Originally from the Mediterranean coast, the fennel already seduced the Egyptians who chewed it to have good breath thanks to its aniseed taste. How did she get on our plates? It was Catherine de Medici who had the rich idea of introducing it into French cuisine.
It is the seed of digestive comfort par excellence. It stimulates the intestines, regulates transit and reduces bloating. History of adding other strings to his bow, fennel is also diuretic and especially “basifying”, that is to say, it preserves the acid-base balance of our body, often much too acidic.
A large teaspoon sprinkled on endive salad or raw salad. It can also be slipped on a white meat, like poultry, or a fish cooked in foil. For fans of cheese, do not hesitate to scatter on a piece of hard rind type Comté cheese or a white cheese without rind type goat.
The seed of anise, to relax
The so-called star anise or star anise is as old as the world. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder already praised the merits in the first century AD in his Natural History. Marco Polo introduced this plant from China to Europe.
Like fennel, anise also plays a key role in digestion, it reduces bloating and freshens breath. It relieves oily coughs, calms during moments of stress and facilitates falling asleep.
Two or three small stars are enough to spread their virtues in all our dishes. To sprinkle on a white meat, gratin Dauphinois or suck like a candy for the breath.
Seed of Nigel, allied health of winter
With its natural antibiotics, Nigel seed strengthens the immune system and fight against respiratory infections. It is our ally of the winter.
“Take care of Nigel, it is a remedy for all ills except death. This is what the prophet Mohammed said in the seventh century, according to Abu Huraira, famous reporter of the prophetic traditions. Used since ancient Egypt, it is the oriental spice in all its splendor.
Very interesting in winter strong of its natural antibiotics, it strengthens the immune system and fight against respiratory infections. It creates a cold barrier. Detoxifying and invigorating, it also relieves rheumatism.
Fish, rice, poultry, pastries, potatoes: to slip on all if you like its taste slightly bitter, so that they take an oriental flavor. The followers of the bread “home” can also associate it in the preparation. More simply, the seed Nigel is delicious in a salad of grated carrots. A teaspoon in a vinaigrette for two people.
Flax seed, very good for hydration
Rich in omega-3 and omega-6, so-called “natural fatty acids”, flax contributes to the preservation of the cell membrane, to the good functioning of the cardiovascular, cerebral, inflammatory and hormonal system. It regulates the hormonal symptoms post-menopause for example. Its omega-6 promotes the elasticity and hydration of the skin and its fibers optimize transit.
A teaspoon to sprinkle on white meat, vegetables, but also cereals muesli type for breakfast. It can also be grinded and incorporated into a pastry. Be careful to consume it quickly, the flaxseed is quickly damaged. Once oxidized, it will not be as effective.
Sesame seed to do good for your cardiovascular system
Probably from Africa, excavations in Turkey have shown that sesame oil has been extracted for more than 3,000 years. The sesame seed was introduced in the United States during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, by African slaves who had with them the seeds.
Like flax, sesame seed is rich in essential fatty acids, iron, protein and antioxidants. It protects the cardiovascular system, cell membranes (which play an important role in the regulation of the passage of nutrients) and facilitates transit.
The iron contained in the seed is assimilable with vitamin C, to consume for example with an orange. In oriental pastries, a salad, on a fish or on a white meat, one can sprinkle the equivalent of a tablespoon. Be careful, the sesame seed can be allergenic.
Sunflower seed, anti-aging for your skin
Before flooding our fields and interiors in summer, this plant native to North America and northern Mexico was imported to Europe in the sixteenth century by the Spanish. Mainly grown for its oil, sunflower is one of the three main sources of edible oils in Europe.
For digestive metabolism and against allergies, thanks to manganese, the trace element it contains. Stuffed with vitamin E whose antioxidant properties protect the cell membranes of the skin, the sunflower seed prevents the signs of aging.
To increase your intake of vitamins, we grill it! It can also be added in salads, fruit or salty, pastries, in a bowl of muesli in the morning or even grind in a cake batter or pancake. Thus ground, the sunflower seed can also replace the pinions, too fat, in the pistou for example. Be careful not to use it in case of kidney stones.
Squash seed, diuretic number 1
It was one of the first vegetables, with beans and potatoes, brought from the Americas to European soil when Christopher Columbus arrived.
Diuretic is the seed of urinary comfort. By fighting against bladder irritations, such as urinary tract infections, she is a real asset to women almost exclusively affected by the problem. Rich in iron, it fights against anemia, fatigue and strengthens the immune system.
You can simply chew it or sprinkle the equivalent of a teaspoon in a salad, or in our bowl of muesli in the morning.
The chia seed, the natural appetite suppressant
The chia seed is a natural hunger cut. Dipped thirty minutes into the water, the chia seed swells and forms a lumpy material.
Used as early as 3500 BC, the chia seed is native to Central America. Chia meaning “strength” in Mayan, it was the basis of the diet of the Aztecs and Mayans, who used it to boost their energy during the walk.
For the cardiovascular system. Thanks to the fiber and omega-3 it contains, the feeling of fullness is quickly felt, which also makes it a very good natural appetite suppressant. The chia seed reduces bad cholesterol and improves the treatment of diabetes. It promotes transit and prevents irritation of the intestinal mucosa.
It can be grinded and sprinkled in our cake or pie dough. Damped for 30 minutes in water, the seeds form a mucilage, a slightly lumpy material that will have a lubricating effect for transit.
The mustard seed, for a good digestion
Long before that of Dijon, mustard already marked the ancient Mediterranean cultures. The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used it by grinding the seed to enhance the taste of meat and fish. How did she come to us? Probably a shot of the Romans.
For the digestive system that it fluidifies by stimulating the production of gastric juice and saliva. Rich in vitamins A, B9 and anti-oxidant, mustard seeds are good for skin and eyesight.
In a salad to enhance the taste, to add also in cooking cabbage, sauerkraut for example. It is also very often found in Indian curry and pickles.
Poppy seeds, the calm asset
“Plants of joy”. This is what described the poppy on a Sumerian tablet found more than 4000 years ago. Rather known today for extracting drugs (opium and later heroin), the use of poppy to flavor bread is only dated to the second century.
Packed with vitamins B1, the poppy participates in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Its seed is also rich in good fats. Producing morphine and codeine, it has soothing properties. Used extensively in Central Europe, it would help fight the cold.
To sprinkle everywhere! On hard cheeses, cookies or bread. We also add the seeds to our puree, our pasta. Ground, they have a thickening power.
(1) Author of Health Food in Practice and Health Food Recipes (Éd.Mosaique Santé).