All plants pack their seeds full of essential nutrients. Because they are rich in protein, essential fats, vitamins, zinc, copper, iron and magnesium, seeds make a very healthy addition to any diet. Whether you choose to add them to your yogurt, sprinkle them on your salad, or just eat them as a snack, they are guaranteed to make you healthier. Here are six of the most beneficial seeds, and the best ways to enjoy them.
Although hemp is from the same family as cannabis, hemp seeds do not contain any THC, so are safe to eat. Hemp seeds are a great source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, as well as protein, Vitamin E, zinc, antioxidants, and fiber. They can be sprinkled on yogurt, muesli, oatmeal or salads. Blended with water, they produce a milk substitute that is similar to soy or almond milk but less sweet.
Pumpkin seeds or pepitas are rich in magnesium, zinc, and tryptophan, an amino acid that increases serotonin levels and wards off depression. They also have high levels of essential fatty acids which help maintain the heart and blood vessels healthy. They can be eaten raw or toasted, sprinkled on bread and rolls before baking, or ground and turned into ‘pepita pesto’, a deliciously savory spread.
Sesame seeds are a great source of manganese, calcium, zinc, selenium, and fiber. Too small to eat on their own as a snack, sesame seeds can, however, be added to a variety of foods, such as stir fry and baked goods. Sesame seeds are popular in Asian cuisine, where they are consumed mostly as a paste called tahini. Tahini is an important ingredient in hummus, halva, and baba ganoush.
Sunflower seeds are high in Vitamin B, copper, Vitamin E, and essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid. Just like pumpkin seeds, they can be consumed raw or toasted. They can be added to bread before baking or sprinkled on salads or on sandwiches. Ground and turned into a paste, they make a delicious alternative to nut butter for people who may be allergic to nuts.
Chia seeds are high in zinc, magnesium, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids. They are also one of the richest sources of soluble fiber available. Chia seeds can be added to almost any food, such as oatmeal, salad, and muesli. Once in contact with water, they become gelatinous, so for a crunchy texture, add them just before eating. When soaked in water overnight, chia seeds gain a pudding like consistency and can make a tasty and healthy breakfast.
- Poppy seeds
Poppy seeds are rich in manganese, copper, zinc, and vitamins. They are very good sprinkled on bread, baguettes, and rolls and also as a filling for sweet dishes. If you plan to enjoy the benefits of poppy seeds, you should, however, be careful. Because they are derived from poppies, poppy seeds have been known to cause false positive results in opiate tests. However, the concentrations are too small to cause any opiate like effects.
Because they are a rich source of vitamins, mineral, protein and essential fats, super seeds are a great way to make your diet healthier. Their versatility makes them a great addition to salads, yogurt, muesli, oatmeal, sandwiches, and wraps. They can be turned into pastes and spreads, mixed with water to make a milk substitute, or eaten on their own as a delicious, wholesome snack.