Black Cumin and Black Sesame
Black seed, which includes black cumin and black sesame, has a long history of use in traditional health systems. Believe it or not, since 1964, 656 peer-reviewed studies have referenced this mysterious black seed.
The oil from black seed, or specifically Nigella Sativa or black cumin, was found in the tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen, dating back to thousands of years ago. What is especially unique about black seed is its ability to influence a wide range of biological pathways and functions, including:
- Blood pressure
- Heart health
- Colon health
- Fasting glucose
- Pulmonary health
- Opiate addiction
- GI and digestive health
- Kidney and liver health
- Immune health
Black sesame seeds have the highest oil content of any seed at 50% of their weight, and abundant omega-3 fats. Also a great source of magnesium (one ounce provides about 128 mg), sesame also contains plentiful lignans, plant compounds that act like antioxidants and are important for cellular and mitochondrial health.
Many people use the extracted oils of these two black seeds, but Dr. Mercola believes the whole unprocessed seeds offer more potential benefits.
Black Cumin: The most abundant active plant chemical in black cumin is thymoquinone, a powerful antioxidant. Other bioactive compounds in the seed include -hederin, alkaloids, flavonoids, antioxidants, and, of course, fatty acids.
Research has recently shown that this unique substance and its derivatives are potent antioxidants that can target mitochondria, in that, they penetrate cell membranes and accumulate in the cells’ mitochondria where they are able to scavenge destructive ROS (reactive oxygen species) and free radicals.
Flax Seeds : Flax seeds are best known for their fibre and omega-3 fats. Flax seeds are small, brown-coloured seeds that happen to be the richest source of ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid, a plant-based essential omega-3 short-chain fat that your body cannot make.
Not only do flax seeds contain higher levels of omega-3s than any other plant food, they also have a higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats which is very important to your health. They are also the best source of lignans of any food. Lignans are unique polyphenols that provide antioxidant benefits for cellular and mitochondrial health, hormone regulation, and healthy ageing.
Flax seeds are treasure troves for fibre, both soluble and insoluble – in fact 95% of flax seed is fibre. Like other high soluble fibre foods, when you eat flax seeds, they turn into a thick, gel-like mass, thanks to their high lignan levels. This “mucilage” gel serves multiple purposes. It can help increase nutrient absorption by delaying the emptying of your food into the small intestine. In turn, this helps you feel fuller longer, and helps you reduce your cravings for carbs and sugar.
A summary of the many potential benefits of flax seeds:
- Provides prebiotics, or food for your beneficial bacteria, and promotes their growth
- Supports healthy digestion and helps protect the lining of your GI tract
- Contributes bulk to stool, promoting healthy elimination
- Supports colon health
- Supports healthy normal hormonal balance
- Promotes skin, hair, and nail health and helps reduce dryness and flakiness
- Supports healthy cholesterol levels already in the normal range
- Supports healthy blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity
- Supports weight management
- Helps promote a normal healthy inflammatory response throughout your body
With such an impressive list of potential benefits, it is no wonder flax seeds have held “superfood” status for so many years!
Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds have endured bad press for many years, largely because of their association with marijuana or cannabis. A variety of the cannabis plant, hemp is not a source of tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC). So, contrary to what some may believe, hemp seeds will not get you high. Instead, they provide an abundance of potential health benefits.
Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts (the hulled seeds), are the seeds of the hemp plant. They are a rich source of GLA, or Gamma-linolenic acid, a building block for prostaglandins, or hormone-like substances that help regulate body temperature, smooth muscle, hormone balance and your body’s inflammatory response.
Like flax seeds, hemp seeds also contain abundant fibre, both insoluble and soluble, that can help you feel fuller longer after eating and help ward off unhealthy cravings. Their fibre also helps promote regularity, feeds your beneficial gut bacteria, and supports your overall digestive health.
Hemp Seed is also great nutrition-wise as it :-
- Ideal 3:1 balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fats
- Complete protein containing all 20 amino acids, including all nine of the essential amino acids
- Good source of manganese, vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are good sources of many nutrients needed for the health of your mitochondria and your entire body:
- Healthy fats (contain up to 40 percent oil, with 60 percent omega-3s)
- Dietary fibre (10 grams in just one ounce!)
- Antioxidants and phytochemicals to help protect your lipids, proteins and DNA from oxidation
- Minerals, including magnesium, manganese, calcium, and phosphate
Their high concentration of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), second only to flax seeds, makes both flax and chia seeds especially valuable in helping to build your cells’ mitochondrial membranes.
While animal-based omega-3s are important for health, so are the right proportions of omega-6s. Chia seeds have a healthy balance of both.
Psyllium Husks: Most people don’t get enough fibre, plain and simple. That is especially concerning since researchers have found that a diet high in fibre is associated with a lower risk of premature death from any cause. Dr. Mercola firmly believe eating enough fibre is one of the most important things you can do for your health as fibre radically improves your microbiome.
Made from the husks of the plant seeds of the Plantago ovata plant, organic psyllium is a simple and cost-effective way of increasing your body’s fibre supply. Taking it three-times a day could give you as much as 18 grams of dietary fibre.
Containing soluble fibre, psyllium acts as a prebiotic and helps nourish your beneficial gut bacteria. That, in turn, promotes digestion and absorption of nutrients. A “happy” gut supports optimal immune function.
When buying psyllium, always make sure it is certified organic. Psyllium is a heavily pesticide-sprayed crop and non-organic psyllium husks are usually irradiated. Also make sure it is 100% pure organic psyllium with nothing else added.
Produced Using State-of-the-Art Processes for Stability, Safety and Quality
Dr Mercola have partnered with a supplier who understands the importance of food safety as well as food quality. However, that combination sometimes requires out-of-the-box thinking and action. The supplier uses a state-of-the-art microbial reduction process that ensures both clean food and integrity of the ingredients.
This all-natural, chemical-free process is gentle on ingredients, unlike the irradiation and other pasteurisation technologies that some other companies use with their seed products. Located in the heart of U.S. flax country where 96 % of the nation’s flax is grown, their supplier knows its ingredients well.
Focused on preserving the seed’s high concentrations of essential fats, fibre, phytochemicals and other important nutrients, they utilise innovative milling capabilities in their full-scale modern processing facilities, all certified for maximum quality, safety and traceability.