Seeds may be tiny but they are packed with nutrients like protein, fiber, iron, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. They are now being recognized as a very nutritious snack with an added benefit of being low in calories. A recent article in Times of India also reinforces this fact.
It is best recommended that seeds be consumed in their raw natural form. For gaining maximum nutrition, try and avoid roasting or cooking any seeds. Here is our list of the top 6 healthiest seeds you should add to your diet (in no particular order):
Sunflower Seeds are rich in Vitamin E which can help the circulatory system function perform better. It also has a calming effect on your brain because of high levels of tryptophan which creates a relaxing effect. Sunflower seeds are also the perfect phytochemical-rich seeds for those of us looking to lose weight, as they promote healthy digestion and increase fiber intake. These seeds are extremely rich in folate, a very important nutrient for women. They are packed full of good fats, antioxidant-rich Vitamin E, selemium and copper, all crucial elements in preventing heart disease, cancer and other forms of cellular damage.
have properties that help alleviate inflammation without any side effects. Some scientific studies have shown that the components of pumpkin seeds may stop the triggering of cancerous behavior in male prostate cells. It has properties which alleviate depression without any side effects that is caused by medications. These seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and zinc, two important nutrients that may play a role in warding off inflammation, arthritis and osteoporosis. Finally, pumpkin seeds are high in phytosterols, plant components that aid in keeping stable levels of cholesterol, enhanced immune response, as well as cancer-fighting attributes.
Sesame Seeds are considered most mineral-rich foods in the world. Traditional societies have touted the positive benefits of this seed for thousands of years. They are rich in calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamins, and fiber. Sesame seeds are unique in their chemical structure. Possessing important cholesterol-fighting fibers known as lignans, studies show that these seeds can lower blood pressure, as well as protect the liver from damage. Sesame seeds also may help prevent arthritis, asthma, migraine headaches, menopause, osteoporosis and PMS.
are often not eaten along with the fruit. In fact, sun dried watermelon seeds are very popular. It contains iron, potassium, vitamins, fats and calories which is important for everyday nutrition. Watermelon seeds should be chewed before swallowing if its nutritional content is desired.
Chia Seeds are packed full of fiber, protein, nutrient oils, various antioxidants and even calcium. These seeds are extremely tiny, yet extremely potent. Studies show that chia seeds stabilize the blood sugar, lower our risks for cardiovascular disease, as well as assist weight loss. These amazing little seeds are an excellent source of high-quality fats, as they are made up of a whopping 34% pure omega-3 oils. Infact, according to this abc.com article, they are the absolute best source of omega three fats on the market, hands down, when you consider the ratio of omega three to omega six.
Flax Seeds are high in Omega-3, fiber and phytochemicals (anitoxidants). Flax seed is very low in carbohydrates making it ideal for people who want to limit starches and sugars. Due to high fiber content and healthy fat, it is used for weight loss and maintenance. Flax seeds can be eaten by sprinkling on top of salads, ground in puddings, milk shakes or also as is. However, it is not recommended to have more than 2-3 tsp per day due to its laxative effects being rich in fiber content. Once ground for consumption, these seeds becomes rancid fast so need to be consumed within a few hours.