Valuable Phytochemicals from Seeds

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Toward the end of the 20th century, we came to realize that seeds have more to offer us than the basic machinery of life. Epidemiological studies have found a general association between the consumption of whole grains, legumes, and nuts and a reduced risk of various cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. What do these foods provide that refined grains do not? Hundreds or even thousands of chemicals that are concentrated in the outer protective and active layers of the seeds, and that are not found in inner storage tissues, which are mainly depots of starch and protein. Among the chemicals that have been identified and seem likely to be helpful are