Nuts and seeds. The appeal is in their simplicity and how easy it is to carry them around to be enjoyed virtually anywhere. With the understated health benefits these two food groups has, is it any wonder that they are starting to be the star in our quest to find better and healthier food alternatives?
Nuts are essentially dried fruits whose ovary walls became attached to the seed in it. The seed and the wall remain fused together until maturity because the shell does not open to release the seed. On the other hand, seeds are edible plants that are covered in a protective coating which they can be released from. So technically speaking, you can say that all nuts are seeds but not all seeds are nuts.
Both nuts and seeds are incredibly high in fibre, protein, and fat which makes them an ideal as snacks or as an additional source of flavor in salads and desserts. They can also be osterized and included in a variety of recipes such as in tahini, and pesto. They are not only delicious but they are also incredibly satisfying and filling. They are high in nutrients and good fat which are said to lower cholesterol levels, but they are also incredibly calorie dense which is why knowing how much is good enough is incredibly important when deciding to add these delicious goodies in your diet.
Seeds are edible plants that has a coating which they can be released from.
Nuts are dried fruits whose ovary walls became attached to the seed inside.
Nuts and seeds come with a protective coating called phytic acid which protects them until they are ready to germinate. Often times, they are harvested before they are able to fully release the vital nutrients that are contained within this protective coating. They also naturally have compounds in them that are dubbed as anti-nutrients. These are the lectins, saponins, polyphenols, and enzyme inhibitors which are intended to protect them from pests and also prevent them from sprouting too early. While this is good news for nuts and seeds, it’s not so good for humans because it can cause digestive problems and in fact, ingesting nuts and seeds that still has the phytic acid and these anti-nutrient compounds mean that when you eat them, you only get the calories and not the nutritional benefits.
Sprouting nuts and seeds makes them easier to digest.
This is why sprouting is incredibly important. Sprouting allows nuts and seeds to continue their germination process so that they are able to remove the phytic acid and the enzyme inhibitors to make them digestible and for them to be able to release the full capacity of the nutrients that encased within them. Through sprouting, not only are we able to enjoy the delicious flavor that nuts and seeds have, but we are also able to fully absorb the nutrients that they can impart to those who consume them.
People enjoy nuts raw because they are crunchy and delectable and each one tastes uniquely different. You’d think that peanut, the most popular “nut” that people love to eat, is a nut. That could not be further from the truth as peanuts are actually part of the legume family. If that’s the case, which nuts can actually be considered as crowd favorites? Well, we’ve still got a lot to choose from and they are all amazing and delicious in their own way.
Pistachios are high in B6 rich nutrients that are important in blood sugar regulation and in the formation of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule in our blood. It also has about 3g of fiber in a one ounce serving which makes it a great digestive system support as well. Eating a single serving of pistachio also carries with it high levels of antioxidants which helps reduces blood cholesterol level.
Almonds are a great source of protein. They have almost one gram of protein per almond which is why it’s popular among those looking to build their muscles. They also contain high levels of antioxidants that prevents cells from oxidation and premature aging. Almonds provide about 37% of the daily Vitamin E requirement per one ounce serving which is very important in fighting of heart diseases and to an extent, cancer.
Hazelnuts are best known for being the nut that imparts that distinct and lovable flavor in a famous sandwich spread. But sans the excessive sugar, hazelnuts on their own are delectable and nutrient dense. Hazelnuts are high in folate, phosphorus, and zinc which are very important to pregnant women especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. It also comes high antioxidant levels which help fight cancer and lower cholesterol levels, and they in fact help in reducing blood sugar levels.
Walnuts are delicious on their own but they make any food they come in contact with taste better. Not only are walnuts versatile in flavor, they are also incredibly nutritious. They are great for reducing risks for heart disease because they’re a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. The polyphenols found in walnuts also help in reducing stress levels, cell oxidation, and inflammation; and because this wonderful nut also comes with high levels of dietary fiber, it aids in digestion as well.
Cashews, which we used in our vegan pumpkin cheesecake bites recipe, is a nut that comes packed with so much good stuff that its versatility is just an icing on this nutcake. Cashews contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are antioxidants that help keep your eyesight healthy. Cashews are high in mono and polyunsaturated fat which help in keeping cardiovascular disease at bay and helps promote health cell growth.
Seeds aren't exactly the first thing that people would think of when they’re thinking of a healthy snack. But these tiny food come packed with nutrients that your body would just love to consume.
Sesame seeds are a staple Asian dishes and for all the right reasons. Sesame seeds are extremely flavorful and come with high levels of phytonutrients that help lower cholesterol levels. The iron content in sesame seeds can actually aid in the prevention and cure of iron deficiency anemia, and has a good amount of copper that is important in nerve and metabolic health. The fact that they are high in fiber also means that they are helpful in maintaining a healthy digestive system and is helpful in losing weight.
Pumpkin seeds are very helpful in maintaining a men’s prostate glands healthy because of the high levels of zinc that they contain. They are also packed with good cholesterol and are rich in fat and fiber that supports the heart and liver functions. They are also packed with antioxidants that keep blood sugar levels in check and are helpful in preventing premature cell oxidation.The antioxidants in pumpkin seeds also seek free-radicals in the body which is always a welcome boost when it comes to overall health.
Sunflower seeds contain phytosterols, an antioxidant that not only supports the immune system but also cardiovascular health. It also contains a substantial amount of selenium which is very important in maintaining healthy thyroid functions. It also has magnesium which an essential mineral that is very important in bone development, in keeping the cardiovascular system in check, and in preventing muscle cramps. Sunflower seeds also contain pantothenic acid which plays an important role in synthesizing fat and in maintaining healthy brain functions.
Quinoa has been touted as the healthy rice alternative even though it’s a seed and not a grain. Packed with essential nutrients and minerals, these tiny seeds are not only delicious but also incredibly healthy. It is a fiber rich, gluten-free option for those who want to add some semblance of grain in their diet. It also contain all of the essential amino acids that our body needs but cannot produce, which makes it an excellent source of protein especially for vegetarians and vegans who follow a plant-based diet.
Chia seeds have created a cult following among health and fitness enthusiasts - and rightfully so. These tiny seeds are low in calories but they are incredibly nutrient dense. It has 11 grams of fiber for every 28g serving yet most of the calories derived from the fiber aren’t used by the body because they are dietary fibers that aid in digestion by keeping your gut flora happy. They are also high in protein which makes them incredibly filling. They contain omega-3 fatty acids that, together with the high fiber and protein content, makes for a strong defense system against cardiovascular disease. So the next time you want some boba in your drink, consider adding chia seeds instead. They offer the same popping sensation but they also pop out a ton of nutritional benefits.
Deciding to go on a plant-based diet is becoming easier and better because of the knowledge dissemination about what plants have to offer. But whatever diet you prefer to follow, it’s always good to know that you have a lot of options available to make a healthy lifestyle attainable and enjoyable.
At Lark Ellen Farm, we love to create food that’s not only good for you but also incredibly enjoyable. We choose the best nuts and seeds in our recipes to make them wholesome and satisfying without you having to worry about whether or not the nuts and seeds that you are eating are good for you. We have dedicated ourselves into providing organic, sprouted nuts and seeds that you can enjoy in a variety of ways which will help living a healthier lifestyle easier. We also have a free recipe book where you can discover the many ways that you can include our products in your meals.
Your health is the best investment you can make for yourself and your family. We support your choices and we want to be with you in every step of your healthy lifestyle journey.
Our products are made with sprouted nuts and seeds , and theyare the perfect healthy snack option