The seeds of health!
German bread meisters have for centuries been aware of the health benefits of certain seeds, and thus incorporated them into their dough and sprinkled them on the crust. In general, seeds add substance to the bread in terms of fiber and protein, and of course, bring more flavor! Seeds are smart carbs, high in fiber and nutrients, but low in sugar.
But there is more to it. Modern research shows that certain seeds have a multitude of benefits that help us stay healthy. Here is a brief summary of the major bread seeds and their positive “side” effects.
Flax seeds are high in anti-oxidants, which promotes the long-term health of human cell structures. Flax seeds protect the lining of the digestive tract, and are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is good for the heart because they promote healthy cholesterol levels.
Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, copper, vitamin B1, and manganese. They help sooth nerves, muscles and blood vessels. They can lower cholesterol, and have an anti-inflammatory, detoxifying effect.
Pumpkin seeds are high in manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. These ingredients support the immune system, and have a positive effect on prostrate health and urinary flow. They help balance blood sugar, and support a healthy heart with lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which in turn promote healthy cholesterol levels.
Chia seeds are super high in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, protein, anti-oxidants, and fiber. Chia seeds are said to promote brain and heart health, strengthen bones, and raise HDL "good" cholesterol levels.
Millet seeds are a good source for copper, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. Magnesium lowers high blood pressure, and thus reduces the risk of heart attack. It also helps regulate glucose and insulin secretion, lowering type 2 diabetes risk. Phosphorus helps repair body tissue.
Sesame seeds rank highest in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols of nearly all nuts, seeds, legumes and grains. Phytosterols are plant sterols structurally similar to cholesterol that act in the intestine to lower cholesterol absorption. Hence, less cholesterol enters your system.
German bread traditionally contains lots of seeds, and thus has health benefits. Besides seeds, German artisan bread is generally very low in sugar and fat, high in fiber and protein and has zero cholesterol. That’s what you want for a healthy diet!
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