Why you shouldn't consume flaxseeds or pumpkin seeds without roasting
Seeds are a storehouse of micronutrients but eating them raw can be problematic. A nutritionist explains why.
Nuts and seeds are superfoods you must add to your diet and there have been several studies supporting their benefits in keeping chronic diseases at bay or managing them. Seeds are a storehouse of micronutrients and have healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and all the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that boost your overall health. When you eat them in the right proportion and the right way, you can effectively manage blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. (Also read: Ayurveda expert on rules to consume nuts, dos and don'ts, best time to eat)
Flaxseeds and chia seeds are high on omega-3 fatty acids, lignans that reduce cholesterol while hemp seeds are a good source of vegetarian protein. While one should add them to their daily diet for reaping all their benefits, it is important to make sure you are having them the right way.
Nutritionist Juhi Kapoor in her recent Instagram post says seeds like flaxseeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds contain fibre, lignans and anti-nutrients, and if one does not roast them well, the following can happen:
- They may not get digested and pass indigestible from the intestinal tract.
- Raw seeds that are not roasted or soaked stick to intestinal walls making digestion difficult.
- Raw seeds may have phytates that will bind to minerals and vitamins and make it less biologically available.
Kapoor goes on to suggest the best ways to have seeds on a daily basis.
Here is what you should do:
- Roast each seed separately. Don't roast them together as each of the seeds have a separate roasting time.
- Mix them and store them in airtight container.
- You can also powder the seeds for better absorption.
Dr Dixa Bhavsar Savaliya, an Ayurveda expert in her previous post also mentioned that one can also soak or grind seeds to get maximum benefits out of them. A research in the journal Food & Function also showed that grinding chia seeds may improve the bio accessibility of key nutrients.
Dr Savaliya says if one eats flaxseeds whole, they may pass them whole in their stool as the intestines cannot break down the tough outer shell of the seeds.