It’s no coincidence that one of my favorite flavors of Picky Bars is called 'Need For Seed'. I was late to the seed party shunning even sunflower seeds as a kid because I thought they were those gross things boys spit out at baseball games. Who knew they were full of valuable nutrients... and that my mom was very cleverly sneaking them into my oatmeal cookies, pancakes, granola mix and even in our meatloaf.
Seeds aren't as trendy as acai berries or wheatgrass but they are a timeless and affordable superfood and should be a part of your daily diet. They contain valuable minerals that athletes' bodies need for performance, rebuilding and immunity.
Hemp Seeds – An INPYN meal plan favorite – 10g of complete protein per serving, rich in Omega 3's, Magnesium and Vitamin E. In fact, hemp seeds do not contain any phytates, which means that the minerals in hemp seeds are easier for the body to absorb.
Chia Seeds – Loaded with fiber (10g), calcium and healthy fats, chia seeds are the perfect addition to a post workout smoothie; the omega 3's and protein help reduce inflammation boost muscle repair.
Flax Seeds – Rich in manganese, a mineral shown to help fight free radical damage, flax seeds are a big 'bang for your buck' food. They contain fiber, fat and lingans- phytonutrients that help regulate hormone levels and support the immune system.
Pumpkin Seeds – Grab a handful of pumpkin seeds for a magnesium boost. They are also a decent source of fat, fiber and zinc. Easy to add on top of salads and soups for a nice crunchy texture.
Sesame Seeds – Often overlooked, sesame seeds have manganese for bone health, zinc for immune health, and copper for energy and collagen production. They are also a great source of iron – something most endurance athletes need more of.
Seeds are easy to add to ANY dish – oatmeal, yogurt, stir-fry's, pasta, salads, smoothies and even pizza. 1-2 tbsp a day your body will be thanking you.