TIME Diet/Nutrition

The Truth About 6 “Superfood” Seeds

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Thomas Del Brase—Getty Images

Edible seeds haven't been this popular since our hunt-and-gather days. Here's everything you need to know before you dig in

When it comes to nutrition-dense superfoods, seeds are having a bit of a moment. But do they deserve their health halo? “There is an obsession with healthy fats, protein and fiber—it’s like the trinity—and seeds have all three,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian in Chicago, Illinois. Of course, shortly behind every health food trend are enterprising food companies quick to sell you packaged foods that contain them—making it tough to tell what’s truly good for you and what isn’t.

Here’s a quick primer on six seeds that will help you separate the hype from truth:

Chia

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Karen Schuld—Getty Images/Tetra images RF

What’s good: Chia’s evolution from punch line to power food has finally earned the tiny seeds some respect. Packed with 10g of fiber and nearly 5g of protein per ounce (just under 3 tablespoons), the seeds — which come from a plant in the mint family — can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, making for a fun addition to everything from puddings (think tapioca without all the sugar) to pancakes. Chefs at the Cleveland Clinic even add the seeds to meatballs for extra bulk and flavor, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietitian at the Ohio hospital. Sold both in big bags and small, single-serve packets for mixing into smoothies, the seeds are also a good source of calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids and phosphorous.

What’s not: Assertions that this ancient seed can lower blood pressure and make you lose weight have not been proven. Chia doesn’t come cheap either: At $12.99 a pound at my local market, it costs more than twice as much as most other seeds.

Hemp

What’s good: Hemp is a variety of cannabis plant, but the only high these seeds will give you is a nutritional one. They’ve got more protein (about 10g per ounce) than any other seed we can think of, making them a great alternative to animal protein. “For adding protein to a smoothie, I am going to go for hemp seeds,” says Blatner. And because protein takes longer to digest than carbs, they may help you feel full longer. Bonus: Each ounce contains three-quarters of the daily recommended Vitamin E and nearly a third of the recommended zinc to help boost your immune system.

What’s not: Search on “cannabis cures cancer” and you’ll find a large and ardent contingent who believe that cannabis, particularly in its oil form, is a magic elixir. Not only is this claim not proven by scientific studies, but the cannabis oil promoted is not the same as the oil made from hemp seeds, which is commonly found in health stores.

Flax

What’s good: An ounce of these slightly nutty seeds contains nearly 8g of fiber along, 12g of fatty acids, and more than a quarter of your daily recommended magnesium, which helps boost energy. The fiber helps with digestion, and there’s also some evidence that flax seeds can lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. Available in either brown or golden varieties, both are equally nutritious.

What’s not: Unlike other seeds, just sprinkling a handful of these bad boys on your yogurt won’t yield their full benefits. As Blatner notes: “Flax seed is best in its ground form so we can get the nutrients out of its shell.” Due to flax seeds’ high oil content, you should refrigerate ground seeds (as well as flaxseed oil).

Pumpkin

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John Block—Getty Images/Blend Images

What’s good: For a tasty snack you can enjoy a la carte, roasted pumpkin seeds – also known as pepitas – are the hands-down winner. But where pumpkin seeds really shine is in the kitchen: found in everything from pesto to pipian verde, they’re one of the most versatile seeds you can buy. The green seeds are high in fat (14g per ounce) and relatively low in fiber (2g), but make up for it with nearly 10g of protein and a slew of minerals, including half or more of the daily recommended doses of copper, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous. They’re also a close second to hemp when it comes to zinc. Pumpkin seed oil has also been shown to relieve symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate – a common condition for men over 50.

What’s not: Pepitas are so delicious that it’s tempting to eating too many. Kirkpatrick, RD, of Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute recommends no more than a handful a day, which contains about 160 calories. If you’re worried about your salt intake, consider buying a mix of salted and unsalted pepitas, then mix them together – and enjoy!

Sesame

What’s good: “They’re kind of overlooked because people don’t know what to do with them,” says Kirkpatrick, “but they’re high in zinc, which helps immune health.” Per ounce, the seeds, which are also known as benne seeds, have 5g of protein, 4g of fiber and contain more than a third of the recommended copper (which we need for energy and collagen production) and manganese (which supports bone health). They’re also a good source of calcium, magnesium and iron.

What’s not: Although seed allergies are fairly rare overall, sesame seed allergies in particular are on the rise, with an estimated 0.2% of the population (about half of those who are allergic to cow’s milk) affected in areas where the seeds are available. Chances are you and your kids will be fine, but use caution when introducing the seeds to those who have never tried them.

Nigella

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lois.slokoski.photography—Getty Images/Flickr RF

What’s good: Native to Southwest Asia, nigella seeds are popular in Indian cuisine but have also been used for centuries as a traditional treatment for a broad range of ills, including pink eye, the flu, colic and congestion. Commonly referred to as black seed, kalonji or black cumin, the seed is also sold in an oil form at stores like Whole Foods. An ounce contains 11g of fiber, 5g of protein and 4g of fat, and is a good source of calcium, magnesium and iron.

What’s not: Nigella has been touted as “a remedy for everything but death”—including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. But as dietitian Amy Jamieson-Petonic points out, “Some limited research has been done, but more needs to be completed before concrete recommendations can be made.” What’s more, the oil form does not contain the dietary fiber or protein found in the whole seeds, so if you want the full benefits you need to eat the whole seed.

TIME viral

Atlanta Cops Want You to Know How ‘Happy’ They Are

Even the police chief gets down in this video set to Pharrell's fun tune

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Think the fuzz are no fun? In an effort to boost its public image, the Atlanta Police Department’s Public Affairs Unit released a video this week proving its officers can kick it with the rest of us.

Set to Pharrell’s Happy, everyone from Police Chief George Turner to the gang squad show off their best dance moves. Beat officers dance on city sidewalks and in Centennial Olympic Park, while cops on motorcycles, bikes and horses get in on the action — some even flash the tasers holstered to their belts while they’re at it. (Oops.) Not surprisingly, the cops look happiest when walking out of a Krispy Kreme store, no doubt elated by their sugar high.

Most YouTubers seemed to dig the vid, which has racked up more than 100,000 views in less than two days. Others used it as an opportunity to make some predictable digs at the po-po: “Hmmm…with the crime rate they’re experiencing, I’m not so sure what they are ‘happy’ about,” observed one commenter. (Although homicide rates have dropped lately, Atlanta is still considered one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S.)

Okay, back to work guys!

TIME relationships

How to Dump a Cheater: Say It With a Freeway Banner

Why get mad, when you can publicly humiliate the jerk instead?

Revenge fantasies can be fun, but are often illegal, immoral or just too complicated. But two women in the United Kingdom appear to have found a simple way to get back at their lothario — who was allegedly dating both of them at the same time — with maximum impact.

On Wednesday, a banner appeared on a bridge above a busy freeway near the cities of Newcastle and Gateshead, which read: “Steve Frazer You’re Dumped! By Both of Your Girlfriends.” A joint selfie of the two women and a photo of the (alleged) cheater were emblazoned on the banner as well.

To be clear, we have no idea what the backstory is behind the banner — nor does anyone else who’s gone public, anyway. The most obvious scenario would be that the ladies, who bare a disturbing resemblance to each other, found out that their man was dating both of them and were pissed. (Wait, wasn’t there a movie about this?)

Whatever the case, we’re pretty sure Steve was squirming in his car seat when he saw the banner, which was taken down later in the day. As one tweep noted, “Not a great day for Steve Frazer”.

TIME technology

This Blanket Will Tell Your Flight Attendant Precisely How Unhappy You Are

LED lights in British Airways' "happiness blanket" turn red when you're on the verge of a panic attack and blue when you're too drunk to notice you're flying straight into a thunderstorm

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British Airways wants to make its planes your happy place. To help take your mind off the alarming air turbulence, the hundreds of strangers you’re sardined in with, and the full-body stop-and-frisk you may have endured for flying with them, they’re testing a “happiness blanket” that will convey your “meditative state” throughout the trip.

The blanket doesn’t magically make you happy. (If only …) Instead, it helps the airline figure out what makes you happy other than copious amounts of bloody Marys and a double-dose of Xanax. It works in conjunction with a headband, which measures your brain wave activity, then wirelessly conveys it to the blanket, which is embedded with red and blue LED lights. They flash red when you’re miserable or blue when you’re in “a Zen-like state of mind.”

Not surprisingly, flyers’ moods fluctuate the most when using in-flight entertainment or eating. “What we found was that the blankets turned bluer when people were relaxing, such as sleeping, listening to relaxing music, or eating, as that created a feeling of well-being. However, eating cheese for example can often turn the blankets red, as that releases a chemical in the brain which increases brain activity,” says the airlines’ consumer PR manager, Michael Johnson, who adds that the blankets will not be made available to paying customers.

No word on how flyers reacted to arrival delays, abrupt changes in elevation or news that they’re out of the chicken entrée but the vegetarian meal is still available.

TIME relationships

For Just $5,000, Match.com Will Find You a Date Who Looks Just Like Your Ex

Courtesy Three Day Rule

Match.com is teaming up with a matchmaking startup that uses facial recognition to help you meet someone new -- sort of

If you think you can never move on from the love of your life — who recently informed you that the feeling is anything but mutual — signing up for an online dating service is probably the last thing on your mind. The parade of weirdos and just plain ugly people is enough to get you to swear off dating forever. All you want is your ex back, and nothing else will do.

So here’s a thought: what if you could date someone who looks just like your ex? That’s the idea behind a new “white-glove” dating service offered by Three Day Rule in conjunction with Match.com. For a mere $5000, you can send in photos of your ex, which Three Day Rule will use to help you find a more suitable suitor. Starting June 25, Match.com will send an email to targeted Match users inviting them to try the new approach. Initially emails will only go out to users in cities where Three Day Rule currently operates, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, but the offer will be extended as Three Day Rule expands to other cities.

“If you like one facial structure, you will probably like someone with a similar facial structure,” explains Three Day Rule founder Talia Goldstein, who notes that women are just as visually-oriented as men these days. Her high-end service doesn’t stop at scanning for lookalikes either: coaches will interview you in person and even go on pre-dates with potential matches to help weed out the bozos.

But here’s another thought: if the only way you can stomach online dating is by trying to find someone just like your ex, maybe what you really need is a time out instead. “Sometimes you need a little bit of time in between rather than jumping right back in,” says online dating coach Julie Spira. Once you do, consider dating against your type. “I’m always encouraging [daters] to jump out of their comfort zone,” says Spira. After all, changing things up may be what you really need to snap out of your dating funk.

TIME Science

Face It, You’re a Bedtime Procrastinator

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Peter Dazeley—Getty Images

Because there's never enough time during the day to get all your procrastinating done

It probably goes without saying that you’re super busy most days. So busy, in fact, that by the time you’re ready for bed, you feel like a zombie. But if you’re like a lot of people, it’ll be a while before your face actually hits the pillow and you drift off into dreamland. After all, you still need to Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, call your Mom and play with your cat before you hit the hay.

Now researchers have a name for your conundrum: bedtime procrastination. A recent study from Frontiers in Psychology found that the phenomenon, which the authors define as “failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circumstances prevent a person from doing so,” was related to insufficient sleep. Using an online survey to study 177 people, researchers in the Netherlands found that bedtime procrastinators put off sleep not because they wanted to stay up later, but because they didn’t want to stop doing whatever it was that was keeping them up in the first place.

No judgment here, folks, but the researchers also noted that those of us who suffer from this modern-day malady also have problems with self-regulation. “As bedtime procrastination seems to be a self-regulation problem, we speculate that dealing with distractions (a typical case of self-regulation) would be one of the factors that could be related,” the study’s lead author, Floor Kroese, says.

In other words, the problem isn’t so much a symptom of insomnia as it is yet another form of procrastination. And while there’s evidence that your tendency to procastinate may be innate, there’s also tons of advice out there on how to stop.

TIME viral

Turn Down for What? Kittens.

Admit it, they've got better dance moves than you

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Think your cat’s pretty fly? Chances are it’s got nothing on Daisy and Tulip, the head-bobbing duo that’s mesmerizing YouTubers with their amazing rhythm. In the video gone viral, the two cats sit calmly on a blanket while their heads bop in perfect unison to DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s funky club hit “Turn Down for What?“.

Captivated audiences are guessing that the kitties are simply following the movements of some kind of laser pointer outside the frame. Whatever the trick, it’s awesome. We’re willing to go out on a limb here and bet their performance will usher in a wave of copy cats.

If you want to keep the original duo for yourself, Daisy and Tulip are currently up for adoption at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Virginia. Turns out the cats learned their tricks while being fostered by Hayley Markham and Andrew Kerr, who have since returned them to the shelter.

TIME online

Myspace’s Brilliant New Marketing Strategy: Reminding You How Awkward You Were in Middle School

Courtesy Myspace

Once the most popular social network on earth, Myspace has sunk to new lows to lure you back

Like an obsessive ex who just can’t let go, Myspace is sending emails to people who haven’t logged in since the aughts to remind them of the good old days. And like anyone who pines for the past –the social network had more than 300 million users (70 million of them in the U.S.) in its heydey — Myspace hasn’t forgotten a single moment you spent together.

First of all, it kept your pictures (shudder), all 15 billion of them. Remember that time you and your best friend wore matching Fall Out Boy crop tops and took mirror selfies? So does Myspace. To help refresh your memory, it’s been including a snap or two in emails begging folks to give it one more chance. You’ll have to log back in to get a better look at photos from your ill-spent youth and delete them.

Myspace isn’t just trying to win you back by assaulting you with nostalgia, though. It’s changed and grown too. Really. The site that Rupert Murdoch famously paid $580 million for back in 2005, then dumped in 2011 for a paltry $35 million, is now partly-owned by Justin Timberlake. Claiming the world’s largest digital music library, it feels more like Spotify or Pandora than its one-time rival Facebook.

That’s great and all, but the vintage pics need to go, ASAP.

TIME Social Media

An Anonymous Real Estate Magnate Is Giving Away Cash on Twitter

Forrest Hanson holds up the $100 in cash he found on San Francisco's Baker Beach over Memorial Day Weekend in an online scavenger hunt. Courtesy Forrest Hanson

@Hiddencash has given away more than $5000 in San Francisco after dropping hints on Twitter -- and plans to give even more

Free money has never come this easy: Alexzandra Etherton found $68 in an envelope taped to a parking meter. Matthew Burkert found his stash hidden under a bulldozer. And Forrest Hanson nabbed $100 on San Francisco’s Baker Beach on Memorial Day, then paid it forward by giving it away to other passersby.

Since last Thursday, an anonymous twitter user known only as @HiddenCash has been giving away thousands of dollars in the city by the Bay to the delight of the dozens of people who followed HiddenCash’s clues on Twitter and found the coveted white envelopes. The hints aren’t terribly subtle — one that said the money was at a bar that Tony Hawk would love directed hunters to “The Ramp” (duh!) — and because there are so many people on the lookout, the prizes have been getting snapped up within minutes.

Nobody knows exactly who HiddenCash is, but the anonymous philanthropist tells TIME in an email, “I have made my fortune in real estate, and have been able to accumulate multiple properties, whereas so many people can’t afford to buy a house or even a small condo in San Francisco. People who work just as hard or harder than me. So I wanted to give back … But I also wanted to do something that would give back in a fun way, and get people involved.”

“My message for the ‘haves’ is to be a little more generous, and to give back more,” HiddenCash adds. “I know so many wealthy people who are selfish and greedy, and just want more, more, more. When is it enough? When will you be satisfied? Take a step back, relax, and give back a bit. Putting smiles on other people’s faces will put a smile on your face. Believe me.”

HiddenCash’s advice for the rest of us is a bit more sobering, however: “If you are broke and struggling, please don’t look to @hiddencash or a lottery ticket to be your salvation … Relying on games of chance is probably the worst and least responsible thing you can do.”

With more than 50,000 followers amassed in less than a week, now HiddenCash says it will go nationwide and tells TIME the plan is to give away a total of six figures. A new drop is promised in San Jose on Wednesday and its first in Los Angeles is slated for this weekend. Get ready for the stampede.

TIME U.S.

Parents Are Paying Pros to Pack Their Kids’ Bags for Summer Camp

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Jasper White—Getty Images

Cuz nothing says I love you like paying someone $250 an hour to do the job for you

Everyone knows a helicopter Mom who can’t bear the thought of parting from junior for a few weeks while he’s off at summer camp. But for some parents the problem runs much deeper: even the thought of packing their little ones’ bags for camp leaves them paralyzed.

Enter the professional organizers. In New York City, packing pros charge up to $250 per hour to make sure kids enjoy all the creature comforts of home while they’re roughing it in cabins Upstate. Dayna Brandoff of Chaos Theory told the New York Post that some of her clients ask her to pack enough items to essentially recreate kids’ bedrooms at home. “It’s really about bringing the feel of home to camp,” she says.

Must-have items include everything from fancy soaps and linens to extra shelving to make room for it all. While parents are responsible for buying the items that get packed, it still takes the organizers about half a day to pack it all up, for a total cost of around $1000. But hey, peace of mind is priceless — when you can afford it.

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