can help prevent
cancer from breaking out in our bodies.
Amygdalin (vitamin B17) is contained in many hundreds of foods, but
ones that are particularly rich in amygdalin have disappeared to a large
extent from our Western diet. Peoples throughout the world who still
eat a traditional diet, have been found to be largely free from cancer.
These diets are rich in foods containing amygdalin.
Apart from apricot kernels, examples of other amygdalin rich foods
are bitter almonds (amygdalin tastes bitter – sweet almonds do not
contain it, and apricot kernels that are not bitter do not contain it).
Other foods containing amygdalin are apple pips, grape seeds, millet,
broad beans, most berries, cassava and many other seeds, beans, pulses
and grains – but not ones that have been highly hybridized.
For prevention, however, Dr Ernst T Krebs Jr., the biochemist who
first produced laetrile (concentrated amygdalin) in the 1950s,
recommended that if a person would eat ten to twelve apricot kernels a
day for life, then barring the equivalent of Chernobyl, he is likely to
be cancer free.
Raw Apricot Seeds are available at iHerb.com
7) SESAME SEEDS
Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man. They are
highly valued for their oil which is exceptionally resistant to
Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper,
but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron,
phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. In addition to these
important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances:sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans,
and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans,
and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in
animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative
Organic Whole Sesame Seeds are available at iHerb.com
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, the body’s
primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E travels throughout the body
neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing
structures and molecules, such as cell membranes, brain cells, and
Sesame seeds have some of the highest total phytosterol content of
seeds. Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical
structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in
sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol,
enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.
Sunflower seeds are a good source of magnesium. Numerous studies have
demonstrated that magnesium helps reduce the severity of asthma, lower
high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing
the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Organic Sprouted Sunflower Seeds are available at iHerb.com
9) CUMIN SEEDS
Cumin is a seed that has been used since antiquity. This traditional
herb is known for its health benefits and medicinal uses for hundreds of
Cumin is useful for digestive disorders and even as an antiseptic.
The seeds themselves are rich in iron and help boost the power of the
Cumin also helps relieve symptoms of common cold. If you have a sore
throat, try adding some dry ginger to cumin water, to help soothe it.
Cumin juice makes for a great tonic for the body even if you don’t
have a specific ailment. It is said to increase the heat in the body
thus making metabolism more efficient.
It is also considered to be a powerful kidney and liver herb which can help boost the immune system. It’s also believed that black cumin seeds can treat asthma and arthritis.
Organic Ground Cumin Seed Powder is available at iHerb.com
10) GRAPE SEEDS
Grape seeds have a great concentration of vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid and polyphenols.
Grape seed extract may prevent heart diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
By limiting lipid oxdation, phenolics in grape seeds may reduce risk of
heart disease, such as by inhibiting platelet aggregation and reducing
A study published in the journal Carcinogenesis shows that grape seed extract (GSE) kills squamous cell carcinoma cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Grape seeds may even reduce the infectivity of Norovirus surrogates according to research published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Grape Seed Extract is available at iHerb.com
John Summerly is
nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner. He is a leader
in the natural health community and consults athletes, executives and
most of all parents of children on the benefits of complementary
therapies for health and prevention.
Thanks to: http://www.thehealersjournal.com