Table of Contents
- 1 Chia, flax, sesame seeds … is it necessary to introduce them into your diet?
- 1.1 The seeds
- 1.2 How to take them
- 1.3 Final tip
Chia seeds, flax, sesame … is it necessary to introduce them into your diet?
The consumption of seeds is increasing more and more but there are those who still do not know what they really are, what they contribute or if they should introduce them into their diet. To clear up doubts and clarify ideas, I am going to explain the nutritional properties of each of them so you can decide for yourself whether to start adding them to your dishes or not.
We could say, broadly speaking, that the seeds are a source of quality proteins and fats, as well as rich in various minerals depending on the type. All of them are very versatile since they accept almost any preparation and intake. We can add them to the yogurt for breakfast, to the toast with avocado in the morning, to the salad at lunch or to the cream of vegetables at night. Even make us puddings as a snack between meals. So we just need to know which one is best for us, based on its characteristics. Although it is by varying them that we will achieve an adequate supply of all its nutrients. Let’s see them one by one.
- Chia seeds . They are rich in protein, like all of them, but in the case of chia it is quality protein. It also contains zinc to strengthen our immune system, selenium that has antioxidant power, iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus among the most abundant minerals.
- Sesame seeds . They are rich in unsaturated fats and also have a high amount of proteins of vegetable origin. It provides a good amount of vitamin E and B vitamins that help the central nervous system function. Among the minerals, its high calcium content stands out above the others and to a lesser extent, it has phosphorus, iron and magnesium.
- Flax seeds. They are very rich in omega 3 fatty acids , ideal for taking care of our cardiovascular health. They are also rich in vitamin C and E with strong antioxidant power and contain minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. The most appreciable thing about this seed is its richness in soluble fiber that helps reduce blood glucose and cholesterol while being a great weapon to reverse constipation and take care of the health of the intestine.
- Sunflower seeds. Or the classic sunflower seeds, they are rich in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are also rich in fiber and stand out for their potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium content, as well as their richness in folic acid. These micronutrients are essential for the functioning of the nervous and muscular systems of the organism.
- Pumpkin seeds. They are very rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and have a large number of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A and E. It is very rich in fiber so it also helps to reduce blood cholesterol and prevent intestinal malfunction.
How to take them
As I said before, we can take them in almost any preparation, but in what quantity? The consumption ration is one or two tablespoons a day (about 20-50 grams), so we can take one or two daily servings of each of them, if we want. Although what is really important here is not “how much” but “how”.
The seeds are covered by a layer that our body is unable to break. For this reason it is necessary to break this layer mechanically from the outside. How? We have several options:
- Soak them: put them in a liquid medium: water, milk, vegetable drink … and leave them for a couple or three hours. You will see that a kind of gel / jelly forms.
- Crush them. Crush them in a mortar or mash them with a kitchen utensil. You will mechanically break its outer layer and the nutrients can be absorbed by the body.
- Shred them. By turning them into powder, you are providing the nutrients directly to your body.
- Toast them. By toasting them in a pan (with or without oil) you can also break up that layer, thanks to the heat of the fire.
If you eat them raw, without processing them in any of these ways, all they will do is travel all over your body, and you can even see them intact in your stool. You will not have absorbed a single nutrient.
Do you know tahini? It is a different way of eating sesame seeds, in the form of a cream. Great for your breakfast toast or to make a delicious hummus!