6 Super Seeds to Eat Right Now
When I travel, I especially love tucking seeds into my carry on as a healthy and nutritious snack alternative to airline food. In addition to being super tasty, let’s break down why I think these are 6 super seeds you should be eating now.
The great thing about flax seeds is that they are virtually tasteless and can be combined with almost any food. You can buy the seeds whole or ground, but most research I’ve done seems to say it’s better to buy them whole and then grind them as you use them. The ground form is easier for your body to digest, and digestion is important for getting the nutritional benefits. Once ground they can be sprinkled into baked goods, mixed in smoothies and sprinkled on cereal. Keep a coffee grinder on hand exclusively for spices and seeds like flax, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one. Refrigerating the seeds will retain the freshness.
- Flax seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
- They are ranked as #1 source for the phytochemical called lignans-translation: an antioxidant and fiber nutrient, among the healthiest of the legume family.
- They may help lower blood cholesterol and LDL (the nasty) levels.
While I’ve been a long time fan of pomegranate juice, the seeds took a bit longer to love. Slightly chewy, a bit woody, they are packed with flavor and a fun addition to cocktails and salads. Technically still part of the legume family, they carry with them the benefits of traditional dry seeds and more. Pomegranate seeds are the ideal seed if you’re looking for a low-calorie, fruity snack. Cocktails or smoothies made with the seeds can act as an appetite stimulant. Beach lovers will especially love the sun protection seeds can give you. While I would never think of heading out without sun block, eating the seeds can help to prevent sunspots and wrinkles. Dry skin will benefit from the deep moisture abilities of the seeds. Try one of my favorite salads as an introduction to the delicious taste.
If you’re a lover of tahini like I am, then you know what all the sesame seed fuss is about. Toasted, the crunchy seed adds a wonderful flavor to recipes. Just try telling me this recipe for sesame noodle tofu won’t become one of your favorites. Open Sesame, the phrase from Arabian Nights speaks to the pod bursting forth with seed when at it’s peak. The oil was highly valued, as it would last a long time without going rancid (i can vouch for that). Not only does a sesame seed possess a uniquely identifiable taste, it also contains a high level of phytosterols that inhibit the body from producing harmful cholesterol. they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium.
Fall is a time we especially think of pumpkin seeds when they can easily be roasted at home and tossed with salt or other spices. The perks? Pumpkin seeds contain lots of vitamin B and protein. So in addition to serving as the optimal post-workout snack, they battle against things like parasites. This super seed also contains the powerful chemical compound responsible for boosting your mood and fighting depression.
Hemp seeds are a recent discovery for me. They have a nutty flavor and a soft chewy texture that I like. Raw and shelled are the way to go, and sprinkled on salads, cereal, yogurt or dips, they are an easy addition to your diet. Each serving of about 3 tablespoons provides 10 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids and a host of omega-6 fatty acids. Your heart and joints will thank you for it.
Who doesn’t love sunflowers? Seeing them standing at attention in fields has to bring a smile to your face. The plentiful seeds are packed with health benefits that can help your system from head to toe.
Here’s a few of the most important :
- They control cell damage. This is because sunflower seeds are a good source of selenium, which is a proven enemy of cancer.
- They contain bone-healthy minerals. Besides calcium, your bones need magnesium and copper to stay strong. Sunflower seeds have both these minerals. As a bonus, they also contain Vitamin E, which helps ease arthritic pain.
- They keep you calm. Yes! The magnesium in sunflower seeds is reputed for soothing the nerves, thus easing away stress, migraines and helping you relax.
- They bring a glow to your skin. The star in this role: Vitamin E again, which combats UV rays and keeps skin youthful.
- They ease every condition that’s inflammatory in nature, such as joint pain, gastric ulcers, skin eruptions, asthma and such. That’s because sunflower seeds are loaded with antioxidants.
With their crunchy, nutty taste, these 6 super seeds can easily become a regular part of your daily diet. Sprinkle them on your salads, granola, stir-fries. Stir them into yogurt, pop them into sandwiches, rice, pasta, or just have a handful for a quick pick me up… Do you have a favorite? I’d love to hear how you use seeds in your diet in the comments.