All seeds in nature contain the necessary starting materials to grow into complex plants. They are essentially the starting point of life. So, generally speaking, seeds are extremely nutritious. Among the seeds that are edible by humans, some have more beneficial properties than others. Certain seeds that are considered “superfoods” are great sources of fiber, contain healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and several important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
When integrated into a healthy diet and lifestyle, edible seeds can deliver many remarkable health benefits such as controlling blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure, to name just a few. Here we will explore the health benefits of various edible seeds, and learn how to consume them as a part of your daily diet.
Also known as linseeds, flax seeds are packed full of fiber and omega-3 fats. Flax seeds are also a rich source of important antioxidants in the body.
Antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fats can help in reducing cholesterol and also lower the risk of heart disease. Consuming flax seeds also reduces levels of bad cholesterol in the body, and may also help reduce blood pressure. Studies have shown that consuming flax seeds may also reduce cancer risk. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, flax seeds may also help regulate blood sugar, which lowers the risk of diabetes.
How to consume flax seeds
- Mix flax seeds into your oatmeal or sprinkle over cold cereal.
- Add flax seeds to smoothies for a nutty flavour and an extra protein boost.
- Combine with yoghurt, cereal and fruit to make a delicious parfait.
- When preparing a salad, add flax seeds to the dressing.
- Garnish your soup with some flax seeds to add a crunchy texture.
- You can mix grounded flax seeds into boiled and salted rice.
- Add grounded flax seeds to the batter for muffins, bread, cakes, and cookies.
Chia seeds are also very good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, antioxidants, and calcium. With a mild, nutty taste, this superfood is low in calories and helps maintain heart health. Even a small amount makes you feel full for a long time and energizes you for the day. Chia seeds may also help reduce blood sugar, and studies have shown that whole and ground chia seeds are equally effective for reducing blood sugar immediately after a meal. Chia seeds also reduce appetite by making the stomach feel full, therefore aiding in weight loss as well.
How to consume chia seeds
- Add chia seeds to your breakfast cereal for an extra nutritious boost.
- Bake chia seeds into pancakes, muffins and other baked goods.
- Integrate into salads by adding to the dressing or mixing them in directly.
- Power up your smoothies by adding chia seeds into the mix.
- Adding chia to yoghurt provides fibre and healthy fats, and fuels your body for a long time.
Pumpkin, when cooked as a vegetable, undoubtedly provides great nutritional value. But did you know that you can maximise the benefits of pumpkin by consuming its nutrient-rich seeds? Pumpkin seeds taste best when eaten roasted, but they can also be eaten raw, or used as an ingredient which can be incorporated into other recipes.
These power-packed seeds are rich in iron, protein, potassium, and vitamin B, C, and D. Pumpkin seeds may also help lower the risk of bladder stones by reducing the amount of calcium in urine. Pumpkin seed oil may help increase good cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and improve menopause symptoms.
How to consume pumpkin seeds
- Roasted pumpkin seeds tossed with a bit of olive oil and your choice of spices make a great snack.
- Mix into oatmeal or garnish a soup with pumpkin seeds.
- You could bake pumpkin seeds into your batter for muffins or pancakes.
- Grind and add to burgers, meatballs or other meat preparations.
- Use them as a topping for salads.
Sunflower seeds are another variety of seeds that are packed with many health benefits. These crunchy, nutty and tasty seeds are rich in B vitamins, folate, antioxidants, and vitamin E. They are very beneficial for your hair and skin. They are rich in proteins and heart-healthy fats, and are also considered cancer inhibitors. They also aid in weight loss, fuels the body with energy, boost heart health, and are excellent for detoxification.
How to consume sunflower seeds
- Sprinkle raw or roasted sunflower seeds over hummus or other dips to add a nutty taste.
- Combine yoghurt, fruit, and sunflower seeds to create a delicious and healthy parfait.
- Add them to recipes of salads, muffins, and cookies.
- Fold sunflower seeds into the dough before baking bread.
- They taste great simply roasted and slightly salted as well.
Watermelon Seeds are full of several important nutritional components like proteins, vitamin B & minerals. The health benefits of watermelon seeds include building a strong immune system, maintaining a healthy heart, and improving brain function, to name a few. Watermelon seeds are also helpful in regulating blood sugar, and so are a great dietary addition for diabetics.
How to consume watermelon seeds
- Sprinkle raw or roasted watermelon seeds over salads to add a crunchy texture.
- Layer yoghurt, watermelon seeds, cereal and fruit for a tasty parfait.
- You can incorporate them into your baking batter.
- They can also be eaten plain, roasted and salted.
Now that you are aware of the many health benefits of these amazing, tiny packets of goodness, make sure you find ways to incorporate them into your daily diet to gain the most from them. They make a tasty addition to everyday recipes and taste great too!As with any other ingredient that you consume internally or apply on your body, quality matters most. Discover the many benefits of chia seeds with our high-quality, organic white chia seeds and black chia seeds.