We talked about the importance of legumes and whole grains in this century, and we have no more than follow the interesting tour of this wonderful book titled Healthy Food for the Twenty-first Century, by Laura Kohan, where we are, in third chapter, with friends more specks of food but with great health benefits: the seeds.
What is a seed?
The seed (seed) is the small body that is part of a fruit and that has the ability to give life to a new plant. The seeds are produced in the plant by the maturation of an egg from a gymnosperm or an angiosperm. A seed contains an embryo that can develop, but also contains a source of stored food and is wrapped in a protective cover.
How many types of seeds are there?
There are many different types of seed. This sunflower seed, pumpkin, flax, rice, beans, peanuts, sesame, millet, pepper, melon, watermelon, canary seed, oats, wheat, apple, etc. Most seeds can be edible, although there are some which stand out because they are powerful source of nutrients and special agents to combat many diseases. For example, flax seed, which, as Laura Kohan explains in his book, "... in the past two years has attracted much interest in the scientific community, through the effects of gamma-linolenic acid, which is thousands of articles in medical publications on its applications in health. These effects are found, for example, its power to reduce swelling in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. "
Essential nutrients in the seeds
Among the main components of the seed, we find that some of them have a high concentration of phytosterols, a plant lipids that are emerging as important agents to combat cholesterol, strengthen defenses and reduce the risk of infections and infectious diseases, and catch all kinds of cancers. The seeds are considered today as the queens of phytosterols.
What are the most recommended seed in the diet?
Among the most important seed for the human diet, we can find the ones that we recommend Laura Kohan (and with good reason) in his book:
Flax seed (linseed): the word "flax means something like" most useful ", which already gives references to its high nutritional value. Flax seeds are noted for their great power laxative and is very useful for the health of the colon, intestines and digestive tract. These seeds are excellent for deep cleanse, fight constipation and a host of diseases that result from intestinal malfunction. They are also excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which enhance the health of the heart and cardiovascular system, help to reduce harmful cholesterol in the blood. Also, flax seeds are recommended for women who are menopausal, as they are rich source of fiotoestrógenos, which help to soften the impact at this stage, as well as help a good regulation of ovulation, important to take account for women who want to be mothers. Flax seeds you can use them in the kitchen in a variety of dishes, from desserts, sauces and others, even water!
Sesame: this tiny little seed has high levels of calcium and zinc, so they are highly recommended for people with osteoporosis, children growing and for pregnant or lactating. They are also a rich source of manganese and copper, and two unique substances, the sesamin and sesamolín, which, among other things, protect the liver. It is a seed with the highest rate of phytosterols.
Sunflower Seeds: These tiny seeds come from one of the most striking and beautiful flower: sunflower. This flower is an oil with excellent health properties when it is cold pressed and not refined or hydrogenated. In addition to this oil, extracted from the plant is one of the more energetic there are seeds, sunflower seeds, which are rich in vitamin E, vitamin B1, magnesium and selenium.
Pumpkin Seeds: used in many Mexican dishes, as well as moles and dishes used with them is produced a famous sweet pumpkin seeds which, besides being delicious, is very nutritious and healthy. Pumpkin seeds are excellent for treating arthritis or inflammation problems, as they have anti-inflammatory properties. It is also good to combat intestinal parasites. They are rich in minerals and ideal in the diets of people with anemia, children, athletes, etc. Besides all this, are antidepressant!
In addition to these seeds, in the book of Laura Kohan * you can find other seeds such as hemp seed, fennel, angelica, cardomomo, cumin, mustard, anise, coriander, celery, dill, etc., Which are also very beneficial for health, but often discard the diet that we do not know or use. But do not worry about this, that Laura will give cooking tips, explain the proper way to nclude in the diet and also find some delicious recipes with seeds.
Meanwhile, here I leave you a delicious recipe for sweet pumpkin with sesame seeds:
• 4 cups pumpkin seeds, shelled
• 1 cup sesame seeds
• 2 pounds of brown sugar (brown sugar)
• Grated or cut into pieces 1 pint
• 4 cups water
1. Line a baking dish with parchment paper 13x9 inches or waxed paper; reservation. Toast pumpkin seeds in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat 3 to 5 minutes, or until the seeds explode, shaking the pan occasionally to move the seeds. Cool. Put them in a food processor or large mortar. Add sesame seeds; process until the pumpkin seeds to break, but no teeth. Set aside.
2. Mix the brown sugar or brown sugar and water in a large heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cook, stirring frequently, until the brown sugar is completely dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 245 ° F on a candy thermometer, or until dropping a drop of brown sugar syrup in cold water, it forms a firm but pliable ball.
3. Add seed mixture: mix well. Pour immediately into the baking dish you have prepared. Cool completely. Cut into bars the size you want and go!