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.