Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What I found out about flax and pumpkin seeds!

I've had my breakfast: 1 whole segmented orange, 1 banana, 1/2 cup berries, 1/4 cup oatmeal (cooked in under 1'30 seconds in the microwave), some protein powder and 1 tbsp. ground flax seed. I've already had 2 cups of coffee (organic and fair-trade)....While I ate my food and waited for my tummy satiated and the caffeine  kick in, I read one of my nutrition books. I found out great things about a couple of my favorite seeds... 
  • Flax seeds:
  1.  are an excellent source of omega-3 (I already knew that, but it feels good to read about something you already know :);
  2. studies have shown that the risk of heart attacks is reduced by eating flax seed,
  3. are a great source of fiber, soluble and insoluble, so you must up your daily water intake when adding flax seed to your diet so that your body can discard anything that is not necessary;
  4. should be kept in the freezer or they will go rancid! So I ran to the kitchen and put my huge ground flax seed  bag (from Costco) in the freezer!
In baking or cooking, ground flax seed also  serves as a binder, like egg whites do. When you add some water or liquid to it, the consistency turns that of egg-white. I add flax seed to my morning oatmeal, everyday (to get my omega-3!), but I make sure I add it right before I start eating it, otherwise my food gets all gooey.

  • Pumpkin seeds:
 I also found out that pumpkin seeds also go in the freezer or 'fridge! Since my freezer is kinda small, I placed by pumpkin seed (in an air-tight container) in the refrigerator. Wow, I did not know that! I eat pumpkin seeds daily because they're a great source of iron, vitamin E, zinc, protein, copper, manganese and magnesium - all of which we benefit from, in particular, for me because I engage in  vigorous physical activity six days a week. It is a myth that you can only get iron from red-meat - just eat 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds and other foods, like spinach for your nutritional needs :-)

Each night, I soak 1/8 cup (about 2 tbsp.) pumpkin seeds and 1/8 cup sunflower seeds in water and in the morning I add it to my salads, which I have for lunch every day. Just soaking nuts and seeds for 20 minutes is just as good. Soaking nuts and seeds provides great benefits, such as 1) allowing your body to better absorb the enzymes, 2) increase the vitamin absorption, and 3) are easier to digest.

I like to think of 'inclusion' - the inclusion of good, nutritious, wholesome foods into our diets. This will leave less room for the bad stuff. Have fun soaking and eating raw nuts and seeds!




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