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What exactly are oilseeds?
Plants cultivated for their high fat seeds or fruits are known as oilseeds.
Oilseeds are fatty acid-rich fruits with little water content, some of which may be extracted from oil. It's not to be mistaken with sunflower or flax seeds, which are oil seeds. Almonds, walnuts (cashew, pecan, macadamia…), hazelnuts, pine nuts, and pistachios are examples of naturally dried oleaginous fruits.
These are oilseeds, which are rarely consumed by Westerners yet contain high quantities of necessary fatty acids. What are their names? What are the advantages? Which one should you choose? Concentrate on a food group that doesn't often get a positive reputation.
What foods are included in this group?
The name “oilseed” is derived from the Latin word “oleum,” which meaning “oil,” because oilseeds are the plant foods from which oil is produced. Some are seeds (sesame, squash, flax, sunflower, cola, etc.) while others are fruits (sesame, squash, flax, sunflower, cola, etc). (walnut, almond, hazelnut, pine nut, pistachio, olive …). Regrettably, due of their high fat content, they are frequently avoided by the general public. Only 20% of men and women ate both seeds and oilseeds in week one, according to a UK research. The typical weekly consumption is about 17 g for males and 12 g for women, accounting for only 2 to 3% of total omega-3 fatty acid intake.
** Almonds are high in phytosterols, which are similar to cholesterol. They allow for a reduction in cholesterol absorption in the intestine and, as a result, a reduction in blood cholesterol levels. Half of the lipids in almonds are monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), whose breakdown is harmful to one's health and is prevented by the presence of vitamin E, an antioxidant. Almonds are also high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin B2, and vegetable protein. They are only beneficial to our health when consumed in modest quantities (3 to 5 per day). The sole danger is an allergic reaction, which can be severe and lead to anaphylactic shock.
** The nuts are notably high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as the omega 3 family's alpha linolenic acid. Phytosterols, plant proteins high in arginine and low in lysine, fibers, manganese, phosphate, potassium, vitamin B9 (folic acid), and antioxidant compounds like melatonin and ellagic acid are also present (also contained in strawberries and raspberries).
Monounsaturated AG is abundant in the nuts. They contain vitamin E and polyphenols, both of which have been shown to have antioxidant properties. Manganese, copper, iron, and minerals are all available from them.
** Pine nuts are seeds that are concealed behind the scales of pinecones or pine cones. Phytosterols, vegetable proteins, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and zinc are all present.
** The majority of the AG in pistachios is monounsaturated. Phytosterols, fibre, vegetable proteins, copper, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin B6 are all abundant in them. Because polyphenols are present, they have antioxidant effects (resveratrol and anthocyanins).
If you don't eat more than ten almonds or hazelnuts each day, you'll get enough energy (fatty acids and proteins) without adding too many calories to your diet. It's a great snack for kids and sportsmen alike.
The presence of phytosterols in oleaginous fruits has been shown to be beneficial in the setting of hypercholesterolemia in recent investigations. On the other hand, eating a few nuts every day reduces the risk of breast cancer by half.
Aren't they a little too fatty?
We frequently overlook the fact that not all fats belong in the same basket. Unsaturated fatty acids, which are found in oilseeds and fish, are separated from saturated fatty acids, which are found in meat and dairy products, as well as trans fatty acids, which are mostly found in industrial goods and are known to raise the risk of heart disease 1. Researchers believe that lipids should not account for more than 30% of our daily calorie intake, despite the fact that they now account for over 40%. Oilseeds, on the other hand, have a wonderful place in our diet if we limit our intake of fatty meats, cold meats, pastries, fried meals, and prepared dishes.
Are they too caloric ?
Because of their substantial fat content, oilseeds are undeniably caloric meals. However, while attempting to reduce weight, looking at food just from a calorie standpoint is simply too restrictive. The most essential thing is to maintain a broad perspective by looking at the nutritional densities and satiety indexes of each dish. Oilseeds may therefore be recognized from processed industrial foods, which have the same number of calories but are deficient in critical elements.
These are similar to empty calories in that they fill the stomach but do not deliver any intriguing nutrients or satiation, thereby pushing the energy balance in the wrong direction. Oilseeds, on the other hand, have a high nutritional value and, because to their high dietary fiber content, are a proven hunger suppressor.
What vitamins and minerals do they provide?
Oilseeds are particularly nutritionally intriguing because they contain two polyunsaturated fatty acids that the body cannot produce: omega-6 and omega-3. They are also abundant in protein, particularly fruits like sesame or almonds, but they should be supplemented with moderate amounts of legumes high in lysine, methionine, and cystine, three necessary amino acids that they lack in general.
They are high in vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant), thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid (B9), calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as other minerals. Oil fruits also include phytosterols and phytoestrogens, two substances that are thought to help with cholesterol absorption.
What are the potential health benefits?
Several clinical investigations demonstrate that eating oilseeds on a daily basis reduces the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes , reduces the risk of gallstones and the risk of colon cancer in women, and has a cholesterol-lowering impact . (especially for LDL cholesterol considered “bad”). To reap these benefits, the amount of oilseed to ingest is frequently similar to five servings of 30 g per week.
When it comes to the feared effects on weight, it appears that oilseeds are far from the image that has been assigned to them. According to one study, a high diet of animal fats was connected with weight increase in women, but a similar consumption of oilseeds was associated with a low weight reduction. According to another study, this is due in part to their capacity to drastically lower hunger.
Oilseeds: What are the risks?
Oil fruit allergy is a matter for worry since it develops early in childhood, persists into maturity, and can be lethal. Simple skin contact or inhalation of peanuts, but also pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts, might produce symptoms. In mild cases, nuts produce redness, pain, a headache, and swelling of the lips and tongue. Peanuts and all tree nuts can trigger anaphylactic shock in extreme cases. Because of the possible severity of the symptoms, allergy patients should avoid contact with certain foods and keep an epinephrine syringe on hand at all times.
Fruits and oleaginous seeds should be consumed on a daily basis as part of a healthy and balanced diet. These foods, notably walnuts, do, however, appear prominently on the list of major allergies. According to one research, oilseeds constitute a group with a lot of allergies. To put it another way, someone allergic to hazelnuts is more likely to be allergic to other oilseeds like walnuts or pecans. People with peanut allergies should avoid eating other oilseeds as well, as they are frequently handled together in nut processing plants.
Additionally, people who are at risk of kidney or urinary stones should avoid them since they contain oxalates, which can induce recurrence.
What is the best way to consume Oilseeds?
Oilseeds are incredibly easy to eat because they require very little preparation. There's no shortage of ways to eat them: mashed over toast for breakfast, salad for lunch, or whole with fruit for a snack. Do not buy them already cooked (grilled or salted, for example), since too much salt or artificial fats may impair the nutritional advantages (the famous trans fatty acids ). Also, don't take them before meals that are likely to be very large: remember, these are calorie-dense foods!
Which one is your favorite?
Although there are no oilseeds that cannot be used, several stand out for their remarkable richness. This is the case with almonds, which, together with soybeans, are the finest alternatives to animal proteins due to their high protein concentration. It also includes a lot of minerals, including a lot of magnesium. We may also include hemp seed, which is one of the few foods that has both vegetable proteins and an omega-6 / omega-3 ratio that is good for human health (2/1 to 3/1).
Unfortunately, it is still relatively affordable, costing around 30% more than flaxseed, which is the best source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the most lacking fat in our diet. Finally, don't overlook the sesame seed, which is high in calcium and contains a lot of lecithin, as well as Brazil nuts, which are high in selenium, a rare element that is good for the body in tiny amounts.