Tea, Food and Community

Tea, Food and Community

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Benefits of Seeds in Your Diet or Flax Seeds/Chia Seeds/Sunflower Seeds/Pumpkin Seeds: We love you at Passiflora

Many of your Passiflora favorites contain seeds, which are loaded with fiber and high in good quality essential fats to keep your hearts and brains humming. Two of our favorite seeds are: chia seeds and freshly ground flax seeds.  Those flax seeds are hidden in our black bean brownies, our morning glory muffins and our oatmeal, to name a few.  We love to add chia seeds to our Cacao-Maca-Chia Smoothie. But we also hide some cute sunflower and pumpkin seeds in our quinoa tabbouleh salad (look for them next time you are eating it).   What’s up?  

According to the USDA, 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed, which is the daily “dose,” weighs 14 grams, has 75 calories, 5.9 grams of total fat, and 3.8 grams of total dietary fiber.  We know that our low fat diets have made us “sick”.  We need plant- based essential fats.  They help us to feel full so we stay away from sugar---the real culprit.   

The Health Benefits

·         Keeps the Bowels Humming: Seeds taken daily will help you to have smooth bowel movements which, for women, helps to “move out” any excess estrogens that accumulate in the body.

·         Satiate and Satisfy: Seeds help to make you feel full, making you less likely to overeat.  They are wonderful soaked in water and put into a morning smoothie that will keep your body humming until lunch.

·         Keep Our Hearts Humming: Chia and Flax seeds prevent both diabetes and high cholesterol, due to their high essential fatty acid content.

·         Your Skin will Thank You: Your skin, along with your colon, kidneys and liver, is one of your primary detox organs.  If the colon is working effectively, the skin stays clear and is under less pressure to de-tox.

How to Use Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are better absorbed if ground into a powder.  Start with 100% organic flax seeds and grind about a week’s worth using a coffee grinder or, if you are so lucky, a Viti mixer.  Keep the ground flax seeds refrigerated or they could go rancid.  In fact, in our Passiflora kitchen, we prefer to store all our nuts and seeds in the refrigerator.  Chia seeds and unground flax seeds, however,  do not NEED to be refrigerated.  We recommend soaking both seeds before we use them, even in smoothies.   Flax seeds are a wonderful substitute for eggs in cooking.
Don’t be Frightened of Whole food Plant-Based Phytoestrogens (I know that’s redundant.)

Flax seeds are rich in what are called “phytoestrogens” – estrogen-like compounds produced by plants. Phytoestrogens are found in most plants and are especially abundant in green leafy vegetables, legumes and beans (and that includes some of our most nutrient rich foods, such as kale and hummus). These plant based estrogens block more toxic forms of estrogens from binding to our cells, and, as a result, are protective against cancer.
Cacao-Chia-Maca Smoothie

o    1 frozen banana

o    6 ounces “unsweetened” coconut milk/water (sold in most grocery stores)

o    1 tablespoon cacoa powder

o    1 teaspoon maca powder

o     ½ tsp of chia seeds soaked in 4 oz of water

o    1 tsp local honey

o    ice

To prepare: Toss into the blender and whiz on high speed until smooth. Enjoy. Makes about 14 oz. You can even jazz this up with some frozen organic raspberries.


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