• judy

Eat like a bird?


Ever watch birds soar and dart over trees? Wish you had that energy? Maybe you would if you ate what they eat. BIRD SEED??? you ask.

Birds can’t afford to suffer from arthritis, have heart attacks, or be diabetic. Like people, they fight viruses, and balance blood sugar. Yes, I know, they exercise a lot. That noted, their diets often contain the same nutrients that medical experts recommend for human health. Few of us eat as good a diet.

Most bird seed mixes contain the grain millet, sunflower seeds, and sometimes pumpkin seeds. All three are rich in insoluble fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Here’s how they help human health:

Fiber from whole grains like millet, and from seeds, has been found to protect against atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, insulin resistance, obesity, and premature death.[1]

Magnesium has been shown in studies to reduce the severity of asthma, to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, to lower high blood pressure and to reduce the risk of heart attack.[2]

Zinc and Selenium are vital to maintaining our immune cells and thus fighting infection, including viruses. Selenium is basic to the activity of some proteins and powerful antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase This enzyme is used in the liver to detoxify a wide range of potentially harmful molecules. Without this protection, our cells can be damaged, possibly leading to cancers.

Phosphorus contributes to healthy cell membranes, bones, and acidity balance in the blood. All three foods featured in bird seed are good or very good sources.

As for protein, if you eat a breakfast of a cup of cooked millet, topped with a quarter cup each of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, you would take in 21.36 grams of protein. That’s almost half the recommended daily protein intake for women (46g.) and thirty-eight percent for men (56g.) That is what I ate this morning.[3]

Cooking millet is easy. Use twice the amount of water as you do millet, or three times the amount if you want it creamier, as you might for breakfast. Bring to a boil and add the millet. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for about fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Let stand a few minutes. Find instructions, information, and recipes at: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-perfect-millet-every-time-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-185974

So, eat what many birds eat, but cook the grains. You too can chirp with satisfaction, and fly high.

[1]http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=53 [2] ibid. [3] https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/protein



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