Having a seed-based diet has quite suddenly become the rage and like-minded, fitness-conscious people are flocking the isles of supermarkets purchasing these innocuous seeds to include in their diet. And why not? Seeds are a great form of nutrients for plants. They have all the necessary ingredients that help shoots and seedlings start blossoming into healthy and beautifully growing complex plants. And it is this attribute about seeds which makes them into a natural and happy super food for us humans too.
Benefits of including Seeds in your Diet
Seeds are wonderful sources of necessary fiber to help the human body function at its optimum. Seeds are also incredible sources of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed by the body to survive and thrive through everyday life. To top it all, they also contain good amounts of healthy monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats which when consumed alongside a healthy and nutritious diet can provide many health benefits. The primary benefits being, reduced and controlled blood sugar, blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol levels(LDL).
The Seeds you need (List of Healthy Seeds to Include in Your Diet)
To make things easy, we have compiled a list of six popular and important seeds to eat daily. The below content provides information on the origin, nutritional value, and health benefits of each.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds and oil made out of the pumpkin seeds are rich sources of monounsaturated and omega-6 fats. Apart from being nutty and delicious, pumpkin seeds help improve heart health, symptoms of urinary tract infections, and other disorders.
Pumpkin seeds are also a natural remedy to lower the risk of gallstones by lowering the amount of calcium in the urine flow. This helps improve the quality of life for men with enlarged prostates.
A 28 gram serving of pumpkin seeds contains a wide mix of nutrients. An approximate content is:
● Calories: 151
● Fiber: 1.7 grams
● Protein: 7 grams
● Monounsaturated fat: 4 grams
● Omega-6 fats: 6 grams
● Manganese: 42% of the RDI
● Magnesium: 37% of the RDI
● Phosphorus: 33% of the RDI
2. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are probably the yummiest of all the seeds to be snacking on. They are nutty, flavourful, and tend to keep you full while on the move so that you don’t binge junk, unhealthy foods to satiate sudden hunger pangs.
They also contain high levels of both monounsaturated and omega-6 fats, which reduces inflammation and cholesterol levels. They are also rich in protein.
A 28 gram serving of sunflower seeds contains a wide mix of nutrients. An approximate content is:
● Calories: 164
● Fiber: 2.4 grams
● Protein: 5.8 grams
● Monounsaturated fat: 5.2 grams
● Omega-6 fats: 6.4 grams
● Vitamin E: 47% of the RDI
● Manganese: 27% of the RDI
● Magnesium: 23% of the RDI
3. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are excellent sources of fiber and provide a healthy dose of omega-3 fats, lignans, and host of other nutrients. They help reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and the risk of cancer.
Also known as linseeds, flax seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid and omega-3 fats in their fibrous outer shell which may be hard to digest when consumed whole. The best way to eat flax seeds is to grind them into powder. You can then use this as a garnish or add to food while cooking, sprinkle on salads & gravies, add to baking or simply eat a spoonful with water.
A 28 gram serving of flax seeds contains a wide mix of nutrients. An approximate content is:
● Calories: 152
● Fiber: 7.8 grams
● Protein: 5.2 grams
● Monounsaturated fat: 2.1 grams
● Omega-3 fats: 6.5 grams
● Omega-6 fats: 1.7 grams
● Manganese: 35% of the RDI
● Thiamine (vitamin B1): 31% of the RDI
● Magnesium: 28% of the RDI
4. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are a rich source of calcium and have a high content of lignans that boost estrogen. They are extensively used in different Asian cuisines. They are also used as a primary ingredient to make highly nutritious tahini spread.
Sesame seeds also help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress to the bones. It helps curb the symptoms of several other disorders, including acute arthritis. When consumed regularly, they help athletes and fitness buffs reduce muscle damage while increasing their aerobic capacity.
28 grams of sesame seeds contain a wide mix of nutrients. An approximate content is:
● Calories: 160
● Fiber: 3.3 grams
● Protein: 5 grams
● Monounsaturated fat: 5.3 grams
● Omega-6 fats: 6 grams
● Copper: 57% of the RDI
● Manganese: 34% of the RDI
● Magnesium: 25% of the RDI
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds much like Flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fats. They help maintain blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of coronary heart diseases. Both whole and ground chia seeds are effective in reducing the blood sugar when consumed immediately after meals.
Chia seeds are high in fiber content which helps suppress appetite, making them a favourite amongst the health-conscious individuals. They keep you full for longer and satiate hunger pangs. They are also are a good alternative to eggs when baking and cooking.
A 28 gram serving of chia seeds contains a wide mix of nutrients. An approximate content is:● Calories: 137
● Fiber: 10.6 grams
● Protein: 4.4 grams
● Monounsaturated fat: 0.6 grams
● Omega-3 fats: 4.9 grams
● Omega-6 fats: 1.6 grams
● Thiamine (vitamin B1): 15% of the RDI
● Magnesium: 30% of the RDI
● Manganese: 30% of the RDI
The Best Way To Eat Seeds
If you don’t like eating whole seeds, you can simply add it to your diet via salads, yoghurt, oatmeal, and smoothies. They are easy to store, source, and handle. They are also a nutritious way to add healthy nutrients to your diet. Another simple way to consume seeds is via seed mixes. A roasted, unsweetened seed mix makes a great anytime snack or you can try out seed butters.