#snackhappy with seeds
Packed full of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, seeds are perfect for sprinkling over salads and cereals, but they also make a fantastic snack choice in their own right. Get #snackhappy with these simple yet scrumptious ideas…
Best for: stabilising blood sugar
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3s and magnesium, and contain a soluble fibre that slows the release of sugars into the blood. A study in Diabetes Care found they improved heart disease risk factors in type 2 diabetes.
Make: Chia Lemonade (Serves 1; 82 calories per serving)
4 tbsp lemon juice 180ml still water Stevia, to taste 1 tbsp chia seeds
Mix the juice and water; add stevia, to taste. Stir in seeds; chill for 10 mins. Mix again and enjoy!
Best for: menstrual problems
A serving supplies a sixth of the daily recommended allowance of magnesium, which studies suggest eases PMS, and a seventh of your iron needs.
Make: Hemp Houmous (Serves 4; 134 calories per serving)
4 tbsp ground hemp seeds 1 can chickpeas, drained 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 clove garlic ½ tsp cumin Water
Blend all ingredients in a processor. Then add water in a thin stream, till the mix is smooth and creamy.
Best for: joints
Flaxseeds are high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that help ease conditions like arthritis. Couple with coconut water to raise your levels of blood pressure-regulating potassium. A glass has one tenth of your daily quota of zinc.
Make: Fruity Flax Smoothie (Serves 2; 220 calories per serving)
1 ripe mango Big handful of mint 1 banana 4 tbsp milled flaxseeds Coconut water
Put the solid and dry ingredients in a blender; add enough coconut water to cover. Whizz!
Best for: heart health
Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E, which helps prevent arteries becoming cholesterol-clogged.
Make: Spicy Toasted Sunflower Seeds (Makes 15 tbsp; 60 calories per tbsp)
150g sunflower seeds 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tsp agave syrup ½ tsp chili powder ½ tsp paprika 1 tsp olive oil
Mix all ingredients together. Spread in a single layer over a non-stick baking tray. Bake at 150°C/130°C fan/gas mark 2 for 30-40 mins.
Best for: high cholesterol
Pumpkin seeds are rich in beta-sitosterol, a compound that can help lower cholesterol. It can also help with prostate problems in older men.
Make: Pumpkin Seed Pesto (Serves 6; 208 calories per serving)
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds 30g fresh coriander 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese 4 cloves garlic 1 chilli, deseeded 6 tbsp olive oil
Blend the seeds until coarsely chopped. Add all the other ingredients and process till smooth.
How do you eat yours? Share your healthy snack ideas with us on Twitter @healthymag using the hashtag #snackhappy