You’ve probably heard the term “superfood” before. At the core, superfoods are nutrient dense foods and this term is becoming more and more popular. Superfoods are greatly beneficial to our health and that is why I absolutely love finding ways to add these to the foods we eat every day.
While a simple Google search will tell you there are many fresh fruits and vegetables that are considered a superfood (think spinach, kale, berries) when I think about adding extra superfoods to our diets, I think of little powerful seeds that are easy to add to most anything… superseeds! Here are some of my favorites (which you’ll find a lot in recipes on my blog) and why they make my heart smile.
Flaxseeds (also known as linseed) – They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. They are a great source of lignans (an antioxidant); only flaxseeds contain high levels of lignans, compared to chia seeds or other superseeds. And they are a relatively good source of protein.
- Look for flax meal (ground flax) as they are best eaten ground. This makes it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients. They should also be stored in the fridge in order to help retain their nutrient dense properties.
- Eat them within six months – they go bad more quickly than our other superseed friends.
Chia Seeds – ch-ch-ch-chia. Did you ever have a chia pet (or know what I’m talking about)? If so, did you know chia seeds are the same seeds from the much loved chia pet of the 80’s? Maybe if you eat enough you’ll grow a chia pet in your belly!? Haha!
Chia seeds are super nutrient dense and have a high amount of antioxidants. They are a good source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc. Chia seeds are a “complete protein” which means that is contains all nine essential amino acids. This is rare for a plant-based source of protein. Fun fact: In the Mayan language, chia means strength.
When it comes down to it, chia and flaxseeds both have great nutritional properties. For me, I choose to add them to my recipes based on the recipe and what will work best. Also, chia seeds are more expensive, so sometimes it’s easier to add larger amounts of flaxseeds to recipes.
Hempseeds – seeds from the hemp plant (while this is the same plant marijuana comes from, they are safe to eat and will not get you high). Hempseeds are also considered a perfect protein. Like flaxseeds and chia seeds, hempseeds pack a lot of vitamins and minerals. While each superseed’s profile may win over another in a certain vitamin or mineral, you can’t go wrong with any of them when wanting to bring on the nutrients.
Best stored in the fridge.