Thursday, March 1, 2012

Seeds and Dinner

Some of us have been thinking about gardening. In fact, Alice will be spending all day Saturday in gardening classes. One of the classes she'll be taking is seed saving, and this got us to thinking about dinner.

What's the connection? Well, seeds don't just belong in the garden, they belong at the dinner table as well. Pumpkin seeds (toasted), sesame seeds, flaxseeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds are loaded with nutrients and are such good additions to the dinner salad. Just look at these health benefits:

PUMPKIN: They're a rich source of healthy minerals, protein, and mono-saturated fat (the good fat). They help protect against arthritis because of their anti-inflammatory benefits, and their phytosterols lower cholesterol. The latest research shows they also protect against prostate cancer.

SESAME: These are rich in copper (provides relief for rheumatoid arthritis), calcium (a bone builder that also prevents colon cancer, migraines, and PMS), magnesium (supports vascular and respiratory health), and zinc (like calcium, also prevents osteoporosis).

FLAXSEEDS: High in omega 3s, this seed also has anti-inflammatory benefits. And research says flaxseed protects against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

POPPY SEEDS: This teensy black seed is another rich source of calcium, these seeds are also rich in iron, copper, manganese, potassium, zinc, and magnesium. They're also a rich source of B-complex vitamins.

CARAWAY: A little goes a long way with this seed. They are known to aid digestion and scientists have found smelling them can soothe migraine headaches. Who knew?

SUNFLOWER: Their phytosterols lower cholesterol; their magnesium calms nerves; and their selenium helps with detoxification and helps prevent cancer.

CHIA: Not just for that goofy "pet" we used to water and set in our kitchen windowsill, this seed is the highest plant-based source of omega 3s. It is naturally gluten-free and is a rich source of dietary fiber.

With all this in mind, here's an idea: How about setting out little bowls of these various seeds when serving salad, and encourage family members to generously sprinkle them over their greens? This is a simple and fun way to effectively boost the nutrition levels of at least part of the meal. We also add them to our morning green drinks and smoothies (a LITTLE chia or flaxseed truly does go a long way here--they will thicken your drink in no time flat!).

So until next time, here's to family dinner made easy as we serve up a few seeds at the table!


  1. Amazing and helpful information! Thanks for sharing it all :D

  2. Thanks for reading and supporting our efforts Kristin!