The Power and Nutritional Benefits of Seeds

Tiny powerhouses. Little superfoods. Small yet mighty. Seeds are crops at their very beginning stage of life. Because they contain all the nutrients essential for growing a healthy and resilient plant, they offer our bodies a wealth of benefits when we eat them.

88 Acres products are built upon a seed blend that features a broad array of nutritional benefits. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds are true superfoods, packing in high-quality protein, heart-healthy fat and essential vitamins and minerals into a tiny, versatile, and delicious package. Forget multivitamins - seeds offer many of the same nutrients, fiber and plant chemicals that we could never get from a pill.

As plant foods, seeds provide our bodies with nutrient-dense energy while also leaving a low environmental footprint on the Earth. Seeds make healthy food a simple and easy choice for everyone. Seeds provide a similar nutritional profile to nuts and are a great source of plant-based protein. Schools have been sensitive to nut allergies and seed-based products provide an alternative snack option for many classrooms.

But they aren’t just for people with food allergies. Seeds provide an excellent source of protein and healthy fats for omnivores, paleo and low-fodmap dieters, and vegans alike, serve as a portable and gut-friendly fuel for athletes, and boost optimal immune, hormonal and cardiovascular health in every body. They truly deserve a place in everyone’s pantry and can be incorporated easily into fun and exciting meals and snacks for you and your family.

 sunflower seed benefits

Sunflower Seeds

The shelled kernels inside the seeds of the tall, sun-worshipping sunflower are bursting with Vitamin E. This vitamin serves as an antioxidant in our bodies, and is important for maintaining the strength and integrity of cellular membranes. This is why it is often credited for giving people glowing skin and strong, shiny hair. Just two tablespoons of sunflower seeds provide almost half of the recommended daily value of Vitamin E, which is incredible considering that recent estimates show upwards of 90% of Americans don’t get enough from their diets. Because the body can’t absorb Vitamin E without fat, the oil-brimming sunflower seed provides the perfect package for our bodies to utilize this important antioxidant to its fullest extent.

Sunflower seeds also pack in thiamin and Vitamin B-6, which are both essential for healthy metabolism. This means they help ensure your body gets as much energy from the foods  you eat as possible, which is essential for staying on top of a busy, active schedule day in and day out. Sunflower seeds are also a great way to get magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper and selenium. Magnesium, when combined with Vitamin B-6 as it is in sunflower seeds, may help to reduce symptoms of PMS. Along with maintaining strong bones, proper muscle contraction and low blood pressure, keeping enough magnesium in our diets may also help keep us calm, cool and collected by staving off symptoms of anxiety.

pumpkin seed benefits

Pumpkin Seeds

Green in color, pepitas--the kernels of the seeds inside the orange-fleshed pumpkin--are ripe with vitamin K, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. Offering many similar benefits as other seeds due to their mineral content, pumpkin seeds stand out for providing a great dose of iron. For vegans and vegetarians who don’t get iron from animal products, pumpkin seeds provide an alternative source. Similar to dark leafy greens, the vitamin K in pumpkin seeds helps promote optimal bone strength and healthy blood clotting. Pepitas are a complete protein, providing all nine essential amino acids along with a rich dose of heart-healthy, inflammation-fighting unsaturated fats.

flax seed benefits

 

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds combine an unrivaled dose of gut-strengthening fiber with a heart-healthy blend of fats as one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Locked in flax seeds’ indigestible shell, these nutrients are unable to be absorbed by our bodies unless the seeds are broken down. 88 Acres coarsely grinds the flax seeds used in our craft seed bars to ensure everyone gets the full benefit of this super seed.

The fibers in flax contain a unique type of plant chemical called lignans, which recent research shows may play a role in the prevention of certain types of cancers and are effective at reducing bad, LDL cholesterol in the blood. Lignan fibers are not lost, but are even better absorbed by our bodies when the seeds are ground. Flax seeds also contain a very high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce overall inflammation that has been linked to asthma, heart disease, alzheimer's and many other chronic diseases.

Flax seeds contain omega-3 at a ratio compared to omega-6 that provides maximum benefits to our health.While omega-6 fatty acids are essential, meaning they are needed in human diets in order to survive, they are not very hard to find in the food supply and have been associated with increased inflammation when consumed in high quantities. The type of omega-3 fat in flax seeds is called Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA). To get the full inflammation-reducing benefit, our bodies must convert omega-3 ALA into the more active forms, DHA and EPA. But ALA still serves as an important source for vegans and vegetarians who are unable to get DHA and EPA in their diets from marine animals like fish and krill.

Putting it all together, the blend of seeds we choose to use in 88 Acres foods makes it easy to get a wide variety of nutrients from real, whole foods that come along with a myriad of benefits inherent to each plant.  Our ingredients are simple, but the range of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they provide is complex.


Simple ways to incorporate more seeds into your day:

  • Break a craft seed bar into small pieces, or use 88 Acres Seednola to sprinkle it over yogurt, oatmeal, or chia pudding
  • Blend seeds into a smoothie, like our Green Acres Smoothie
  • Whirl Seed Butter into your hot breakfast cereal
  • Use seed butter as a dip for fresh fruits and veggies
  • Drizzle seed butter on top of a roasted sweet potato or sweet potato toasts for a balance of healthy fats
  • Add crunch to your salad or soup by topping with seeds
  • Use seeds instead of nuts in trail mix as a snack
  • Grind pumpkin seeds in a food processor or coffee grinder and use as 1:1 replacement for almond flour
  • Use seeds in place of nuts for a crunch in baked goods or as a crumbly topping for cakes and muffins
  • Use ground seeds as a rub on your favorite protein
  • Use ground flax seeds to make an egg replacement for baked goods (recipe below) 

Flaxseed Egg Replacer

Mix 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 Tbsp warm water. Stir well and let sit for 15 minutes before incorporating into your recipe in place of eggs.


Leave a comment


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published