Hooray for Nuts & Seeds


Do you like nuts and seeds?  If not, you may want to learn to like them.  It seems that people who eat nuts face a lower risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  Nuts provide protein, healthy fat and fiber.

Almonds and sunflower seeds boost fiber intake significantly. An equivalent serving of pistachios and pecans offers an effective alternative.

Experts tell us that we need fat as part of our diet.  Walnuts and flax seeds, in particular, boost our healthy fat intake because they contain alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. This type of fat helps maintain brain function, nourishes your red blood cells and helps fight excess inflammation.  Sounds good! Select English walnuts to boost your omega-3 intake.  Flax seeds also provide a rich source of omega-3s.

I eat almost any kind of nut though pecans are my favorite.  I also eat sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds; however, I’ve never eaten flax seeds.  How do you eat them?  I believe a flax seed is about the size of a sesame seed.  Apparently you can sprinkle them on cereal or your salad, add them to a smoothie or add the ground form to baked goods like muffins, breads and pancakes.  I think you can also take ground flaxseed in the form of a pill.—Not too appealing.  Nutritionists also advocate eating chia seeds and sesame seeds.–I haven’t eaten chia seeds, and about the only sesame seeds I’ve eaten have been on top of a hamburger bun.   Again, these seeds can be sprinkled on a variety of foods.  You can also eat sesame paste (tahini) spread on toast or crackers.  I might try that.  Studies show that sesame oil may improve brain health.—Who doesn’t want that?  I believe I had some oil, but I failed to use it before it became rancid.  Time for a new bottle because  I’m ready to expand my variety of seed intake and reap the benefits!

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