Benefits of seeds: Healthy Seeds You Should Eat

The nutritional benefits of seeds are becoming well-known and has led to an increase in the popularity of their consumption.

I include seeds in my oatmeal porridge, soups and smoothies. They have a similar nutritional profile to nuts and are an excellent source of protein.

As an added bonus many individuals who may have nut allergies can use seeds as snacks instead.
An amazingly large number of nutrients are packed into their tiny size.

Seeds are little power packages of superfoods

Benefits of seeds include good sources of zinc, magnesium and calcium. Excellent sources of omega- 3 fatty acids, folate and other minerals.

I’ll go through the specific benefits of the seeds I use the most in my diet.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds in Smoothie
Garnish smoothies with chia seeds

These tiny black seeds pack a punch. They are loaded with antioxidants and almost all the carbohydrates in them is from fibre. 28 grams of chia seeds contain 12 grams of carbohydrates, 11 of which are fibre.

Increasing your fiber content is linked to better digestive health and weight loss. Including these seeds in your diet will also give you an extra boost of protein, calcium and magnesium.

Calcium

They are an excellent source of calcium for anyone who doesn’t eat dairy. Chia seeds contain 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium in just 28 grams.  This makes it a richer source of calcium than most dairy products.

Sesame seeds

A favorite staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. The famous tahini sauce is made from sesame seeds. These oil-rich seeds can be consumed in their hulled or non-hulled forms.

They are rich in fibre as most seeds are and make a good source of B vitamins – thiamine, niacin and Vitamin B6. These particular B vitamins are essential for proper cell function and metabolism. They may help to lower blood pressure because they contain magnesium and this was evidenced by some studies.

Flaxseeds (Linseeds)

Flaxseeds are a rich source of lignans
Flaxseeds are a rich source of lignans

Linseeds are a staple in vegan pantries and for good reason. Did you know that ground linseed replaces eggs in most  vegan recipes?

Linseeds are a rich source of lignans which emerging research shows play a role in the prevention of certain types of cancers and lowering cholesterol. Like most seeds they are high in fibre and high quality protein. I don’t usually eat the ground version because it has the tendency to make any liquid it comes into contact with quite ‘slimy’. I prefer the whole seed version to garnish my porridge.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in Vit K.

I also snack on pumpkin seeds when I can find the low sodium brands. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of Vit. K, iron and manganese. Vit K also found in large quantities in dark leafy vegetables, helps in promoting blood clotting and preventing excessive bleeding.
Vit. K deficiencies are rare in adults although certain conditions such as Crohn’s or celiac disease may affect absorption of this vitamin.

What seeds do you eat on a regular basis?

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