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 shots 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 off they also contain good amounts of healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats which when consumed alongside a healthy and nutritious diet can have a host of health and medical benefits on the body. The primary of these benefits being the reduction and controlling of blood sugar, blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol levels(LDL).
The Seeds you need
To make things easy, we compiled a list of origin, nutritional content, and health benefits of what would be considered as the six most popular and important seeds to consume as a part of your daily routine.
Pumpkin seeds and oil made out of the pumpkin seeds both are elevated sources of monounsaturated and omega-6 fats. Apart from being nutty and delicious to eat just by themselves, pumpkin seeds are also known to be important in naturally improving heart health and symptoms of urinary tract infections and other disorders.
Pumpkin seeds are known to be a natural remedy to lower the risk of bladder stones by depleting the amount of calcium in the urine flow. This naturally then also 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
Sunflower seeds by themselves 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 go grabbing junk food or something unhealthy to satiate a sudden hunger pang.
They also contain high levels of both monounsaturated and omega-6 fats, which are known to reduce inflammation and cholesterol levels along with being a high nutrient of protein as well for the human body.
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
Flaxseeds are considered to be excellent sources of fiber along with a healthy dose of omega-3 fats, lignans, and a whole host of other nutrients. Flax seeds have been considered to be important in the battle against reduced cholesterol, blood pressure, and even the risk of cancer.
Also known as linseeds, Flax Seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid along with the omega-3 fats in their fibrous outer shell which may be hard to digest when consumed whole. The best way to eat flax seeds would be to grind them up into a powder before consumption. They can then be used as a garnish, added to foods while cooking, sprinkled on salads and gravies, added while baking or simply eaten by the 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
Sesame seeds are a rich source of calcium. They also have a high content of lignans, which apart from having several other health benefits also boosts estrogen. Sesame seeds are very popular all across Asian cooking and are used in almost every kind of different Asian cuisine. They are also the primary ingredient used to make the highly nutritious tahini spread.
Sesame seeds have also been known to help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress to the bones which when left unchecked can aggravate symptoms of several other disorders not to mention acute arthritis. When regularly consumed, they also help athletes and fitness buffs reduce muscle damage, while increasing 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
Chia seeds much like Flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fats. They are also incredibly effective at decreasing blood sugar levels and also reducing risk factors for all kinds of coronary and heart diseases. Both whole and ground chia seeds are known to be equally effective for reducing blood sugar when consumed immediately after all your meals.
Chia seeds are also a favorite of the fit and health-conscious because they are also known to suppress appetite when eaten regularly due to their high fiber content. They keep you full for longer and satiate hunger pangs. Chia seeds also make a great egg replacer while 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 these or any other kind of seeds just by themselves or whole, they make a lovely accompaniment to your diet via salads, yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies. They are easy to store, easy to source, easy to handle, and an incredibly easy and nutritious way to add healthy nutrients to your diet every day. Another simple way to add seeds to your day is via seed mixes. A roasted, unsweetened seed mix makes a great anytime snack!