All you need to know about healthy seeds and grains
April 26, 2017
A new month is fast approaching. Did you have an enjoyable weekend? Hopefully you got out and did something active that made you feel good? If you’ve had a high intake food then do your best to get back into the zone and on the right path for the week.
Hopefully you’re feeling motivated for some exercise and I’m looking forward to catching up with those of you who are booked in.
Today’s Topic This week we are looking at a few healthy seeds and grains that are talked about more and more these days.
I’m sure you’ve spotted out in the shops a whole range of “seeds and grains”. Some fairly easy to incorporate into your daily diet but others a little more confusing maybe? Do you add them to salads or your porridge, do you toast them or activate them?
I’ll shed some light on a chosen few and their benefits.
Flax Seeds: Also known as linseeds. Flaxseeds contain omega 3 – fatty acids and are high in fibre. They can help lower blood cholesterol, help you feel fuller for longer and stabiles your blood sugar levels. It comes in brown or golden – both are equally nutritional.
Pumpkin Seeds: Packed with protein, B vitamins, magnesium, iron and zinc these little pups contain the amino acid tryptophan which increase the production of sleep hormones. They are delicious lightly toasted in a dry frying pan.
Sunflower seeds: These contain vitamin E, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can help promote healthy skin and hair. They are rich in protein and heart healthy fats.
Chia Seeds: Packed with fibre these small seeds provide a delicious texture to smoothies, juices and porridge. They are important for digestive health and keep you feeling fuller for longer. They also contain all nine essential amino acids plus omega 3 (the good fat known to improve heart health). They also boast high levels of vitamins and minerals. Either black or white they are both equally nutritious.
Wheatgerm: This grain food is the tiny, nutrient dense centre of the wheat kernel. Packed with B vitamins which are important in helping your body obtain energy from food and they are high in fibre so again great for digestive health.
Oats: This popular grain is full of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a healthy and functioning body. Oats contain 6 of the 8 B vitamins which help convert food into fuel. They also contain beta-glucan, a type of carbohydrate known to improve blood glucose control and cholesterol levels. These grains can be filling due to a high fibre content and you must choose naturally processed whole oats – not the ground up, dusty ones. They are useful for breakfast cereal, porridge, overnight oats or muesli, breakfast bowls or smoothies.
Quinoa Flakes: Highly nutritious and made from pressed quinoa. With the same benefits as whole quinoa it’s completely gluten free and they contain all of the 9 amino acids. Use them as you would oats; in muesli or porridge or smoothie bowls.
Rice Flakes: Very similar to quinoa flakes .They are rice grains that have been steamed, then rolled and dried. I’d recommend wholegrain or brown versions as they contain more fibre, vitamins and minerals. Like regular rice they are free from gluten and can be used as an alternative to oats.
Buckwheat: The edible grain-like seeds of the buckwheat plant are used in similar ways to oats, rice and quinoa. They contain rutin which can help normal blood flow and blood clotting and magnesium which can help the relaxation of blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. Together these nutrients promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Buckwheat is also gluten free despite the name.
Fitness Fact of the week Walk yourself out of that mood. Studies have shown even a 10 minute walk can immediately boost your brain chemistry to increase happiness.