Healthy Seeds To Eat (And Their Nutritional Benefits)
When it comes to healthy eating, seeds are an excellent option. They are a powerhouse of essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins. They provide heart-healthy fats and are high in protein. They also contain fibre and are rich in antioxidants. Including the best seeds in your daily diet can provide you with abundant health benefits.
They are versatile, so apart from the direct consumption of roasted seeds, you can add them to different cuisines to enhance the taste and flavour of your meals. What’s more, there is a seed for all needs - be it boosting energy or weight loss. Thus, let’s check out the seven healthiest seeds you can add to your diet today!
A] Best Seeds To Include in Your Diet
Flaxseeds or Alsi seeds is a seed of the flax plant. It is rich in fibre, potassium and protein. The fibre in flax seeds contains a unique plant chemical called lignans, which is a type of antioxidant with a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
The lignans in flaxseeds are 75 to 800 times more than any other plant food.
Owing to a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds can help prevent heart diseases, reduce asthma, and other chronic illnesses.
- You can add flaxseed to your soups, salads or even raita for some extra crunch.
- Another option is to replace one part butter with three parts of ground flaxseeds while baking.
Flax oil or linseed oil is made from flaxseeds, which is first ground and then pressed to release their natural oil. Flaxseed oil has a wide variety of uses, from skincare to cooking.
CHIA SEEDS :
Chia seeds, like flaxseeds, contain several antioxidant polyphenols and are an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 fats. Chia seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid, which offers the body the same nourishment that one can obtain from eating fish.
The best chia seeds can absorb up to 10 times the amount of water they are soaked in. It can be turned into a Chia gel and used as a vegan egg substitute for baking.
- You can add chia to your favourite dishes by simply sprinkling ground or whole on vegetables, cereals, yoghurt, raita and salads.
- You can also add soaked chia seeds to cereals or use them to make chia pudding - a healthy and yummy dessert.
Due to its liquid absorption ability and high fibre count, Chia seeds can keep you satiated for a longer duration, thus aiding in weight loss. They are also known to help reduce blood pressure and risks related to heart diseases.
Pumpkin Seeds :
Pumpkin seeds are a storehouse of vitamin K, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. They have high levels of unsaturated fats, which keeps your body functioning like a well-oiled machine.
- Raw pumpkin seeds are roasted for better taste.
- They can be sprinkled with spices like paprika & pepper and eaten as a snack.
- Or you can add them to salads and baked goods.
Similar to green leafy vegetables, it promotes bone strength and helps with blood clotting. They also help lower cholesterol since they are good sources of phytosterols.
Sunflower Seeds :
Consuming sunflower seeds ensures that you have a healthy metabolism and get as much energy from the foods you eat. It is rich in magnesium, manganese, Vitamin B-6, phosphorus, copper and selenium. It helps in maintaining strong bones, proper muscle contraction, and lowers blood pressure.
- Sunflower seeds can be added to a salad, a muffin, bread recipe, stir fry, vegetable dishes, trail mixes, cereal and yoghurt.
- Crushed sunflower seeds can be used as a tasty gluten-free coating for fish or chicken.
Incorporating sunflower seeds into your diet may also help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.
Hemp Seeds :
Hemp seeds provide high-quality plant protein to the muscles. Among the few vegetarian sources of complete protein, Hemp seeds contain all 20 amino acids vital to building muscle.
- You can add hemp seed to your soup, salads, cooked vegetables and sandwich fillings.
In addition, it is rich in vitamin E, which is good for your immune system. It also works as an antioxidant and helps reduce free radicals that cause cell damage in the body.
Watermelon Seeds :
Watermelon seeds are known as a superfood as they contain more protein than almonds and peanuts. They are rich in magnesium and zinc. Magnesium helps in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
They have abundant iron, niacin, and folate. Niacin and folate support the nervous system, digestive systems, and promote healthy hair & skin. Last but not least, watermelon seeds boost energy levels, improve metabolism, and nourish your body with essential nutrients.
Sesame Seeds :
Sesame seeds are often spotted on burgers or hot dogs though they deserve more than just a random sprinkling. They are rich in amino acids tryptophan and methionine. They are also a dairy-free source of calcium.
- Sesame seeds can be used to top your vegetables, soup or salads.
- Sesame oil is a good choice for salad dressings.
B] Nutritional Benefits of Seeds
High in plant-based protein :
Protein helps make enzymes, hormones, tissues and other vital chemicals in the body. For those who are vegan, seeds provide high-quality protein that helps meet the body's requirements. Getting dietary protein should be a priority, and seeds contain amino acids that synthesise proteins in a vegan diet.
Abundant dietary fibre :
Fibre is vital for gut health, and seeds are rich in dietary fibre that helps improve gut health. A healthy gut is important for both mental and physical well-being. Thus, this is another health benefit you can obtain by adding edible seeds to your diet.
Free from Allergens :
Seeds offer similar nutrients to nuts but without the associated allergens, which can be problematic for those with allergies.
Rich in minerals and vitamins :
Some of the vitamins and minerals that seeds provide are B-vitamins, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. This helps improve your overall general health and protects you from various illnesses.
Contains healthy fats :
Seeds are rich in heart-healthy fats, which are also beneficial for the eye, brain, and reproductive health. They contain omega-3 fatty acids that are hard to come by in a plant-based diet. Natural fats paired up with fat-soluble vitamins ensure that seeds provide a double dose of nutritional advantage.
Further reading : Health Benefits of Eating Almonds and Anjeer in the Morning
Seeds provide tremendous nutritional value and are beneficial for physical and mental health. Roasted seeds can also be added to salads, yoghurt, oatmeal, and smoothies. In short, they are a healthy choice and should be a part of your diet.
From roasted pumpkin seeds to roasted sunflower seeds and more, you can buy the best seeds online right here, right now!