They say the best things in life come in small packages, and it couldn’t be more true when it comes to seeds! Always crunchy and delicious, seeds are tiny powerhouses packed full of nutritional goodness! Let’s have a look at some of my favorite seeds, and explore the immense nutritional benefits of each:
Hemp seeds (or hearts) are a complete protein. They contain the essential fatty acids, omega 6 and omega 3, and are a great source of fiber. They also provide vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E. Vitamins A and E help promote healthy, radiant skin, while B vitamins help the body metabolize fats and protein, encourage healthy, hair, eyes, and liver; and are vital for proper brain function. In addition, vitamin D helps regulate calcium and phosphorus in the body, plays an important role in our energy, and maintains optimal bone strength. Simply put, these little guys go a long way!
A single serving of Chia seeds has 18% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for calcium, and 27% of your daily RDI for phosphorus, which promote bone health. This one serving can also have 33% of your RDI for fiber, which advocates a healthy digestive tract. . Chia seeds are packed with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, with nearly five grams in a one-ounce serving.
These wholesome little seeds are rich in essential minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, phosphorus, zinc and calcium. Manganese, phosphorous and calcium help healthy bones, while Iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells and distribution of oxygen through the bloodstream. Additionally, z promotes bone health and can aid in the prevention of Osteoporosis. Sesame seed oil reduces hypertension and eases stress. Antioxidants found in Sesame seeds fight free radicals, promoting youthfulness and strengthening the immune system. With all of these amazing benefits, why not try adding these to your daily regimen?
Did you know just a 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds can provide you with over ninety percent of your RDI for vitamin E, the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant? Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals and has significant anti-inflammatory effects. Sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium, which is necessary for strong bones as well as help lower blood pressure, decrease muscle tension, migraine headaches, soreness, and fatigue. Incredible for anyone needing to unwind from a long day.
Pumpkin seeds (Pepitas)
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, copper, B vitamins, vitamin K and vitamin E. They also contain L-tryptophan, which aids sleep and lowers depression. High zinc levels make Pumpkin seeds a natural protectant against Osteoporosis as well. Pumpkin seeds are very alkalizing, helping to balance the body’s PH levels. According to studies, pumpkin seeds can prevent kidney stone formation, and can significantly reduce inflammation in our bodies.
These seeds are an excellent source of omega-3s. Just one tablespoon of Flax seed surpasses the RDI of omega-3s, which help reduce the type of inflammation that leads to conditions such as Asthma, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine headaches, and Osteoporosis. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (a kind of omega-3 found in Flax seeds), greatly improves bone health. They are also a great source of fiber; With three grams of fiber in just one tablespoon! Talk about packing a punch! . Lignans in Flax seed can also promote regular digestion, and are now thought to have a role in breast cancer prevention. There are so many ways to get more seeds into your diet; Add Flax meal (ground up Flax seeds), Chia seeds or Hemp seeds to oatmeal, quinoa, yogurt, smoothies and baked goods. Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds make a delicious snack on their own. How about Chia Pudding? It makes a great breakfast or snack! Always remember, when it comes to nuts and seeds, choose organic, raw and unsalted for maximum benefit
Yours in Health, Lisa Cohen