Kitchen Tips

Spotlight on seeds

They may be tiny, but these seeds are heavy-hitters in the nutritional stakes. We showcase their many talents.

Cumin
A flowering Apiaceae plant native also known as zeera.
Sizzle cumin seeds in oil and add to basmati rice or pop into bread and biscuit batter. The health kick... Considered a ‘warming’ spice, cumin is known to boost blood circulation, improve the flow of oxygen and assist digestion. Add this high-in-iron seed to your diet to help maintain adequate haemoglobin levels if you’re of child-bearing age. Good amounts of oxygen and iron are vital for the brain and help reduce cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Sesame
The seed of a flowering plant in the genus sesamum family.
Sprinkle on Asian cuisine, add to trail mix, or toast in the oven and toss into salads.
The health kick... The antioxidants in sesame seeds fight free radicals, promote youthfulness and improve bone health. These teeny-tiny seeds are packed with essential minerals including manganese, copper, iron and calcium which boosts red blood cell production and regulates the activity of cardiac muscle, ie the muscles in your heart. High in vitamin E, sesame seeds play a lead role in fighting disease.
Pumpkin
The edible seeds of a pumpkin or squash. typically flat, light green or beige.
Add to salad, savoury baking and bread.
The health kick... A cup of pumpkin seeds contains the daily recommended amount of magnesium, which has been proven to benefit blood pressure and help prevent cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke. High in zinc, these seeds are great for men as they help support prostrate health. Rich in tryptophan, try eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed to help promote a restful night’s sleep.
Chia
A species of flowering plant from the mint family.
Use it as a substitute for eggs and bread-crumbs or soak chia seeds to make a healthy pudding. The health kick... Incredibly healthy and versatile, chia seeds are gluten free and contain more calcium then a glass of milk. Chia seeds are packed with vital nutrients such as fibre to assist in the body’s bowel movements, helping to prevent constipation. They’re also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids to protect against cardiovascular disease. High in protein, chia seeds are a weight-loss friendly macronutrient and can drastically reduce appetite and cravings.
Flaxseed
Also known as linseed, flaxseed is a food and fibre crop grown in cooler regions.
Add to baking, breakfast cereal or combine with mustard for a delicious spread. The health kick... Flaxseed is a rich source of lignans, which the body converts into substances that help balance female hormones, reduce pre-menopausal symptoms and help lower the risk of breast cancer. Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acid, which fights against deadly inflammation which can cause arthritis, asthma and diabetes.
Pomegranate seeds
The inside arils of pomegranate fruit.
Add to baking, juices and smoothies, or sprinkle on salad. The health kick... Low in calories and rich in antioxidants, these crunchy red morsels are effective in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. High in vitamin C, they aid the body’s immune system, promote healthy gums and enhance iron absorption.
Sunflower seeds
The fruit kernel found in a sunflower.
Add to stir-fries, muesli, salads and pasta or knead into dough. The health kick... The high levels of vitamin E in these seeds will keep your skin glowing and youthful while combating UV rays. They prevent bad cholesterol from sticking to the artery walls, decreasing the chances of a heart attack or stroke. If you’re feeling anxious, add sunflower seeds to your diet. The high levels of magnesium are ideal for soothing tension and encouraging relaxation.
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