Friday, January 22, 2010

Winter Healthy Snacks : Seeds Part 1


A need for nutritious snack has always been a requirement for every person who wants to control weight and be healthy. It is a well known fact that the months of winter bring increased appetites. In India my appetite though healthy was very different from what it is now in Canada in the months of Canada. Ayurveda recommends the use of food with regards to season. If it’s hot, one should look for cooling food, while when the season is cold, it speaks of having warming food. My search of warming snacks started from that theory.
Seeds are such part of plants where they store all its nourishment in a very small amount. It is not just nourishment, but its energy stored to start the metabolism of next plant. My research stumbles here for the search of warming food for such cold months.
In today's post we would discuss two types of seeds that are nourishes and healthy for human being , while in next Friday I would post write another post for the next two seeds to be use .

Sunflower Seeds:
 One of the first seed that I found out to be used in Canada, but later found lot health benefits than anything else is Sunflower seeds. Speaking of snacks I was surprised that many used to complain about healthy snacks during winter, but feed sunflower seeds to birds. By sheer luck one Naturopath told me to try and eat those seeds which I later found that many enjoy and relish as a snack of some sunflower seeds.
Sunflower seeds are basically the same seeds from where you get the oil. These seeds not only have fats but also contain dietary fibre, protein, Vitamin E, and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Lastly they are also rich with cholesterol lowering phytosterols.
It is always advised to roast those seeds and have them in small quantities as snack. One may get salted in health food stores too, but avoid those would be my advice.

Pumpkin seeds:
 Another group of seeds that I was baffled first, but then enjoyed it as snacks was those of Pumpkin, or also known as “Pepita” as known to the Mexican. They are a big part of the Mexican cuisine and also are served as snacks. These seeds can be also of Butternut Squash some times, so do not worry, they still are very nourishes. Though these seeds are more favored snack in the autumn season, still I prefer them even during cold days of the winter too.
Pumpkin seeds are known in the scientific circle for its value to work on anxiety disorders and clinical depression. It is because of the high level of tryptophan an amino acid known by researchers for its value in treating anxiety and mood fluctuation. This remains my biggest reason for using pumpkin seeds during winter , one way to keep our self out from winter blues.
Some studies also have found these seeds to prevent arteriosclerosis and regulate cholesterol levels in the body. The oil of pumpkin seeds is well known in European folklore and used for prostrate problems of men. Recent advances have approved of that fact and comment the use of Pumpkin seeds and its oil for benign prostatic hyperplasia and its symptoms.
To use Pumpkin seeds in our diet, it is preferred to use them light roasted instead of dark. Heat sometimes is known to destroy the nourishment in the seeds.

That’s all for today’s post.  Next Friday we would see two more seeds are ideal snacks for cold winter months.


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5 comments: on "Winter Healthy Snacks : Seeds Part 1"

Marnie said...

Hi Sudeep!

Thanks for reminding me of those yummy seeds (especially pumpkin). I'm always looking for a good snack in the winter. We always make a big batch of pumpkin seeds when we carve our pumpkin at Halloween, but it's only once a year! I must get roasting...

Ralph said...

Sudeep,
How do you roast these seeds and avoid the processed salted ones and is there an easy way to get the hulls off them?

e-swastya said...

Hey Ralph,
In Canada often farmer;s market would give some nice seeds that can be roasted at home.Stores like Bulk barn do have non roasted seeds too, or just look at health food store at your place.
Add some sea salt and some spices if needed and just keep in an oven at 175 degree F.
Enjoy them after wards.

Ralph said...

Can you get them already hulled? I hate eating them with the hull on and I am too lazy to hull them while I eat.

e-swastya said...

Yes Ralph you get them normally hulled at least I got them in that way.

 
 
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