3 - Seed-based Foods

This section covers seeds, grains, nuts and beans.


Why: Unlike highly processed seed and nut oils, the whole seed or nut is loaded with essential fats and minerals along with fiber, antioxidants, some protein, Vitamin E and several B vitamins. The antioxidants protect the delicate polyunsaturated fats from becoming rancid. The fats and fiber make them a good filling snack.

How: Try to buy the best quality you can afford. Buy as fresh as possible; refrigerated is best. Organic is preferred. Start with raw seeds and nuts, then either soak and dehydrate them or sprout them.

[TIP] Save money by getting your minerals via seeds and nuts. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc; flax seeds are high magnesium and look to filberts as a source of manganese.


Why: In the last 50 years, wheat has undergone extensive hybridization to improve yield. Unfortunately its digestibility has gone down. Many people find they are allergic or sensitive to the gluten protein which now exists in a much higher percentage than earlier forms of wheat. Many others react quite strongly to the blood sugar highs and lows experienced when eating wheat products. Meats are frequently accused of acidifying the body yet wheat has a much more dramatic acidifying effect. As more and more people find they have trouble digesting modern wheat products, it can be a wonderful adventure exploring healthy alternatives.

How: My first suggestion is to avoid all highly processed grain products, no matter the grain. They still pack a blood sugar wallop. One way to do that is to make breads and muffins from coconut or almond flour. You will also gain wonderful fats in the process. If you do use other grains like rice or corn, use organic varieties and smaller portions.

[TRADE] Instead of switching to highly processed wheat-free or gluten-free products, be adventurous and try alternative grains like quinoa, teff, amaranth, buckwheat, corn and for those who can handle gluten try rye, oats, barley and older forms of wheat like spelt and emmer. Just remember to practice portion control with these too.


Why: All seeds protect themselves from early germination with enzyme inhibitors. Unfortunately, if we do not inactivate these enzyme inhibitors, our own digestive enzymes will be blocked from properly digesting and absorbing the nutrients contained in seeds. This is why traditional cultures learned to soak and dehydrate or sprout or sourdough ferment their seed foods like grains, nuts, beans and seeds.

How: Here are a couple of good places to start. Instead of canned beans, buy dried beans and soak them and cook from scratch. See how much better they taste. Buy raw nuts, soak them in salted water overnight and dehydrate until crispy. You can use your oven at its lowest setting or a dehydrator. Buy sprouted or sourdough breads from a local bakery. See our Resources list for locations.

Ready for more?

Book: “Wheat Belly” by William Davis, MD (available in the Whatcom County Library System)

Online article: “Proper Preparation of Grains and Legumes” video by Sarah Pope

Website: Food Renegade Recipes (great place to start with soaked grain and grain-free recipes

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