Super Seeds: Cool Chia, Fab Flax, Supreme Sacha Inchi
This week it gives us great honour to share with you about Super Seeds! We all love seeds, we have them in our daily diet- breakfast mueslis, smoothies, garnishes to our salads and savoury meals. Not only are seeds packed with flavour and crunch but they are nutritious dynamite packages extremely beneficial to improving health! Our favourite super seeds for the week are: Crazy Cool Chia, Fabulous Flax and Supreme Sacha Inchi.
Quick Summary of our Super Seeds!
|CRAZY COOL CHIA||FABULOUS FLAX||SUPREME SACHA INCHI|
|Where they traditionally came from||Earliest cultivation discovered in Mexico as food for the Aztecs and Mayans||Earliest cultivation discovered in Mesopotamia, at present includes region in Syria and Iraq||Native to Peru, Amazonian forest|
|Alpha Linolenic acid (Omega-3)||~14-20.5g/100g||~14-20g/100g||~25-40g/100g|
|Forms available||Whole seed, Ground, Oil||Whole seed, Ground, Oil||Whole seed, Oil|
*Data is based on a collection of results achieved from scientific journals, variation may occur in different species and cultivars.
Now that you know what makes these seeds so amazing, how exactly do these macronutrients affect our health and improve our lifestyle? Chia, Flax and Sacha Inchi seeds have earned the title of Super Food as they possess nutrients in extreme levels, much higher than commercially available seeds.
Although protein is found in meat, such as chicken, fish or beef, non-animal sources of proteins can also be found in legumes or our super seeds which are perfect alternatives for vegans and vegetarians. Proteins are large molecules made from building blocks of amino acids essential in creating and repairing of our cells, tissues and organs. Amino acids may also be converted into hormones that improves our wellbeing as well as keeps us full and energized for long periods through the day!
Fibre plays an important role in supporting digestion and a healthy bowel so we can enjoy maximum absorption of minerals and vitamins and eliminate toxic substances. These super seeds contain a superior level of both soluble and insoluble fibre compared to regular seeds on the market and only requires a small amount to be effective. Research suggests that 15 to 50g of flaxseed meal has the ability to reduce total cholesterol in the body.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA)
EFAs are lipids that the body is unable to produce on its own therefore requiring dietary sources to supplement the body to ensure we can function well. These super seeds contain a high source of EFA, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) commonly known as Omega-3 fatty acid, which seems to be especially high in sacha inchi! Omega-3 has shown to carry anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the bad cholesterol in our system which may lead to cardiovascular diseases, stroke and chronic ill health.
Antioxidants are molecules that protect the body from oxidative stress caused by a poor diet, lack of exercise, environmental pollution, smoking or alcoholism. It is therefore important to incorporate foods rich in antioxidants to combat the damaging particles in the body. Studies carried out on 24 food groups including nuts and seeds, spices and herbs, fish and seafood, dairy products showed that most plant derived products had higher antioxidant levels than animal-based and mixed food products. These super seeds are a great addition to your daily antioxidant feast!
Carlsen M, et al., 2011, ‘Chapter 6- Antioxidants in Nuts and Seeds’, Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention, pp. 55-64’
Coates W, 2011, ‘Whole and Ground Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) Seeds, Chia Oil – Effects on Plasma Lipids and Fatty Acids’, Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention, pp. 309-315
Dubois V, et al., 2007, ‘Fatty acid profiles of 80 vegetable oils with regards to their nutritional potential’, Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol., 109: pp. 710-732
Hanssen HP and Schmitz-Hubsch M, 2011, ‘Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.) Nut Oil and Its Therapeutic and Nutritional Uses, Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention, pp. 991-994
Maurer NE, et al., 2012, ‘Characterization and authentication of a novel vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids, sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.) oil’, Food Chemistry, 134 (2): pp. 1173-1180
Verghese M, et al., 2011, ‘Flax Seed (Linum usitatissimum) Fatty Acids’, Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention, pp. 487-498
Wang XJ, et al., 2012, ‘Transcriptome analysis of Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilisL.) seeds at two developmental stages’, BMC Genomics 2012, 13:pp. 716- 732