The benefits of ‘bird food’
It’s not just for the birds! Seeds can add wonderful flava to your life. They make a fantastic and healthy snack by the handful and can add great texture to your meals. Here are some of our favourite seeds:
Nutty-tasting poppy seeds contain minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc. Used mostly in sweet and savoury baking. Toast the seeds to bring out their flavour. Do this in a dry pan, but be careful not to burn them.
Chia is grown in South America from a plant in the mint family. Now widely available, chia seeds shouldn’t be dismissed as a fad. They contain antioxidants, omega-3 acids and dietary fibre, which will help to keep your heart and digestive system healthy.
Pumpkin seeds are a source of zinc – important for a healthy immune system and skin. They also offer useful amounts of vitamin E. They can be used in cooking and also make a moreish healthy snack.
These seeds contain copper, magnesium and iron, and are a useful source of calcium for people who can’t eat dairy.
Flaxseed (linseed) is a good source of omega-3, fibre, protein, magnesium and vitamin B1. Best eaten in a ground form (it’s easier to digest), flaxseed is a great ingredient to use in baking, sprinkled over cereal or blended in smoothies.
These seeds contain useful amounts of thiamine (vitamin B1), copper and iron. One heaped tablespoon provides about one-fifth of your recommended intake of magnesium, which helps the body convert energy from food into the energy we can use.