Eating Seeds

Sure, you can plant seeds—but is eating them a good idea? Today New York Times report C. Claiborne Ray investigates whether or not seeds make a good snack:
In some cases, yes, but in others, factors like the expense of the research and the inherent value of the seeds as just that — seeds for the propagation of the next generation of plants — have led scientists to ignore their nutritional potential, says Joseph H. Hotchkiss, professor and chairman of the department of food science at Cornell.
In the article Hotchkiss explains that the bitterness of most seeds is designed to dissuade predators (humans or animals) from eating them—but what about the ones that don’t taste bitter? After all, in a previous post Dr. Fuhrman called nuts and seeds “a natural part of the diet of homo-sapiens.” Here’s more:
They are perfectly adapted to the taste and ability of humans to pick, dry, store, and crack. No wonder study after study shows raw nuts and seeds not only lower cholesterol, but protect against common diseases of aging. I recommend almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, macadamias, filberts, and walnuts; and sunflower, sesame, flax, and pumpkin seeds. These delicious natural foods are high in nutrients and healthful unsaturated fats.
Need more convincing? In his book Disease-Proof Your Child Dr. Fuhrman includes flax seeds and sesame seeds in his list of the ten super foods to use in your recipes and menus:
Flax Seeds are rich in lignans and omega-3 fatty acids, and scientific studies have confirmed that flax seeds have a positive influence on everything from cholesterol levels and constipation to cancer and heart disease. Use ground flax seed in oatmeal, or add them to whipped frozen bananas, stewed apples, and cinnamon and nut balls. Keep in mind that the scientifically documented benefits from flax seeds come from raw, ground flax seed, not flax seed oil.

Sesame Seeds are one of the most mineral-rich foods in the world and a potent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, vitamins, and fiber. They are also rich in anti-cancer lignans that are uniquely found in sesame seeds alone. Grind some unhulled sesame seeds into a powder to sprinkle on salads and vegetables. Toast lightly and mix with eggplant, chickpeas, scallions, and garlic for a healthy and delicious dip.
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Comments (8) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Kathy - February 23, 2007 2:18 PM

I could go on and on about flax seed. I don't remember how I got the information on them but I have been eating two tablespoons for about 2 months now. My problems with IBS/Constipation are gone. No more cramps with menstrual cycles. I was diagnosed with graves disease and severe endometriosis last August. My systems have subsided. I feel normal again!

angie - May 18, 2007 5:55 PM

Does just eating the flaxseeds, not ground just as sufficent.

richard - June 16, 2008 6:48 PM

is eating a ground up orange or other fruit WHOLE , skin and seeds and all, bad for you? I do this every day in fruit shake.

Joe - November 2, 2009 4:33 AM

Kathy, thanks for that info. My partner has endometriosis and suffers from severe menstrual cramps. I'll pass this info onto her.

Catherine - June 22, 2010 6:40 AM

I have just started eating nuts & seeds this past few weeks, 'in an effort to try & self heal myself'. I have got M.S & have also recently been diagnosed with Coeliacs Disease & Lactose Intolerance. A friend told me that she heard that eating seeds was bad & dangerous for humans because they can't be digested properly, could anyone please tell me if there is any truth in this?

Henry - June 10, 2011 1:06 PM

I want to be physical educator,but somehealthy tips are problem to me,give me knowledge.

Tom Weber - August 16, 2011 1:42 PM

I was once told that eating seeds such as what can be found in a green bell pepper actually can increase the chance of cancer as they tend to lodge in the colon - any truth to this?

Mrs. Cheerie - October 3, 2011 11:33 AM

For Catherine- My Daughter also has M.S.. A certified naturalist put her on a STRICT diet for one year. Absolutely NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS for one year. No eggs, no meat, no broth, no butter, no milk, no whey, etc. Read labels carefully. On top of that, daily smoothies with raw beets, spinach, carrots, tomato,and asparagus. Other fruits & veggies may be added for flavor & nutrients. She has not had an episode in 6 months since starting this diet. P.S. Don't forget legumes as a protein source.

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