A Sprinkle of Sun

This week I was torn between going with an old familiar favorite and highlighting a new trend in the seed world. What the heck let’s discuss both, after all seeds are small ( I hear the groans).

Sunflower seeds show up in bread, in cookies and on salads with regularity these days. Their buttery texture and nutty flavor make them a pleasure to eat.

Unlike some of the other seeds we have discussed, sunflower seeds come with a suitcase full of vitamins, minerals, phytosterols ( natural substances important for lowering cholesterol and improving heart health) and omega 3’s.

One ounce or 28 gm. provides the body with a healthy dose of Vitamin E, magnesium, copper, iron and folate just to name a few of the many nutrients packed into these seeds. Copper, iron and folate all work together to maintain a healthy blood supply for your body.

Sunflower seeds are a very low GL food. A low GL food is one with a low glycemic load ( low GL). This means when eaten, this food will have less of an impact on your blood sugar, making sunflower seeds a good snack for people who need to control their blood glucose levels. On top of this sunflower seeds provide 2 gm of fiber per ounce. Helping you to reach that goal of 25gm of fiber per day.

Most of you could pick a sunflower seed out of the pile but what about a hemp seed?

Hemp seeds for common food consumption is a relatively new phenomena, but of course the plant has been around since the Han dynasty, which used it for making paper not butter.

Hemp seeds stand up well when in line with the other plant seeds. In 3 tablespoons ( one ounce/28 gm) there is 162 calories and a whooping 10 gm of protein. And not just any protein but all the amino  acids are present making this a plant source of a complete protein. Vegetarians and vegans out there will know how important this is as there are not many complete proteins in the vegetable world. Generally speaking only animal sources provide us with the complete set of amino acids, the building blocks your body uses to make the protein that builds muscles, shores up your immune system and are the catalysts for many of the body processes that help you digest food and make energy.

Add in the very low GL status of hemp seeds and the decent fiber content and these trendy new comers are a very healthy choice for  all eaters, meat or non.

But what do they taste like? Hemp seeds look like sesame seeds, a bit rounder and much softer in texture. There are several descriptions of the taste. I would say they have a nut-like taste, others describe it as grain-like and still others use the term earthy. I guess you will just have to try them for your self!

Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!