Photo Credit- http://rarous-stock.deviantart.com/art/Green-Pea-Seeds-stock-295815205
These days it seems there is a new superfood being announced every couple months. We’ve seen flax, chia and hemp seeds all labeled as such. Seeds can truly be a great source of nutrition. After all they have the energy and life in them needed to make a plant. That’s some awesome nutritional storage ability!
What we sometimes forget to take into account is that a seed is literally a shield for the interior plant life. Seeds are designed to be eaten without harm to them by keeping their nutrients inside a hard outer husk. It is their evolved hope to be eaten, so that they may pass through the entire body and end up on the ground in a well fertilized state.
By breaking the outer husk of a seed we can expose their inner nutrients for digestion. The best way to do this is by blending the seeds in a food processor or blender. If you don’t have the opportunity to blend the seeds, such as while at a restaurant, you can just chew them to break the outer husk. Chewing isn’t as thorough, but it is a great second option.
While you are opening up the interior nutrients for better absorption through blending seeds, there is a downside. You are also opening up the omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to oxidation. The longer you wait to eat your seeds after they have been blended, the more oxidized the lipids will become. Your body will then need to “quench” the free radicals with antioxidants that I’m sure you’d rather have being used for other processes such as inhibiting numerous inflammatory conditions.
The simple solution to prevent oxidation is to blend your seeds in small batches and try to eat them within a few days to a week. If you can store them in a cool place without much light such as your refrigerator, that would be great too. Your blended seeds won’t oxidize too quickly, but it is always a good practice to take care of your food.
Another step can be taken to get even more nutrients from a seed. Blending seeds does bypass their hard outer husk, but the seeds also create protective enzymes that make them harder to digest. If a seed is spouted, it will no longer have need for those protective enzymes. This is because the seed thinks it is already in the ground and safe to grow. Once sprouted, all the plant’s energy is devoted to growth.
There are a variety of websites online that will teach you how to appropriately sprout any given seed type. It’s as easy as putting seeds and water in a jar, putting a loose lid on it and then draining the water out the next day. Once you see baby plants emerging, store them in the refrigerator.
To combine the two strategies, you have three options. You can sprout your seeds, then put them in a blender to make a nut butter. Add water, sea salt, and any spices you want to make nut and seed milk. Or sprout them and then dehydrate them at less than 115 degrees Fahrenheit and blend them into a flour to bake with or powder to add to smoothies, cereal, yogurt, scrambled eggs, or anything you want!
Matt has studied wellness for much of his life and currently works to assist people with their health through bodywork therapies. He also enjoys training in traditions such as yoga and martial arts.