Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

The Seeds Of Life

Plant an acorn and you get an oak tree. Scatter a pack of lettuce seed and you can look forward to weeks of delicious fresh salads. But seeds aren’t just for planting – you can eat them too, and they really are one of nature’s miracles.

I regard seeds as ’future foods’, each one a tiny powerhouse of nutrition that contains everything essential for the growth of a healthy new plant. You may already throw a few sesame seeds into the wok to add flavour to a stir-fry, mix sunflower seeds with your muesli for that extra nutty taste, or sprinkle sunflower seeds into a salad for their crunchy texture. But they deserve far better treatment than that.

If you want to boost your daily nutrition, reduce your risks of high cholesterol, heart disease, anaemia and osteoporosis, and give your energy levels a healthy shot in the arm, simply add a selection of seeds to your daily food and grow your own sprouting seeds.

Poppy seeds
Great in all cake and biscuit recipes, in or on top of home made bread, even added to stews and stir fries, the unique flavour of poppy seeds comes together with masses of calcium and potassium, lots of iron and zinc and a modest amount of vitamin E.

Pumpkin seeds
These have a taste all of their own and eaten as a snack, raw or toasted, they’re an excellent source of slow release energy full of the heart friendly monounsaturated fats and an extremely good source of zinc – a mineral which is worryingly below the necessary levels in most people’s diets in the UK. Zinc is vital for the production of healthy sperm and also for the protection of the prostate gland. Have the seeds in salads and sandwiches as well as health boosting nibbles.

Sesame seeds
Used for centuries in the Middle and Far East where they’re renowned as aphrodisiacs thanks to their high vitamin E content. They’re also extremely rich in calcium, a good source of iron and supply some B vitamins. Their distinctly nutty flavour is an essential ingredient in Asian food where they’re traditionally added to stir fries. In the Middle East they’re made into tahini – like a thinner version of peanut butter – but they’re also delicious lightly toasted in a dry pan and sprinkled into salads, sandwiches, and combined into bread before baking.

Sunflower seeds
The ancient Incas worshipped the sunflower as a holy plant and used its seeds as part of their staple diet. They’re a useful source of iron and zinc and an excellent source of selenium, another mineral for which most people fail to get even half the necessary daily amount. Selenium protects men against prostate cancer, women against breast cancer and everyone against heart disease. Like the other seeds you can add them to salads, savoury dishes, bread recipes, stir fries or just eat them by the handful.

All the seeds are an excellent source of protein and as well as being a great addition to everyone’s diet, they’re extremely important for their protein and mineral content for vegetarians and vegans.



 

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