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I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24
The plant goes to great effort in producing and protecting its seed, filling each genetic packet with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils and dormant enzymes.
Seeds can germinate after two hundred years if stored in a favorable condition. Amazingly, dormant seeds are alive but the respiration is so slow that it is immeasurable. The oldest seeds ever to germinate were found in a lemming burrow, deeply buried and permanently frozen in central Yukon, dated to be thousands of years old. When discovered and taken back to the laboratory, the seeds germinated, producing healthy plants.
God has created the seed with an ability to store the potential for life and genetic information to guide its course. Waiting for favorable growth conditions, a tiny seed will hold out against time in its culminating effort to ensure the continuation of the species. Before mankind even considered the concept of a time capsule, a tiny seed was the concept’s perfection.
THE SEED FAMILY
Nuts, beans and grains are all in the seed family. For convenience, we are going to split the seed family into three groups in order of importance:
2. nuts and seeds
3. beans and grains
This is not a haphazard order. We chose sprouts as being the most nutritious because they are a less concentrated food, filled with enzymes and are easily digested. Nuts and seeds may be raw but their enzymes are dormant, making them harder to digest. Beans and grains are filled with nutrients, however, cooking destroys nutrients and alters proteins and fats, causing them to produce mucus in the body. Cooking also destroys enzymes, making beans and grain less digestible. We consider sprouted grain, nuts or beans to have a greater health value than their dried forms.
FOUR SEEDS OF HEALTH
We would like to take a look at four of the most nutritious seeds in the world. Raw seeds are high in delicate oils. We are not referring to the deep-fried, salt-laden seeds found in corner stores. Tasty as they may be, they are useless in health, and have been reduced from the height of a delicate nutritious food, to junk food. Instead, use fresh seeds where the fragile oils have not been compromised by heat, light or air.
Wherever flax seed becomes a regular food item among the people, there will be better health. Mahatma Gandhi
Flax seed is one-third oil, the remainder consisting of fiber, protein and mucilage. In our salad dressing section, we have looked at the magical oil that comes from flax. Flax oil, when extracted with care, is one of the greatest sources of essential fatty acids. The protein in flax seeds is easily digested and contains all the amino acids needed for building a strong body. The fiber in flax acts as a broom sweeping the colon of toxic material, metabolic waste and dried mucus. Flax fiber is an excellent food for friendly bacteria in the intestine which keeps disease-causing organisms in check.
Twelve percent of flax seeds is mucilage which makes it a gentle, non-irritating, natural laxative. Flax mucilage is perfect for those who have a sensitive stomach, acting as a buffer for excess stomach acids, soothing ulcers or irritable bowel disorders. Flax expands 20 times in volume and should be taken with a generous amount of water.
Flax seed slowly releases its mucilage through the fiber wall. After half an hour of soaking the little seeds, a slippery mucilage forms. The flax seeds act as a tiny mucilage release capsule. This release continues, changing the water to a slippery consistency similar to a light oil. Flax seed is God’s gift for a toxic colon! It lubricates and absorbs toxins perfectly.
Flax mucilage helps to prevent toxic build-up in the bowel during fasting or a healing diet. When juice fasting, take a teaspoon of whole flax, 2-3 times per day, with a generous supply of water. Do not chew the seeds; swallow them whole with a glass of water. This will allow only the mucilage to escape. The flax seed will pass out of the system without releasing any of its oil. Even though the oil is highly nutritious, it can hinder the deep cleansing process that is desirable during juice fasting.
If you are on a cleansing, raw-food diet, follow the same instructions but chew the seeds, allowing the essential oils to release. Chewing will not hinder the slow release of the mucilage.
Flax seed contains lignans that have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-cancer properties. Flax seeds have the richest source of lignans, 100 times more than the next best source, wheat bran. The majority of lignans is found in the seed, giving it an advantage over flax oil. Flax seed also contains lecithin which emulsifies fat and cholesterol. These little seeds improve digestion, help stabilize blood glucose levels, fight tumor formation and enhance cardiovascular health. Never purchase premade, ground flax. Grind your own flax seeds fresh in a coffee grinder and eat immediately.
Flax oil is worth getting excited over. Aside from hemp oil, it is considered the most nutritious of all the oils in the world, containing generous amounts of the two essential fatty acids our body needs to function properly.
Archaeological digs have discovered that flax was being cultivated in Babylon as far back as 5,000 BC. The healing properties of flax are described in Greek and Roman writings dating back to 650 BC. In Europe, flax has been cultivated for hundreds of years. These tiny brown seeds were used for their nutritional and medical qualities in humans and livestock.
Flax seeds come equipped with a tough outer coat. This casing protects the delicate oils within. If you were to eat flax seeds whole, it would be impossible for your body to receive any of the nutrients. In fact, even after the seeds pass through the digestive system, they can sprout and grow. Only through grinding them fresh or in cold-pressing, can we receive the wealth of nutrients hidden inside. Flax oil is the highest source of unsaturated alpha linolenic. Most people’s diets are lacking in this essential oil. Flax oil also contains carotene and vitamin E, which are valuable antioxidants.
It is crucial to purchase flax oil which has been cold-pressed without the presence of oxygen or light. The oil must be stored in an opaque bottle in the refrigerator or freezer. Check the date on the bottle. A sealed, refrigerated bottle has a shelf-life of four months or one year in the freezer. Once the bottle is opened, it should be consumed within two weeks. It is a more expensive oil but priceless in its nutritional value and contribution to health. We have used flax oil in many of our dressings because of its mild nutty flavor. We believe it is worth every penny.
Some people think sunflower seeds are for the birds. Often you can watch birds at a feeder, picking through all the other seeds to get to the prized sunflower seed. Birds are smart! These little gems are packed with nutrients. In fact, they are considered by many to be the most perfect in nutrients, supplying all the body’s needs, except vitamin D, which can be easily obtained through the action of sunlight on the skin. Do not be fooled by deep-fried, chemically-flavored, salt-encrusted, junk food in the convenience store. If the seeds have been removed from the shell, they need to be kept in the refrigerator. You may have to purchase them from a health food store. They may be more expensive but the delicate essential oils will be intact.
Sunflower seeds are 22% protein and contain 50% oil. For every 100 grams, sunflower seeds contain 30 grams of unsaturated fats and 30 milligrams of essential linoleic acid, which reduces cholesterol deposits in the arteries and veins. If you are trying to break an addiction to high-fat foods, they may be a healthy alternative and will satisfy fat cravings. One hundred grams of these tiny treasures contain 7 milligrams of iron compared to 2½ milligrams in the same serving of beef. Flour made from sunflower seeds is the richest source of iron in the world, second only to brewers’ yeast. Sunflower flour is easily made in a coffee grinder.
Sunflower seeds are also filled with potassium which helps flush and reduce sodium in the body. These seeds are plentiful in magnesium and phosphorus which help the body absorb calcium. There are 174 milligrams of calcium in a cup of sunflower seeds. The calcium to phosphorus ratio makes the calcium readily available for the building of strong bones. Sunflower seeds are a strong source of B vitamins, especially thiamin and niacin which protects the health of the brain, skin and digestive tract.
Growing sunflowers is a fun hobby for kids. They will grow up to 8 feet tall, crowned with a huge flower, filled with developing seeds. Some growers place screens on the flower to protect the seeds from birds. Sunflower seeds are an excellent addition to any salad. They can be added to breads, cooked vegetables and are delicious sprinkled over fruit desserts.
Raw, shelled pumpkin seeds are dark green and absolutely delicious. Until recently they were difficult to find, but have become more plentiful due to government effort. The U. S. Department of Agriculture combined the flavor of a good tasting pumpkin seed with the genetics of a shell-less seed variety, resulting in a gourmet pumpkin seed that does not have to be dehulled.
Pumpkin seed oil is dark green with a full bodied butter-like nutty flavor. It can now be purchased cold-pressed in dark bottles in the refrigerator of your local health food store. Always check the expiration date. Pumpkin seed oil contains both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids making them a delicate oil. Pumpkin seed oil is a tasty replacement for flax seed oil and delicious over fruit or vegetable salads. Pumpkin seed is a high source of vitamin A, calcium and iron, containing small amounts of protein, B1, B2 and B3.
Definitely the most nutritious part of a Big Mac. Our suggestion is that if you are going to eat at McDonalds, throw away the hamburger and pick the seeds off the bun and have a nutritious snack with your friends and family.
Sesame seeds have been used for thousands of years. Ancient Arabs would use them as a sustaining food for traveling long distances. They are 19% protein, compared with 13% in eggs. An excellent source of B vitamins and minerals. They are considered one of the highest sources of calcium in the world when the husk is intact. Raw sesame seeds, with their husk intact, are darkish brown in color, compared with the more common dehulled white seeds. Some people keep a shaker of sesame seeds in the middle of the kitchen table and sprinkle them on just about anything. A great addition to any salad.