Seeds, such as pumpkin, flax or sunflower seeds, are one of the healthiest foods, ideal as a snack or breakfast, to enrich salads or bruschetta. The seeds protect the heart and the female reproductive system, as two recent studies demonstrate. Today we are talking about this very interesting topic.
The seeds of health
Recent research, published in the journal Advances in Nutrition by a Norwegian team (Balakrishna et al, Adv Nutr, Nov 2022), compared and analyzed the results of previous studies on the effects of seeds on health. Here's what emerged. The intake of seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin, chia, hemp, poppy, quinoa and flax seeds, protects the heart thanks to a multiple action. These seeds, in fact, improve insulin sensitivity and help keep blood sugar, triglycerides and bad LDL cholesterol under control. Flaxseeds reduce inflammation and cardiovascular risk, sesame seeds are powerful antioxidants, useful in counteracting the damage of free radicals, while quinoa seeds help prevent and combat cardiovascular diseases, significantly reducing weight body in case of overweight, waist circumference, triglycerides, insulin levels, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Chia seeds reduce postprandial blood sugar and diastolic blood pressure.
The synergy of seeds against polycystic ovaries
Seeds can help women in case of polycystic ovaries. This emerges from interesting research published in the journal Food Science and Nutrition (Rasheed et al, Food Sci Nutr, 2023). The scientists observed that the intake of 30 grams of seeds, given by a mixture of equal parts of flaxseed and pumpkin seeds, for 14 days after menstruation and 30 grams of seeds, given by a mixture of equal parts of sunflower and sesame seeds, in the following 14 days allowed the hormonal picture to improve. In particular, the seeds have made it possible to counteract hormonal alterations and weight gain and to reduce the number of ovarian cysts, typical conditions of polycystic ovaries. What has been observed can be traced back to the presence of precious nutrients in the seeds. For example, the omega 3 in pumpkin seeds help keep insulin spikes and cholesterol increases that polycystic ovary syndrome brings with it under control. Not only that, pumpkin seeds also provide beta sitosterol, which helps to counteract hirsutism, another effect that can occur in these cases. The synergy of the seeds chosen for the experiment also allows to provide zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, fiber and antioxidants, all substances that promote normal levels of progesterone in women, a hormone that occurs in too low quantities in case of polycystic ovary, altering ovulation and fertility.
Seeds are the ideal snack, mid-morning together with a small bowl of nuts or to enrich the morning yogurt together with whole grains and lots of fresh fruit, or even in salads, on vegetable side dishes, in soups, in energy bars, preferably homemade, in desserts and on bruschetta. The seeds are generally well accepted and allergy to these foods is very rare. And then, as we have seen, the seeds are powerful sources of beneficial properties, capable of providing important nutrients for the health of the heart and arteries, of reducing inflammation and of coming to help in the event of a female problem such as polycystic ovary.