Boost your im­mune sys­tem with healthy seeds you can grow in your backyard

Backyard farm­ing may be one of the sweet­est diet plans around


Fred Ar­misen’s TV satire Port­landia makes fun of the cur­rent fas­ci­na­tion with go­ing lo­ca­vore: the dream of the 1890s is alive in Port­land. This back­ward step to backyard farm­ing, lo­cally sourced or­ganic food, and home­grown crops has spread to all parts of the world, even in the most ur­ban­ized cities.

If Manila’s grow­ing num­ber of week­end mar­kets, farm-to-ta­ble restau­rants, and ar­ti­sanal-crafted good­ies is any in­di­ca­tion, then go­ing back to the earth is in­deed de

rigueur. Go­ing backyard has reawak­ened a new in­ter­est in farm­ing—not just for the mul­ti­tude of crops you sow, but for the health benefits that pure and sim­ple seeds and their ex­tracts have to of­fer.

Grape seed. Skip the vino and go for the other good stuff this fruit has to of­fer. Grape seed con­tains an­tiox­i­dants that can stave off cell dam­age and help with poor cir­cu­la­tion and high choles­terol. Even hair can do with a dose of this elixir; The Body Shop’s grape seed gloss­ing serum prom­ises shine and gloss for your mane.

Pump­kin seeds. Th­ese are fun to snack on and pack a nu­tri­tious punch: in­dulging in this tasty treat can amp up your mag­ne­sium, man­ganese, pro­tein, and zinc in­take. Re­pro­duc­tive health for both men and women, im­mu­nity, and your heart and liver can ben­e­fit from th­ese tiny pow­er­houses. Mix them in with some pure, tem­pered dark choco­late and sprin­kle with some sea salt, and you’ve got your­self a deca­dent treat.

Sun­flower seeds. No longer just for your fine-feath­ered friends, sun­flower seeds have an in­cred­i­ble amount of vi­ta­mins to help over­all health. Vi­ta­min E helps com­bat UV rays and keeps skin glow­ing, mag­ne­sium calms the nerves and eases stress and ten­sion headaches, and se­le­nium fights off cell dam­age. All you need is a small serv­ing (just 1/4 cup) to keep your heart healthy, too. Try sprin­kling th­ese onto yo­gurt and sal­ads, or in­cor­po­rate them into home­made bread.

Chia seeds. The Aztecs and Mayans were on to some­thing great when they used this popular su­per­food cen­turies ago. Chia seeds of­fer ev­ery­thing, from fiber and pro­tein to cal­cium and healthy fat, and even other vi­ta­mins that help us func­tion and live well. A great egg sub­sti­tute for most baked goods, th­ese also amp up the fiber and pro­tein con­tent (and tex­ture!) of ev­ery­thing, from your ubiq­ui­tous green smooth­ies to fruit and co­conut milk pud­dings.

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