Seeds of Change
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Seeds have great health benefits. Their high nutrient content shouldn’t be surprising because seeds are “eggs” that contain the nutrients needed to nourish a new plant. We often use these nutritional wonders as an occasional snack. Making them a regular part of our diet has the potential of benefiting us even more.
Sesame seeds are a source of the bone-building mineral calcium. This is wonderful news for those who have trouble tolerating dairy products or who avoid them completely due to health concerns.
Flax seeds provide several positive dietary factors. They are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants such as lignin, and other fibers, all of which are good for our bodies. Ground flax seeds have the potential to help with heart disease, cancer, high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, ADHD, memory loss, weight problems, inflammation, eczema, acne, itchy dry skin, hives, constipation, menopause/PMS and even depression.
Very little benefit is obtained from eating whole flax seed because it passes right through the intestinal tract without being broken down enough to release many of the beneficial elements contained within. Adding freshly ground flax seed is the best way to include it in your diet. It can be sprinkled on cereal or used in baking. A coffee grinder works nicely to physically break the seeds down and release the beneficial components. Flax seed oil and ground flax seed get rancid quickly and require special care to maintain some of the healthy components. They should be refrigerated in dark, airtight containers for the longest shelf life. It is also recommended that an individual limit his or her intake of ground flax seed to two tablespoons per day because it contains small amounts of cyanide. A small amount of this element will not cause any problems, but large amounts can significantly interfere with oxygen binding to hemoglobin in your blood. If you stick with the recommended amounts there will be no problems, and you can enjoy its many health benefits.