Nuts and seeds are positively good for you
Nuts and seeds have always been a staple food of homo sapiens, until 20th century fatThere are many different types of fats; polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, hydrogenated, saturated and trans fat. The body requires good fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) in order to… phobia kicked in. In case you didn’t know there’s never been any evidence that eating nuts or seeds is anything but positively good for you.
In our 100% Health Survey, (which you get for free when you become a 100% Health Club member) consumption of nuts and seeds was the single biggest predictor of a person’s overall health.
They reduce your risk for heart disease
Last month’s study of 25 high quality trials in the Archives of Internal Medicine, confirms that those who eat 67 grams of nuts and seeds a day, which is a small handful, have lower cholesterol with more HDL and less LDL, lower triglycerides (blood fats) and consequently a reduction in risk for cardiovascular disease.
Fantastic source of antioxidants, soluble fibre, minerals and omega 3
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of antioxidants such as vitamin EWhat it does: Acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage, including against cancer. Helps body use oxygen, preventing blood clots, thrombosis, atherosclerosis. Improves wound… and plant sterolsPlant sterols are compounds similar to cholesterol which occur in plants. They can help to prevent cholesterol being absorbed in the body…. and soluble fibres. Colder climate nuts and seeds are also rich sources of omega 3 fats. Walnut, flax and chia seeds are the best in this regard. They are also abundant in minerals. Almonds, for example, are especially high in calciumWhat it does: Promotes a healthy heart, clots blood, promotes healthy nerves, contracts muscles, improves skin, bone and dental health, relieves aching muscles and bones,…, while pumpkin seeds are a superb source of magnesiumWhat it does: Strengthens bones and teeth, promotes healthy muscles by helping them to relax, also important for PMS, important for heart muscles and nervous…. All nuts and seeds are rich in zincWhat it does: Component of over 200 enzymes in the body, essential for growth, important for healing, controls hormones, aids ability to cope with stress….
But which is the best all rounder?
My all round favourite is chia seeds. You might not have heard of them but they were a staple food of Meso-America, going back to pre-BC. But this ‘super’ food was put out of business by the Spanish catholic conquistadores since it was part of their sacred rituals and thus fell foul to the equivalent of 16th century ‘novel food’ act.
Chia seeds are nutritionally superior to flax in that they are high in omega 3, antioxidants, calcium and magnesium, and much lower in sodium. Chia oil is 64% alpha linolenic acid (omega 3) and 19% linoleic acid (omega 6), compared to flax which is 58% omega 3 and 15% omega 6.
In truth both chia and flax are excellent sources of omega 3 but chia definitely has the edge on minerals providing 631mg of calcium and 466mg of magnesium per 100 gram (flax is 199mg of calcium and 362mg of magnesium).
I have a 15 gram serving every day (a heaped dessertspoon) which gives me 100mg of calcium and 70mg of magnesium. That’s a really decent amount.
Chia is also very low in sodium (19mg versus 34mg per 100g in flax) and very high in fibreFibre is an important part of a balanced diet. There are two type of fibre; soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre helps your bowel to pass…, as is flax. Both provide soluble fibres. Both are high in proteinProteins are large molecules consisting of chains of amino acids. Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body – they are a building block of…. Chia is about 20% protein, much higher than grains, including quinoa.
Flax has some disadvantages too which probably stopped it becoming a staple food. Historically it was used more for clothing and for oil. Unlike chia is has quite a high level of anti-nutrients such as glycosides, trypsin inhibitors, phytic acid and others. I don’t want to put you off eating flax but these anti-nutrients don’t make it the ideal food in large quantities while you could literally live off chia. Chia, being very high in antioxidants, also stores for longer.
If you’ve never tried chia it has a much nicer, slightly nutty flavour than flax and tastes good on its own, added to cereal, or on salads, soups or in bread and cakes. You don’t need to grind them because their outer husk dissolves on contact with water, becoming gloopy like porridge.
Traditionally the Tarhumara Indians used to mix a heaped teaspoon in a glass of water, with a squirt of lime or lemon juice and a touch of honey. They leave it for a couple of minutes as the soluble fibre expands making a slightly gelatinous drink. This fuelled their legendary 100 mile runs.
I’m sipping it as I write and it’s remarkably pleasant. Try it. I particularly like ChiaBia’s Blueberry chia, with ground seeds and dried blueberries, and their new Apple & Cinnamon Ground chia.
You can buy them on line at www.HOLFORDirect.com.
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