Vegetarian Proteins Part 2: seeds and nuts.

05/01/2022

Ayurveda believes that seeds give us more energy than other foods because, despite being so small, they have the power to create an entire plant or tree. Of all seeds, sesame seeds are the most recommended because they contain all six Ayurvedic flavors. Sesame seeds also have a lot of protein, more calcium than any other food, much more than dairy products, and for this reason, they nourish our bones.


The following four seeds are excellent for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.


1. Sesame, "Open Sesame":


- Tahini: It's sesame butter and one of the easiest ways to include sesame in your diet. Spread it on toast, use it instead of peanut butter on your jam sandwich, or mix it with water, lemon, and salt to make a delicious dressing for your salads or stir-fries. Hummus also contains Tahini.


- Add 1-2 tbsp. of sesame seeds to your smoothies.


*Mesoamerican Seeds*


2. Chia: It is considered a superfood due to its high protein content, fiber, omega fats, and its ability to regulate cholesterol.


Add it to your smoothie, lemonade, and desserts. Learn to make chia pudding with coconut milk, it's easy!


3. Pumpkin seeds: An excellent source of iron, protein, antioxidants, zinc, and magnesium. They improve heart pumping and blood vessel relaxation and are crucial for proper prostate function. Roast them! (see the recipe below)


4. Sunflower Seeds: They regulate pressure, cholesterol, and contain protein, vitamin E, and magnesium. Add them to your salads, stews, and eat them as a snack.


Nuts: They are sources of protein and high-quality fats for those who do not eat animal protein. They are very dense, so you should not eat more than 2 tbsp. per day. Seeds can be eaten between 3-4 tbsp. per day depending on the type of seed.


Vata: For those who find nuts hard to digest, they should soak them overnight, drain, and eat them over 5 days. All nuts are good for Vata, but seeds are easier to digest. Roasted seeds and nuts are more digestible for Vata.


Pitta: Should eat more seeds than nuts, but can eat 1 tbsp. of almonds per day or other types occasionally.


Kapha: Should eat more seeds than nuts, but can eat 1 tbsp. of nuts per day, such as almonds, occasionally.


"Ancestral Grains" from the American Continent:


The following are used as grains in meal preparation, but they are actually seeds. Which are tridoshic (good for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), full of protein, and high-quality fats. They can be consumed in larger portions than other seeds, like 1-2 cups per day.


Amaranth: Contains a lot of protein, iron, and other essential minerals. It's anti-inflammatory, laxative, decongestant, and nourishes the eyes. Puffed, you can put it on your fruit in the morning, add it to your smoothie, to your oatmeal, or eat it as "alegría."


Quinoa: High in fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and antioxidants. It was a staple in the diet of the Incas in South America where it is endemic. If one doesn't live in places where it's grown today, like Peru or Canada, they shouldn't eat quinoa every day, only once a week. Cook and stew it like you would with rice or mix it with fresh ingredients to serve as a salad.


Recipe from the upcoming integrative cookbook in "The Ten Great: Medicinal Foods of Mexico from the Ayurvedic Perspective":


Movie Pumpkin Seeds


4 servings


Ingredients:


2 cups of raw pumpkin seeds


2 tablespoons of soy sauce


Instructions:

In an iron skillet or griddle, roast the pumpkin seeds dry at medium heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula. Keep moving them to avoid burning. When they start to look and smell roasted, add the soy sauce and stir them quickly for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let them cool. Transfer them to a container. Optionally, here you can add some lemon/salt/spicy seasoning typical of Mexican snacks. This snack is perfect to prepare and take to the cinema to avoid buying and eating popcorn because they use very low-quality ingredients and are hard to digest. These pumpkin seeds are a good supplement.


By Iris Campion.

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