These 5 Super Seeds are some of the best-kept nutrition secrets – and you need to make them a daily habit.
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, recharge your immune system, boost your nutrient stores, increase your healthy fat intake, or even stave off cancer, these super seeds may be small but they pack a mighty punch!
In our hectic, fast-paced lifestyles, it can be hard to find the time to prepare healthy snacks to take with us on the go. And, when we face an illness that zaps all the energy we have, we need something quick and easy to grab that helps us on the journey to building better health.
Full of healthy fats and packed with vitamins and minerals, these 5 immune boosting, health promoting, and weight loss stimulating super seeds have all you’re looking for – and so much more.
Apricot Kernels – A Powerful Anti-Cancer Ally
At the center of this stone fruit lies an important anti-cancer tool – the apricot seed, also known as the kernel. This bitter super seed contains a powerful plant compound called amygdalin, which is toxic to cancer cells but harmless to our own healthy cells.
Cancer cells contain a substance called beta-glucosidase, an enzyme that “unlocks” the amygdalin in the apricot kernels and releases 2 powerful plant compounds that target and destroy the cancer cells. These same two toxic compounds stay locked in our own cells because of an enzyme we produce that won’t let the amygdalin be broken down.
But cancer isn’t the only disease that apricot kernels fight against. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, they are used to detox the digestive system and reduce inflammation, which in turn supports overall digestion and relieves joint pain. As part of this detox process, it sets off a chain reaction of enzymes that lowers blood pressure. Apricot kernels also stimulate the immune system to fight infections, and cause a cascade of enzymes that interact with your microbiome and help with detox.
Apricot kernels should be bitter for the best health benefits, and should not be eaten while taking high dose Vitamin C. Experts recommend starting with 3 raw kernels daily and increasing gradually. Nausea, fever, lethargy, confusion, headaches, rash, insomnia and increased thirst may happen when an excessive amount of apricot kernels are being eaten and are signs to watch for that indicate your body may be experiencing symptoms of poisoning.
Black Sesame Seeds – Small but Mighty and Mineral Rich Super Seeds
You might be surprised to learn that the small white seeds that dot the tops of fast food buns pack quite a nutritional punch. And when the black hulls are left on, they become even more nutrient-rich. High in fiber, Omega 6 essential fats, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, black sesame seeds have anti-aging and anti-cancer properties, stabilize blood pressure, boost energy, relieve constipation and indigestion, and keep bones strong.
Black sesame seeds are best eaten either when they’ve been soaked overnight or the hulls have been cracked. One delicious way to do this is to lightly toast the seeds, then mix with a coarse, natural salt in a grinder to enhance the flavor of all your savory foods.
Hemp Hearts – The Vegetarian Power Protein
With more than 25 percent of their calorie count coming from complete protein and 30 percent essential fats, hemp seeds – commonly known as hemp hearts – are a mainstay of many vegetarian diets. Their Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio is 3:1, which is considered the ideal ratio to consume. They are rich in GLA, a healthy fat that stimulates your fat-burning metabolism, calms skin conditions, helps balance hormones, and reduces your risk of heart disease.
These potent super seeds contain not only significant amounts of the amino acids cysteine, methionine, arginine and glutamate, but also vitamin E and a wide variety of minerals, including sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc and sulfur. The health benefits of hemp hearts are preserved whether eaten raw, roasted, or cooked. Hempseed oil has the same health benefits as the whole hearts do.
Pomegranate Seeds – Anti-Inflammatory Jewels
These beautiful little red gems are rich in a variety of polyphenols and antioxidants, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber. Pomegranate seeds also have anti-tumor properties and are particularly effective against breast and prostate cancers. They are heart protective, boost immunity, enhance memory, reduce arthritis pain, lower blood pressure, and increase blood flow to reduce erectile dysfunction issues.
Pomegranate seeds are a delicious sweet treat by themselves, but also add flavor to salads and make a beautiful garnish. The juice can be added to smoothies for both color and flavor.
Pumpkin Seeds – Potent Parasite Fighters
Packed with fiber and protein, and rich in riboflavin, folate, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and phosphorus, these tasty little green pepitas are rich in antioxidants and protect against a variety of diseases – especially in men. Pumpkin seeds support healthy testosterone levels, prostate health, and fertility in men. They also have been shown to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels and blood pressure while increasing nitric oxide levels, which is heart protective.
A diet rich in pumpkin seeds reduces the risk of breast, lung, stomach, colon and prostate cancers. If you have trouble with insomnia, the tryptophan in pumpkin seeds may help improve your sleep. These antioxidant and anti-inflammatory little powerhouses are also anti-parasitic and excellent colon cleansers.
Pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw, roasted, soaked and sprouted. They are tasty on their own as a snack, but are also delicious mixed into soups and smoothies.