Super Seeds

Chia, Flax and Quinoa… it’s been said that these tiny seeds are the next big thing in nutrition. If you have ever searched for a healthy smoothie recipe or healthy breakfast recipe, chances are you will find at least one of these seeds listed in the ingredients. So, why is there so much hype around these “super seeds” and how do we know which ones to include in our diets?

Seeds have been deemed “nutritional powerhouses” by health experts and for a good reason. All three of these seeds are packed with healthy oils, fiber, disease-fighting minerals and enzymes, antioxidants, and proteins. Each one of these tiny wonders has its own unique nutritional value and can be easily incorporated into just about any recipe without changing its taste or texture.

chia seeds

 

Chia Seeds

What is it? 

– You many have heard of them first as the seeds that grow toy Chia pets, but Chia seeds are actually an ancient super foods used by Aztec warriors to increase energy and stamina on the battlefield.

Why is it good for you?

-In addition to being an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, and protein, Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids. 1 tablespoon delivers a whopping 5 grams of fiber (and only 60 calories) along with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

You must try it!

-Blend into a smoothie, sprinkle on oatmeal or add the crunchy, nutty seeds to quick bread and muffin batters. I have this perfect breakfast in a jar recipe which incorporates chia seeds and its quick, healthy yet yummy!

flax-seed-bowl

Flax seeds

What is it?

– This seed comes from the flax plant and has been celebrated from centuries for its health benefits by the people all over world.

Why is it good for you?

– Flax seeds are rich in Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid and powerful anti-inflammatory. Some studies show that due to their anti-inflammatory properties, flax seeds may help to prevent heart disease and reduce certain types of cancers. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, lignans, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, among other nutrients. Adding 30 to 50 grams of flax seeds to your diet for at least four weeks might reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol by up to 14 percent, according to preliminary research.

You must try!

– Use a spice grinder to crush the seeds, then toss into pancake batter or bake 1 tablespoon into cookies. You can also incorporate flax seeds into cereals, yogurt, breads. Sky is the limit!

quinoa

Quinoa seeds

What is it?

– Quinoa is a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa  is a pseudo-cereal, as it is not a member of the true grass family, but is closely related to spinach.

Why is it good for you?

– Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. 1 cup of cooked Quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, plus you get a side of cancer-fighting antioxidants. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Quinoa contains iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin (B2).

You must try!

– Substitute for rice in your next stir-fry, or mix some in a salad. To avoid bitterness, rinse it well before cooking. You can also incorporate Quinoa in baking breads, soups, veggie burgers.

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