Savor the Flavor

“Savor the Flavor” is the 2016 U.S. National Nutrition Month theme. If you have followed my blog over the years you know I usually have a theme of my own during National Nutrition month and this year is no exception. I have been thinking about nuts and seeds, in particular seeds as this group of healthy nourishment is often over looked.

If you ask most people if they eat nuts and seeds , they always mention the nuts, almonds seem to be a favorite. While nuts are great , seeds offer just as much nutrition, are more versatile and often better tolerated. This nutrition month I am going to high light seeds and the ways you can savor the flavor of these nutrient power houses.

Let’s start with sesame seeds, which are widely used in Chinese cooking, generally in the form of black sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are a fantastic source of calcium ( for all you non milk drinkers) as well as iron and magnesium both minerals that are often deficient in people maintaining a plant based diet. And you know how I feel about fiber, one ounce of sesame seeds will have a whopping 4 gm of fiber!

One ounce (28 gm) of sesame seeds provides 158 calories, most which come from fats. But before you panic the majority of fat found in sesame seeds is the heart healthy type. The other source of calories is protein, one ounce provides an unbelievable 5 gm of protein. Keep in mind an egg provides 7 gm of protein, so sesame seeds make an excellent source of protein for vegetarian eaters.

Sesame seeds are also one of the best plant sources of phytosterols. These are plant substances that have a beneficial impact on blood cholesterol levels.

So why aren’t we eating sesame seeds everyday?!

Enjoy sesame seeds in salads, cereals, stir fries, bake them into your cookies and muffins, sprinkle them on your peanut butter and remember that tahini is nothing more than sesame seed paste.

This week savor the flavor of sesame seeds!

Eat Well, Live Well, Have fun!