It’s amazing how much of useful substances can be found in seeds, which unfortunately are not often presented in our kitchen. After reading this article you might start to use them more often. They are excellent as a daily food.
Various seeds have different effects on our health:
Zinc from pumpkin protects bones
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which helps with prostate function. On the other hand, older men should take foods rich in zinc because it has a positive effect on bones. Although osteoporosis is most commonly associated with post-menopausal women, it is a risk for older men too: 1 in 8 men over age 50 experience a fracture due to osteoporosis. The study, which included 400 men aged 45 to 92 years, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals a link between low zinc intake through food and osteoporosis (the most affected areas are the hips and spine).
In addition to zinc (17.1% of daily needs), a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains 46.1% of the daily needs for magnesium, 28.7% of iron, 52% of manganese, 24% for copper and 16.9% protein.
Sesame against cholesterol
Phytosterols are compounds that have a chemical structure similar to cholesterol, and when they are sufficiently present in the diet it is believed that it may reduce cholesterol levels, improve immunity and reduce the risk of some cancers. In the Journal of Agricultural Chemistry and Food Chemistry published how much of phytosterol is found in seeds. Most of phytosterol is found in sunflower (270-289mg / 100g) and pumpkin seeds (265mg / 100g). Sesame has the highest overall level of phytosterols (400-413mg / 100g) than all other seeds.
Flaxseed lowers pressure
Flaxseed lowers cholesterol, protects against heart disease and controls high blood pressure. Due to the high concentration of soluble fiber, ground flaxseed reduces problems with constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
Also, flaxseed lowers the risk of breast, colon and prostate cancer due to the phytosterols.
Sunflower slows down the aging
Sunflower seeds are the best source of vitamin E, an antioxidant important for health. That can be found in the USDA database of nutrient foods:
It is believed that the tocopherols, the main elements of vitamin E, play an important role in the prevention of diseases which are associated with aging, such as cancer and heart disease.
Snack sesame seeds to clean arteries
According to the results of recent research sesame protects postmenopausal women against heart diseases as women older than 50 years. Roasted sesame is a popular part of traditional Asian cuisine. In Asian countries it is considered that sesame acts against aging. Sesame (sesame oil) is an excellent source of unsaturated fats, vitamin E and phytosterols.
One research reveals that minced roasted sesame seeds can lower cholesterol in postmenopausal women. In the study the women consumed 50 grams (a little more than 3 tablespoons) of ground sesame seeds every day for five weeks. Result: 5% decreased level of cholesterol, and 10% of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increased levels of vitamin E in the blood and slow oxidation of LDL cholesterol (which is a process associated with the closure of the arteries, or atherosclerosis). This discovery indicates that sesame can prevent heart disease in at least two ways.