By Erika Long, Health & Wellness Contributor
Superheroes have special powers, gadgets, and alliances, but what do we mere mortals have? How can we tap into our fullest potential? The answer is superseeds. These seeds are nutritious, delicious, inexpensive and may be the key to superhuman vitality.
These amazing little gems allow our bodies to absorb a powerful punch of protein, healthy fats and essential minerals in a small, convenient package. Nutritionally, consuming seeds are like bounding a building in a single leap.
To get the most out of every bite, look at adding these three seeds: hemp, flax and chia seeds, to your daily regimen.
To have superstrength, we need the muscle power built by consuming complete proteins. Much like how there is light, medium and dark roast coffee, when it comes to seeds, they don’t all have the same quality protein. If you are looking for the best protein source, hemp seeds are the clear winner.
Also known as hemp hearts, these seeds provide a complete protein source as they are comprised of nine essential amino acids. When the body consumes all nine essential amino acids that it can convert it into whatever type of protein it requires, ranging from insulin and collagen to enzymes and antibodies. It is, in essence, the “perfect” protein because of its versatility.
Additionally, hemp is the most protein you can get per ounce. Chia, flax, and hemp contain four, six, and nine grams of protein per ounce, respectively. One handful of hemp seeds, a crunchy snack alternative with a nutty-flavor, packs more protein power than one ounce of red meat or chicken at five and six grams of protein per ounce, respectively.
On top of that, these seeds are low carb. Hemp seeds with their nine grams of protein contain only three grams of carbs while the average protein shake will have two to three times the amount of carbs for the same protein content.
Good fat or great fat?
Besides protein and carbs, we need to talk about fat.
Plant-based fats are great for your heart. Whether it’s avocados, nuts, or seeds, it’s hard to go wrong when you chose to eat plant-based. But flaxseeds are better for your wallet AND your triglyceride levels. They have the best omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of about 4:1, which help to correct the imbalance of essential fatty acids we get in our modern diets.
Flaxseeds do require a bit more work as they should be eaten ground, otherwise they won’t be fully digested and thus the body can’t extract its nutrients. Ground only the amount you need as the oil in flaxseed makes them vulnerable to going rancid quickly. Also, save money by buying the whole flaxseed vs the expensive flaxseed oil that requires refrigeration. By grinding the whole seed and only grinding the amount you plan to use, you will preserve the oil’s quality, as well as benefit from consuming the lignans, fiber and other nutrients contained in the seed coating.
Vegan or Lactose – Intolerant: Chia to the Rescue!
If you are looking for a non-dairy source of calcium, look no further than the chia seed. Chia seeds have more than twice the calcium as flaxseeds and 9x more calcium than hemp hearts. So, if you’re not into cow’s milk, you can still get your calcium needs met with these little beauties. Plus, chia seeds are the least expensive of the three at half the price of flaxseeds and a fifth the cost of hemp hearts.
|Cost per oz.||$.25||$.58||$1.24|
Nutritional detail profile provided by www.calorieking.com
Cost analysis from comparing organic variety of seed from Bob’s Red Mill. www.bobsredmill.com/
Next time you’re firing up your blender, add a super boost of protein by tossing in some hemp seeds, add some really great fat with a handful of flaxseeds and finish with some chia for calcium. Or go online and find some easy and delicious recipes to get more of superseeds with their supernutrition in your diet.