Sipping Seeds: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Green Juice and Green Smoothie have been in the boxing ring for quite some time now. While they are both excellent additions to a well-balanced diet, there are three qualities that knock juice out: Fiber, Peel, and Seeds! I was tired of throwing out the pulp once my produce was juiced. Why should my trash can reap all the benefits of fiber and discarded skin and seeds, which, by the way, are filled with nutrient-rich goodies? As much as 86% of the nutrients in fruits and veggies are found within the peel, pulp, and seeds – or are locked within cell walls and are rendered indigestible. With the NutriBullet, these components are not only retained, but they’re pulverized to the point of maximum absorption and assimilation into my body. And, to top it off, I can add my favorite superfoods, like nuts, seeds, goji berries and raw cacao, to my drinks, something my bulky, old juicer can’t handle. The benefits of fiber are well known, but the qualities found in hard seeds and which ones should or shouldn’t be included in your NutriBlast hasn’t made the front page just yet.

 

The Good

These seeds will add a nutritional punch to your NutriBlast!

 

Watermelon Seeds

In the Western world, watermelon seeds are often overlooked, but they’re eaten frequently in other parts of the world, roasted or combined in other dishes, like soups. As with all seeds, you must crush the seed in order to unlock the powerful nutrients inside. When pulverized in your NutriBlast, watermelon seeds provide extremely high bioavailable iron and zinc (85-90% of it is highly absorbed), in addition to heart-healthy fiber and muscle-repairing protein (1g per 24 seeds). The seeds have also been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, increase energy, and promote healthy skin.

Blackberry Seeds

Blackberry seeds, along with other berry (raspberry, strawberry) seeds are so small, they may be difficult to fully process in the NutriBullet. In order to create a smooth texture with berry seeds, we suggest adding in your blackberries last so they are the first to hit the blade. Try to use the pulse method first, then run on continuous mode for about 40-50 seconds. Ensure there is enough liquid, so that the seeds can continuously cycle around to hit the blade.  Blackberry seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and antioxidants.

Strawberry Seeds

Now these would be difficult to remove for sure!  Thankfully these “seeds” are great sources of fiber. According to botanical definitions, the strawberry itself is in fact a seed, while what we consider the seeds are achene, a dry fruit!

Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melon Seeds

Cantaloupe and honeydew, when eaten in whole form, are metabolized rapidly. Therefore, most people choose to eat them separately from other foods to avoid digestive discomfort. A little known fact is that the seeds in these melons contain digestive enzymes, which may help those who suffer from indigestion. In addition to these enzymes, melon seeds contain protein, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin A.

Grape Seeds

We’ve all heard that red wine and grapes (especially red grape skins and juice) are super sources of resveratrol, a phytochemical that fights cancer, boosts heart health, and reduces risk for Alzheimer’s disease. However, this powerful nutrient is also abundant in grape seeds, along with the antioxidant vitamin E and linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid.

Kiwi Seeds

These tiny guys contain the beauty-boosting vitamin E that helps promote smooth skin, hair and nails. They are also filled with omega-3 fatty acids to fight off inflammation. Puffy eyes have met their match!

Lemon and Lime Seeds

Trace amounts of salicylic acid, the main ingredient in aspirin, are found in the seeds of lemons and limes. Nature’s medicine is much safer than pills; no side effects.

Orange Seeds

Seeds found in this citrus fruit contain lutreal (vitamin B-17), known for it’s cancer-fighting power. In addition, anti-fungal properties lurk inside and are released when broken down by the NutriBullet.

Pineapple Core

Interestingly enough, the healthiest part of this tropical fruit is the core. It is abundant in the enzyme bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory. Vitamin C, manganese and copper are present in the core as well.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds supply zinc, a mineral shown to promote a healthy prostate, enhance the immune system and aid with wound healing. You can use them shelled or de-shelled. While the shell does not provide many nutritional benefits itself, there is a layer just below called the “envelope,” that houses additional zinc. Three and a half ounces of whole roasted, unshelled pumpkin seeds contain about 10 milligrams of zinc and shelled roasted pumpkin seeds (which are often referred to as pepitas) contain about 7-8 milligrams. In addition, pumpkin seeds provide antihypertensive and cardio-protective effects.

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds contain lignans that have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-cancer properties. Flax seeds are the richest source of the phytoestrogen antioxidant lignans, 100 times more than the next best source: wheat bran. The majority of lignans are found in the seed, giving it an advantage over flax oil. Flax seed also contains lecithin, which emulsifies fat and cholesterol. They improve digestion, help stabilize blood glucose levels, may fight tumor formation and enhance cardiovascular health.

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are one of the highest boosts of protein available, exceeded only by spirulina and blue-green algae. Hemp seeds are naturally high in omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, fiber (over 24% RDA), blood-nourishing iron, magnesium and the antioxidant vitamin E. These seeds also contain alkalizing chlorophyll and anti-inflammatory properties.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds supply nearly a quarter of your daily value of folate. Folate is crucial for pregnant women, but this b-complex vitamin supports cell production and proper nerve function for all. These sunny seeds also supply antioxidants vitamin E and selenium to help reduce inflammation and support healthy a health brain.

Sesame Seeds

Got sesame seeds? If you do, you’ll reap the bone-building nutritional benefits of calcium and magnesium in addition to a healthy dose of zinc and fiber.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are chock full of fiber, vitamins, calcium, iron, omega-3s (eight times more than salmon, gram for gram), antioxidants, and easy-to-digest protein. Chia seeds are beneficial for many health issues, including diabetes, hypoglycemia, celiac disease, and lowering cholesterol. They have a mild nutty flavor and develop sweet notes when sprouted.  When combined with a liquid, they form a gel which binds toxins for a healthy cleanse!

 

The Bad

 

These seeds contain amygdalin, a molecule that produces cyanide when pulverized. If ingested in whole form, the seed should pass right through, undigested. However, the NutriBullet crushes the seeds, rendering the cyanide free and harmful to the body. Remove seeds and pits from the following seven fruits.

 

Apple

Pear

Apricot

Peach

Nectarine

Plum

Cherry

The Ugly

They won’t harm you, but we recommend to discard

Mango Core – The core of a mango has not shown to provide any positive nutritional benefits. In addition, the density may wear the blade prematurely. Therefore, it is best to discard the mango core.

 

Avocado Pit – While the avocado pit has been known to provide a magnitude of soluble fiber, potassium and antioxidants, we suggest removing it before blasting to maintain the quality of the blade. No worries, the other ingredients will supply these health-promoting properties in their most absorbable form!

 

 

-Krista Haynes, R. D.

NutriBullet Nutition Advisor

 

References:

http://www.healthalternatives2000.com/nut-seed-nutrition-chart.html

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/healthy-seeds/

http://blenderdude.com/articles/whole-fruit-nutrition/

www.whfoods.org

Antihypertensive and cardioprotective effects of pumpkin seed oil

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22082068

http://valuefood.info/Natural-Food/Nutrition-Health-Benefits-Fruits/health-benefits-of-watermelon-seeds.html

http://www.ehow.com/about_5092722_benefits-watermelon-seeds.html

 

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