Diana Mirkin

Seeds have been the staple of the human diet for millions of years. 
Humans and other animals who can gather and store their food have an 
advantage over those who can only graze. Our ancestors found that 
the easiest, most abundant foods to gather, carry and store are 

Seeds come in many sizes and shapes, but they share the same basic 
design: a tiny germ, or baby plant; an energy supply of 
carbohydrates or fat to fuel the first stages of growth; and a 
protective outer skin, husk or shell. Everything necessary to start 
a new life is packaged in each seed, so for humans and other 
animals, seeds are nutritional powerhouses. They have the vitamins, 
minerals, protein and essential fatty acids we need, as well as 
fiber to provide bulk and calories to give us energy.

Grains, beans and nuts have nourished the human race throughout our 
evolution. Only in our recent history have we adopted the 
unfortunate practice of stripping seeds of most of their nutritional 
value and consuming only the energy sources (the starch and the 
fat). North Americans eat huge amounts of refined flours and 
vegetable oils. A diet that includes lots of refined grains and 
extracted oils is likely to be deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, 
vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Eat lots of seeds the way nature provides them: whole grains, such 
as wheat, barley, corn, rye and oats; legumes, such as beans, peas 
and lentils; and other seeds and nuts -- preferably whole and 
prepared by you so you know nothing has been removed. Some seeds, 
such as flaxseeds, are particularly rich sources of omega-3's, but 
you don't need to seek them out. An unhealthy diet sprinkled with a 
tablespoon of flaxseeds is still an unhealthy diet. If you eat lots 
of different whole seeds and make them the staple of your diet, you 
will get plenty of omega-3's, vitamins and minerals.

Checked 5/3/07