The final food group of the G-BOMBS acronym is S, for seeds and nuts. This group is one that we don't want to eat large quantities of because of the fat content, but want to get adequate amounts every day for so many reasons.
Seeds and nuts are rich in fibre and protein, but with a daily serving being only 3 tablespoons, that isn't significant compared to the fibre and protein we get from whole beans, lentils and whole grains.
Instead, the greatly beneficial aspect of seeds and nuts is the whole food oil. Including a few nuts and seeds with each meal helps us to utilize other nutrients in the foods we're eating like vitamin E and other oil-soluble nutrients. Also, many seeds and nuts are high in the Omega-3 fats, which are essential for a healthy heart, healthy brain and even keeping our moods stable.
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Research has shown that eating 5 or more servings of nuts and seeds per week is associated with a 35% reduction in coronary heart disease. It lowers both high blood pressure, cholesterol and lowers the risk of stroke. (1 serving of nuts is considered 1 ounce or 30 grams.)
There are also a lot of new findings linking the consumption of nuts and seeds with reduced risk of cancer. The nuts and seeds provide an anti-proliferative that prevents cancers from growing, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, both of which fight cancer. And flax, sesame and chia seeds contain lignans that are linked to reduced rates of breast cancer.
And the recipe this week is a tasty, moist Seed Bar.
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup purified water
- 1¼ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 5 dates, chopped (and soaked if they are quite dry)
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
Preheat oven to 350º F.
In a small bowl, add the chia seeds to the water. Set aside, stirring every 2 minutes to keep from being lumpy.
Add oats, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, cranberries and dates to a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix well.
Mash the banana in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients along with the soaked chia seeds. Mix well.
Spoon into a parchment paper lined 8” x 8” baking dish and press out evenly. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the edges become slightly brown.
Remove from oven, let cool for 30 minutes and cut into bar or squares.
Store covered in refrigerator for up to 1 week.