The Ultimate Superfoods: Nuts and Seeds

Go nuts! Yes, absolutely reach for nuts and seeds if you want to control hunger pangs, reduce visible signs of aging, and dramatically decrease risks of cancers, diabetes, and heart disease!  Nuts and seeds, known to be high in fat and oil, have beneficial omega, fatty acids, vitamins E and B6, essential amino acids, and minerals, such as copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, and zinc.

Consumption Timeline

As thoughts turn to food, whether it’s between meals or late in the evening, enjoy a handful of raw, unsalted nuts and seeds.  They’ll provide a feeling of fullness.

And add nuts to regular meals.

  • Did you know nuts can replace flour and breadcrumbs, while adding flavor and health benefits?
  • Add a tablespoon of chopped almonds over your oatmeal.
  • Consider sprinkling sunflower seeds , pumpkin seeds, or walnuts over a lunch or dinner salad.
  • Research recipes which include nuts and seeds, such as a hazelnut-encrusted grilled salmon fillet, sweet potato, hemp seed dip, or a chia- seed sandwich.

Fact:  The thin brown, papery layer coating almonds and peanuts is rich in antioxidant polyphenols. Peeling away alters the valuable health benefits.

The Best Nuts!

Pistachios: Struggling to sleep at night?  Pistachios contain melatonin, a natural hormone the body needs to regulate sleep-and-wake-cycles.  That’s not the only benefit. It also contains vitamin B6, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and thiamine, which aids blood sugar, blood vessel health, cholesterol, gut bacteria, and weight loss.  Before bed, eat a handful!

Almonds:  Just a small handful packs roughly six grams of protein, almost four grams of fiber, 37 percent of vitamin E, and 19% of magnesium.  Studies conclude that eating almonds improves cholesterol levels and reduces inflammation in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Tip: Roasting almonds does not alter the nutritional value. Enjoy the added crunch!

Fact:  Processed nuts and seeds possess fewer antioxidants: choose raw nuts in the shell when possible.

The Power of Super Seeds

Small does not imply “lacking” in any way.  Super seeds deliver protein, fiber, antioxidants, and dozens of vitamins and minerals.  Consider soaking seeds in water! As liquids are absorbed from your digestive tract, they immediately stabilize blood sugar levels.

Chia:  As a member of the mint family, this protein-enriched seed fueled runners and warriors of the Aztec Empire with plenty of energy.  Just two tablespoons offer 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.  Whether drunk straight or blended in with a smoothie, chia seeds can contribute to strong bones and tide a person over hunger pangs!

Fact:  Chia oil is an ingredient which can heal and moisturize the skin!

Quinoa: Each grain, in black, brown, red, yellow, and white, has a distinct flavor.  Pronounced phonetically as “keen-wa,” it’s widely used as a cereal or food grain and has a texture described as “light and nutty.” Belonging to the spinach family, one cup of cooked quinoa offers eight grams of plant-based protein and five grams of dietary fiber.  It’s an ideal substitute for animal products, such as cow’s milk and meat.  Quinoa porridge will not cause an allergic reaction in babies; therefore, consider placing a mashed banana or sweet potato in it, and serve!

Pumpkin: We often dismiss the edible seeds of pumpkin fruit; yet, they offer a powerhouse of nutrients, from copper and magnesium, to zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.  Just a quarter cup provides a rich source of B Complex vitamins and a whole host of minerals.  Buy it in bulk and freeze; then consider making pork pumpkin stew, pumpkin bread, scones, or pancakes.

Tip:  Plant seeds in June for a late October harvest, and remember to water often!  Each pumpkin will produce 500 seeds!

If you’ve heard of fish oil, but not flax seed, it’s worth the time to learn about the many benefits of its healing powers, as it restores the body inside and out.  Supplements are available with a long list of advantages, from preventing hangnails and hair loss, to aiding digestion and balancing hot flashes.  Flax seed—one more superfood to add to the list!


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