Chef Wendell: Great health comes in small packages

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Respected health authorities encourage Americans to increase consumption of nuts and seeds.  Not just for birds and squirrels, these super-foods are a big-time source of energy, clean plant protein, good fat and vitamins. Learn new ways to get more highly nutritious nuts and seeds into your daily diet.

1st Segment: Vitamin deficiency in America causes many diseases. Seed and nut nutrition. Prepare: Avocado toast with hemp seeds. Exhibit ways to add seeds and nuts to daily meals.

2nd Segment: Prepare nut and seed balls. Omega 3 EFA discussion.

  • Never underestimate the power of these small but mighty plant foods
  • Nuts and seeds may improve: high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, arthritis, digestive disorders, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia, osteoporosis.
  • 99% Americans are starving for Omega 3: deficient.
  • Devastating outcomes when Omega 3 is not in the diet. (JAMA and the S.A.D.)
  • Omega 3 is food for the “brain” the seat of your emotions.
  • Omega 3 is important for brain development, reducing inflammation, managing joint pain, improving blood pressure, lowering your “bad” cholesterol, and for heart and bone health.
  • Lack may lead to aggressive social behavior, migraines, depression, bipolar disorder and general lack of focus, concentration and coordination.

Nuts: (Protein, fiber, Omega 3)

  • Fats in nuts and seeds are mostly unsaturated and monounsaturated fats that don’t raise ‘bad’ cholesterol.
  • Rich in protein, fiber and important trace minerals.
  • Less is more. Practice mindful moderation.

Flax seeds: (Protein, fiber, Omega 3))

  • One tablespoon of ‘ground’ flaxseed surpasses the RDI of omega-3s, which help reduce the inflammation that leads to asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, and osteoporosis.
  • Flaxseed may lower blood pressure.
  • Fiber promotes regular digestion and has a role in breast cancer prevention.

Hemp seeds: (Protein, fiber Omega 3)

  • Contain 9 grams of plant based, complete protein.

Chia: (Protein, fiber Omega 3)

  • Can help balance blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, improve digestion, and aid in weight loss.

Tips: Avocado Toast with Hemp seeds and fresh lime — nearly perfect food

  • Sprinkle nuts and seeds over your favorite salad or hot cereal.
  • Blend seeds into smoothies.
  • Grind them up and make a delicious, healthy coating for fish or lean chicken.

What you’ll need for no-bake nut and seed energy balls:

  • 1 cup whole rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
  • 1/2 cup organic peanut butter
  • 10 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy, non-soy chocolate chips
  • 2 tbs. cacao
  • Pinch Himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup raw local honey (If possible)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Remember to:

  • Combine all ingredients together in a food processer and pulse till all is a coarse paste. When you compress a pinch, it should hold together.
  • Wet hands and roll into balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Coat / roll them in hemp seeds.
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.