Benefits of Seeds, Grains and Cereals in your diet
As discussed in this piece
, there are a number of benefits of adding seeds, grains and cereals to your diet. Not only are they high in nutrients and fibre, but they’ve been shown to decrease your risk of heart disease and lower your risk of stroke as well. Make sure to maximimise the nutrients and health benefits you get by consuming a variety of different seeds, grains and cereals, as they all offer slightly different benefits.
What's the difference between a seed and a grain?
They may seem similar, but seeds, grains and cereal are all distinct classifications.
Seeds are defined as being the embryonic plant that’s covered in a 'seed coat'. Within this, you’ll find all of the nutrients required to grow a new plant. This is what makes them such a great part of your diet. Those nutrients are packed into each seed you eat, making them nutritionally dense when eaten.
Grains are harvested grassy crops, and technically a type of fruit, though unlike the fruits we usually eat, they’re normally hard on the outside. Common types of grains include wheat, oats and rice, and they often lack the level of nutrients found in seeds. Despite this lack of nutrients in certain grains, there are some grains such as Quinoa which are rammed with nutrients. Even the less nutritionally dense grains still have a place in a healthy diet as they provide good levels of fibre.
How many seeds, grains or cereals should be in my diet?
General advice is that grains & cereals should make up around 30% of your plate when eating a meal, while seeds, due to their nutritional density, only need to be consumed in smaller portions. Around two tablespoons of seeds per day is the recommended amount ( or around 200 calories worth) but the exact type of seed can affect the recommended amounts.