Seeds deliver serious nutritional benefits and are easy to add in a variety of meals! From decreasing* inflammation to boosting energy, seeds provide desirable and convenient nourishment.
What seeds should you be adding into your food plan? Read on for the 6 super healthy seeds you should be eating!
1. Flax Seeds
The flax plant produces the flaxseed which has been historically used as food and medicine. One of the flaxseed’s admirable features is that it contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega 3 fatty acid which aids in protecting against heart disease and arthritis.
Essential implies that the body cannot produce the nutrient and it must come from dietary sources thus making the flaxseed a great choice to add to your morning smoothie! Make sure to consume ground flaxseed versus whole to ensure absorption of nutrients.
Flaxseeds could provide relief from constipation
Flaxseeds may assist in constipation because they contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for fibre is about 35g/day for men and about 25g/day for women.
An addition of flaxseed will help you reach the recommended intake of fibre and decrease* constipation.
Flaxseeds may help with post workout soreness
Per 1 cup serving, flaxseeds contain 30 grams of protein! Inclusion of flaxseeds will help you repair muscle making a perfect snack post strength training.
2. Chia Seeds
Originating from central Mexico, Salvia hispanica aka chia seeds act as a cousin to the flaxseed, offering similar benefits because they also include the essential omega 3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Historically, chia seeds have been used for medicinal properties and as currency. They are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals making them an exceptional nutritional source.
Chia Seeds have Anti-ageing Properties
When the body turns food into energy, free radical by-products may be composed and cause damage that accelerates the ageing process.
However, we can minimize free radical damage by consuming antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidant action has been highly recognized in the chia seed.
Sprinkle chia seeds in yoghurt to acquire their full nutrient profile.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, also known as “pepita,” have been associated with increased quality of sleep making them particularly useful to those that suffer with insomnia and other sleep disorders. Complement hearty soups with the crunchy pumpkin seeds to ensure a deep slumber.
Pumpkin seeds are useful in cases of premenstrual symptom (PMS)
Pumpkin seeds contain the mineral manganese which influences sex hormones. A clinical study found that women that ingested around 5mg of manganese had fewer symptoms of PMS, such as mood swings and cramps, then women that only consumed 1mg.
4. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus) seeds were originally used by American Indian tribes as a part of traditional ceremonies. Today sunflower seeds are a great nutritional source of vitamins, most notably vitamin E.
Due to their vitamin E content, sunflower seeds deliver antioxidant properties akin to chia seeds to fight off free radical damage.
Sunflower Seeds may Increase* Energy
B-complex vitamins folate, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, thiamine and pantothenic acid are all present in the sunflower seed. These B vitamins play a key role in creating energy in the body.
Feeling sluggish? The sunflower seed is a qualifying snack for an afternoon slump.
Top cereal with a handful of sunflower seeds to add extra crunch or eat them on their own as a sensible snack for impressive nutrition benefits!
5. Sesame Seeds
Sesamum indicum also known as sesame seeds originated in Africa and India and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for dizziness.
Sesame seeds contain plentiful amounts of polyunsaturated fats which make them suitable for increasing* omega 3 fatty acid intake. Benefits of increasing* polyunsaturated fat intake include lowering inflammation, decreasing* arthritis and preventing heart disease.
Sesame Seeds may support Anaemia
Sesame seeds have an impressive amount of iron at around 5mg per 100 grams serving. The RDA suggests that men 19 years old and on and women 51 and above consume 8mg/day of iron, while women 19 to 50 years old consume 18 mg/day.
Because iron deficiency commonly accompanies anemia, iron content in sunflower seeds is highly valuable for those who have the condition.
Throw sesame seeds in your go to salad for variety and nourishment.
Their name may seem somewhat controversial; however, the hemp seed’s origin differs from the plant associated with marijuana. Coming from the plant, Cannabis sativa L., the most desirable trait of the hemp seed is that it contains the complete spectrum of nine amino acids.
Amino acids, building blocks of protein, are important for a variety of functions carried out by the human body every day. Much like flax seeds, hemp seeds are perfect for post workout muscle repair.
Hemp Seeds are Beneficial for Anxiety
Hemp seeds include the mineral magnesium. A lack of magnesium may increase* production of adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that are increased in times of stress.
Inclusion of hemp seeds may help regulate these hormones therefore lowering anxiety.
Looking to add something different to your morning oatmeal? Toss hemp seeds in your oatmeal bowl to kickstart your day!
Each of these tiny seeds packs a strong nutritional punch. An easy way to promote proper nutrition to your day, the seeds complement a variety of meals and can be used in diverse ways.
Start adding these 6 seeds to your daily food intake to ensure nutritional success!
Feature Image: Shutterstock.com
In-Post Image: Shutterstock.com & bodyunburdened.com
2. Halson, Shona L. “Sleep in Elite Athletes and Nutritional Interventions to Enhance Sleep.” Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.z.) 44.Suppl 1 (2014): 13–23. PMC. Web. 28 Nov. 2017.
3. The Nutrition Source. (2017). Antioxidants: Beyond the Hype. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/
The Nutrition Source. (2017). Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3-fats/
4. Ods.od.nih.gov. (2017). Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin E. [online] Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
5. Sartori, S., Whittle, N., Hetzenauer, A. and Singewald, N. (2012). Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: Modulation by therapeutic drug treatment. Neuropharmacology, 62(1), pp.304-312. 6. Sunflowernsa.com. (2017). History. [online] Available at: https://www.sunflowernsa.com/all-about/history/
7. Taga, M., Miller, E. and Pratt, D. (1984). Chia seeds as a source of natural lipid antioxidants. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 61(5), pp.928-931.
8. University of Maryland Medical Center. (2017). Flaxseed. [online]