Seeds provide the basis of a wholesome, natural and plant based diet. The seed embryo or endosperm dominates and provides most of the nutrients. This tiny, but mighty food comes packed with several nutrients, including protein, vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids (See our list of 12 Superfoods). There are several varieties of seeds and all come in different color, sizes and shapes. Seeds are extremely versatile when it comes to everyday usage. Most of us can digest seeds more easily than nuts as they are smaller and the body can handle them easily.
Here are the top 10 healthy seeds that you can add to your diet.
1. Chia seeds are healthy!
Grown in Mexico and Bolivia, chia seeds belong to Salvia Hispanica plant. The Mayan and Aztec used the seeds to boost energy and stamina. Chia seeds are high in folate, iron, calcium, magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids and soluble fiber. It contains 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon. The calcium and magnesium in chia seeds promote dental and bone health. The omega 3 fatty acids in it reduce the triglycerides levels, lowering the risk of coronary artery disease. Purchase fresh Chia seeds from the health store and add them it to your smoothie, yogurt, salads, muffins and cereals.
2. Healthy Hemp seeds full of Protein
Hemp seeds are not only super seeds but are considered a superfood as well. It contains all the 21 amino acids, including the nine essential ones. It reduces inflammation in the body, preventing osteoporosis. The seeds are full of PUFAs, which has the ability to raise the metabolic rate. The seed has a special component called Cannabidiol, which provides antimicrobial and anti-convulsive benefits. Hemp seeds also contain phytosterol, a plant-based compound that lowers cholesterol level. Hemp seeds are ideal for cakes and cookie preparation. Hemp seeds are gluten-free and easily digestible. Here at Estilo Tendances, we are big believer in the power of a balanced life and diet and I’ve researched and found this list of 65 of the best and gluten free recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy!
3. Pumpkin Seeds are Essential
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are excellent sources of nutrients like iron, vitamins, zinc, protein and magnesium. The high concentrations of essential fatty acids keep the blood vessels healthy. The components present in pumpkin seeds lowers the risk of prostate cancer. Additionally, this healthy seed contains L-tryptophan, which helps to manage anxiety. Roasted pumpkin seeds make a healthy evening snack. Pumpkin seed oil makes a healthy addition to salads, dressing and dips.
4. Sunflower Seeds Can Prevent Cancer
This multitasking seed is rich in protein, Vitamin E, Vitamin B and antioxidants. The high amounts of Vitamin E in sunflower seeds prevent abnormal clotting and lower cholesterol levels in the body. 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds will provide you with 90% of your daily vitamin E requirement. It also has a high concentration of selenium, a mineral that is believed to prevent cancer. Vitamin B in this seed helps in the formation of red blood cells, reducing the risk of hypertension. It also helps to prevent birth defects in pregnant women. The antioxidants in sunflower seed protect the cells from free radical damage.
5. Flax Seeds Are Super Healthy!
Flax seeds contain the highest amount of omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, flax seeds come packed with nutrients like protein, vitamin A and E, fiber, potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium. The soluble fiber in the flax seeds help to lower the cholesterol levels in the body. It also helps to stabilize the blood sugar levels. It prevents the plaque buildup in the arteries, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Regular consumption of flax seeds is also beneficial for eye and brain health. Flax seeds are high in lignans, which may prevent certain types of cancer, mainly breast cancer. Coarse seeds can be added to shakes, yogurt, cereals and casseroles. You can store the ground seeds in the refrigerator. Flax seeds are most commonly used in multigrain bread and whole grain cereals.
6. Sesame Seeds – Good Source of B1 Vitamin
The use of sesame seeds is documented in ancient Egyptian scrolls. Sesame seeds are a good source of vitamin B1, copper, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. The nutritional properties of sesame seeds have been taken advantage of by all food industries. In addition to the lignans, sesame seeds have anti-hypersensitive effect, which aids in lowering the blood pressure. It is also beneficial for the arthritic patients. It reduces inflammation and promotes bone health. Sesame seeds add a nutty taste and crunch to your food.
7. Wheat Germ – B Vitamins & Proteins
Wheat germ is the nutritional powerhouse of the wheat kernel. It comes loaded with B vitamin, protein and folate. The high fiber content in wheat germ prevents constipation and keeps the weight in check. It is low in glycemic index, keeping the blood sugar in control. Store wheat germ seeds in a tightly sealed container in the freezer to prolong its freshness.
8. Cumin Seeds Essential for Immune System
Cumin seeds have been used since antiquity for its health and medicinal benefits. The seeds are rich in iron, fatty acids, phosphorus, vitamins and zinc. It increases the heat in the body, making the metabolism more efficient. This powerful seed boosts the immune system, preventing several diseases. Black cumin seed can treat asthma and arthritis. The seed also possesses anti-carcinogenic properties. It can reduce the risk of stomach and liver tumors. The antiseptic properties of cumin seeds can relieve symptoms of common cold and fever.
9. Healthy Fennel Seeds
Fennel seed, commonly known as saunf in India, is an aromatic herb belonging to the parsley family. It is one of the most sought after ingredients in many popular cuisines. Apart from adding flavor to the savories, fennel seeds are also used for various health benefits. The antioxidants in fennel seeds curb the unwanted free radicals in the body. The dietary fiber in fennel seeds facilitates the breaking down of the food molecules, accelerating digestion. It also keeps neurological diseases at bay. Along with the antioxidants, fiber in fennel seeds protects the colon membrane from cancer.
10. Quinoa Seeds are Healthy & Nutty!
Quinoa is a tiny, oval shaped seed obtained from the goosefoot family. It has been cultivated for 5000 years and is the staple food of the Spanish. The super seed is hailed for its nutrient content. It contains protein, vitamin A, manganese, zinc, fiber, iron, phosphorus and amino acids. This nutty flavored seed will pair best with stew and curries.
I hope you enjoyed my list of top 10 healthy seeds and that I was able to bring some light on the importance of including seeds in your day to day life!
Author Bio –
Radha Vanga, a new blogger from India. She is a nutrition lover & ayurveda practitioner. She recently started a new blog to share what she has learnt with health conscious people. Follow @nutrition_in.