I once received a gift from a friend’s mother. It was a little picture of an apple with its seeds visible and underneath it said “Everyone knows how many seeds are in an apple, but only God knows how many apples are in a seed”. No matter how many times I have thought about it, it always struck me how impossible the calculation of this was to make. Because the seed makes one tree bearing so many apples with so many seeds, making so many new plants that we could not possibly get to a final answer…. Granted that the seed needed the right environment and moisture, it had to have even more internal properties to become a healthy tree. It is some of these resilient properties seeds have which are beneficial for human health.
I only report some of the studies done on humans to prove the health benefits of consuming seeds. However, please keep in mind that the healing properties of seeds are not limited by what science has discovered until now. I much rather would like to believe that this is the tip of the ice berg and as science develops we will discover more use for seeds both as preventative compound as well as treatment for disease. It might also discover the mechanisms behind the healing, teaching us more about health and wellness.
Having said this, what is also mind boggling to me is how old some of these studies are already. And for some reason it is kept such a secret that most of us don’t even know about it.
This is a short summary of what I could find in the scientific literature:
* In a previous newsletter, I have discussed the powerful healing ability of flaxseed and I will not repeat it here again.
* It is shown in the literature that mustard seeds have potential to prevent cancer as it protects against free radicals in the body
*Black seeds, also known as black cumin or Nigella Sativa has the longest list of miracle working powers:
· It effectively lowers blood lipid levels in humans
· It effectively reduces blood pressure in hypertensive patients
· It is effective against type II diabetes
· It proposes clinical useful anti- Helicobacter Pylori activity
· A water extract was shown to significantly reduce seizures in children
· It relieves symptoms of rhinitis
· It helps protect the liver during chemotherapy
· Improve inflammation and free radical damage in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis
· It helps opioid addicts to cope better with withdrawal symptoms
· It increases memory, concentration and cognition in healthy adults
* Hemp seeds helped with relief of constipation and a significant source of plant protein
* A dietary mix of sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax reduced all markers for heart disease
* Chia seeds, as flax seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids. These are very beneficial for heart health, cancer prevention and cure, and healthy cell membranes.
When you read about seed oils there are many contradictions. What is most important to remember is that any seed oil should be produced through a cold press procedure and stored in a dark, air tight container. Heat, light and air are damaging to the omega 3, 6 and 9 oils. If this happens, it could harm your health instead of benefitting it. Many people warn against too many omega 6’s compared to omega 3’s. Because omega 6 oils are used in prepared and junk food, it did get a reputation for being harmful to health. However, when consumed in the whole seeds with the husks intact, I do believe that it will benefit your health. This is because God packaged harmful elements in foods with its antidote.
To incorporate seeds in your diet you could add pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in your salad for an extra crunch. You could also add seeds to your muesli and eat it however you prefer. If you want to consume black cumin seeds you must be warned that it tastes awful. Grind it and consume it in yogurt with added honey to make it tastier. Also, start with small a amount to get use to the taste first. As a rule, I do not encourage anyone to consume anything they don’t like. Black cumin is an exception because of all the health benefits it gives you. Personally, it helped me clearing up inflammation in my knees from years of playing squash.