Top 6 Healthy Seeds to Add to Your Diet
Posted Sep 24, 2018 by Ron • 3 months ago
Edible seeds pay testament to the fact that big things come in small packages. As a natural rule, seeds are meant to grow into plants, so they contain everything that a plant needs for nourishment. Consequently, they are loaded with a heavy supply of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
These are also packed with a substantial amount of fiber, which means they aid in digestion. It is also easy to add these nutritional giants into your food routine. Just toss them into your daily salad, and you’re good to go.
Since seeds offer a wealth of health benefits, let’s unravel the healthiest ones that you need to include in your diet:
1. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a smart seed choice, thanks to the bevy of health and nutritional benefits that they offer. These are specifically known for their omega-3s, phosphorus, and monounsaturated fat content.
A tablespoon of pumpkin seeds gives you 2 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fat, and 47 calories. Besides, pumpkin seeds are also excellent sources of manganese and magnesium. An ounce serving of the seeds delivers 42% and 37% of the RDI for manganese and magnesium, respectively.
You can also get an abundant supply of plant compounds, phytosterols, from pumpkin seeds. These help lower cholesterol levels. Besides studies show that these seeds can be of assistance in cancer prevention, bladder stone prevention, and improving symptoms of urinary and prostate disorder.
2. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are nutritional giants with a rich content of antioxidants that work to sweep free radicals. Moreover, they showcase an incredible portfolio of vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and proteins.
A tablespoon of the sunflower seeds gives 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbs, 4.5 grams of fat, and 51 calories. These are stellar picks among healthy seeds if you’re on a tight budget. You can also get fiber, omega-3s, and minerals such as magnesium and manganese.
Sunflower seeds are mainly credited for reducing inflammation. In an observational study, it was revealed that a high intake of seeds and nuts correlated with lessened inflammation. Sunflower seeds, specifically, were associated with the reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is involved in inflammation.
Flaxseeds go by the name of linseeds too. These provide a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. The omega-3s are typically present in the seed’s fibrous outer shell, which is not digestible. Hence, your best shot at having omega-3s from linseeds is by having them in ground form.
A tablespoon of flaxseeds gives you 1 gram of protein, 2 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat, and 37 calories. Flaxseeds also provide numerous polyphenols that serve as antioxidants in your body. In particular, a polyphenol, lignan paired with fiber and omega-3s assist in lowering cholesterol.
This trio also works to bring under control other risk factors for heart ailments. A meta-analysis found that eating flaxseeds can lower the levels of bad cholesterol by 10 mmol/I on average. A few studies also note that flaxseeds consumption can minimize the markers of tumor growth among women with breast cancer.
4. Hemp seeds
Hemp seeds are the perfect picks as plant-based sources of proteins. So, eating hemp seeds is a must for people who are looking for plant-based protein alternatives. What’s more, hemp seeds are a complete source of proteins, which means that they contain all the essential amino acids.
A tablespoon of hemp seeds offers 3 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbs, 4 grams of fat, and 57 calories. In addition to the protein content, hemp seeds are also loaded with a plethora of other nutrients including zinc, magnesium, and thiamine.
Furthermore, evidence indicates that the protein contained in hemp seeds boasts a superior quality than other plant protein sources. The omega-3 and omega-6 ratio in these seeds stands at nearly 3:1, which is a good ratio. Omega-3 in hemp oil delivers anti-inflammatory results that can help a person. These seeds are beneficial for heart health too.
5. Sesame seeds
It’s about time that we realize that the sesame seeds sprinkled on our hamburger buns and bagels have a stellar nutritional composition. These are packed with a lot of nutrients including copper, manganese, and magnesium among others. Mainly, sesame seeds are applauded as the best dietary source of lignans.
A tablespoon of sesame seeds consists of 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbs, 4.5 grams of fat, and 51 calories. There are 3.3 grams of fiber in an ounce of sesame seeds as well. Studies speculate that sesame seeds may be helpful in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
On top of that, a study on postmenopausal women showed that participants who had 50 grams of sesame seed powder every day for five weeks had lowered blood cholesterol. They were also able to better their sex hormone status.
6. Chia seeds
Chia seeds exhibit a nutritional profile that is similar to flaxseeds. In that, they are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber alongside other nutrients. Like flaxseeds, they also contain antioxidant polyphenols.
One tablespoon of chia seeds yields 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of carb, 3 grams of fat and 60 calories. Over and above that, chia seeds are praised for their fiber profile too. Only a tablespoon of chia seeds gives 5 grams of fiber.
Once the fiber from chia seeds hits your gut, it mixes with the digestive fluids and forms a gel. This gel lends a helpful hand in encouraging satiety and improving blood sugar. So, these seeds are a good inclusion in a weight loss plan. These slash the risk of heart disease, and research confirms that it reduces inflammation as well.
All in all, edible seeds are healthy items to add to your meal plans. Try to incorporate these as best as possible in your diet. For instance, you can add pumpkin seeds to your salad and smoothies. Likewise, you can stir flaxseeds (ground) into your cereal. Or, blend them into your shake.
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