Many of us who grew up in the UK during the ‘60s did so with the words “Eat your greens” ringing in our ears. For in those Halcyon days voracious vegetable consumption was oft purported by parents to be the panacea for all the ills that could possibly befall a small person.
Nowadays, of course, the healthy eating message has become far more sophisticated, with the simple “eat your greens” tenet, once espoused by parents, morphing into a multimedia “five-a-day” marketing campaign aimed not just at children but at the entire population – from toddlerdom to zimmerdom.
And it’s not only veggies that we’re encouraged to eat for our well-being these days. There are numerous other health-giving goodies that experts assure us will improve our skin/hair/nails etc.
“Snack on seeds!” we’re counselled by enthusiastic nutritionists. However, all too often the yawning chasm between a seductive packet of pork scratchings and a humble packet of pumpkin seeds might be a tad daunting for all but the most health-conscious amongst us to cross.
What’s so great about seeds anyway? A lot, as it transpires. Mention seeds to any professional dietician at one of the UK’s many pampering venues, such as spa hotels or day spas, and before you can say sesame, they’re guaranteed to be waxing lyrical about linseed or singing the praises of sunflower seeds.
With good reason, too. For sunflowers are far from being just a pretty face. As well as being rather delicious, their characteristic stripy-hulled seeds are naturally rich in folate (especially good for pregnant women) and antioxidant Vitamin E.
Packed with mono- and poly-unsaturated fats which help keep cholesterol at bay, they are also high in selenium and copper, which, along with Vitamin E, prevent cellular damage that can lead to cancer, heart disease and other health problems.
Pumpkin seeds also make an extremely healthy and tasty snack, and can be sprinkled on salads, added to wholegrain bread for extra flavour and crunchiness, or simply munched straight from the packet.
One of nature’s almost perfect foods, pumpkin seeds are a natural source of carbohydrates and amino acids, and also contain unsaturated fatty acids. They contain most of the B vitamins, as well as C, D, E and K – not to mention the minerals calcium, potassium, niacin and phosphorous.
So next time you’re booking yourself in for a facial, massage or indeed any beauty treatment, why not also schedule in some time to discuss your diet with your local spa’s in-house nutritionist. You may well be sowing the seeds of success for your new healthy eating campaign.