Just ask any health professional and they’ll tell why you should consider adding seeds to your diet. From the tiny chia seed to the more robust pepita, each seed is packed full of an incredible wealth of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, which are an essential part of a well-balanced diet.
But there’s more to seeds than the health benefits you can reap from them. They add a bit of crunch, a pop of flavor, and are a wonderfully simple way to jazz up a dish – whether you’re meal prepping at home or want to add a personal touch to a premade meal.
Today, we’ll take a look at four healthy seeds to stock in your pantry and how they can help you achieve your dietary goals.
Also known as linseeds, flax seeds have long been valued for their nutritional value. Once cultivated in the Fertile Crescent and ancient Egypt, flax continues to be a staple crop in our modern world both for its fiber and its superfood status seeds.
- Flax seeds are widely recognized for being densely packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
- These little brown seeds are brimming with omega-3s, fiber, and protein as well.
- Worried about your cholesterol levels? When added to your diet, flax seeds can help lower the level of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in your blood.
- To get the most out of your flax, you’ll want to pick up ground flax meal rather than whole seeds.
- Because they’re so packed with fiber, the outer shell of the seeds is harder to digest and grinding them up makes it easier for your body to extract the good stuff.
- Flax seeds may also be made into oil, which you can drizzle over a salad or as the finishing touch of your dinner.
With their mouthwatering nutty flavor, sesame seeds have been featured in cuisines around the world from Japan to the Middle East, East Africa and India. We enjoy sesame seeds as much for their health benefits as their delicious flavor.
- These delicate little seeds contain fiber, protein, B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, and zinc which means a dash of sesame seeds sprinkled over a savory roasted quinoa with fresh vegetables is a great way to supplement your dietary needs.
Chia seeds, which come from the Salvia hispanica plant, a member of the mint family, have risen to prominence among the health-conscious in recent years.
- These tiny seeds pack a major dose of B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
- Although chia seeds are high in fat, they’re brimming with health linoleic acid and essential omega-3 fatty acids.
- Sprinkle them over yogurt, add them to smoothies, or use them in easy to make homemade granola with oats, nuts, dried fruits, and coconut flakes.
Also known as pepita, pumpkin seeds are an incredible source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
- Some studies have linked eating pumpkin seeds to potentially reducing the risk of certain cancers and lowering cholesterol.
- Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic way to supplement a vegetarian or vegan diet and ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need, like baking them into a quick pumpkin seed zucchini bread or adding them to your favorite healthy lentil dish.
Seeds are an easy way to pack your meal with a powerful punch of essentials vitamins and minerals, protein, fiber, and more. Just a teaspoon or two to any meal will liven up its texture and flavor, whether you’re cooking at home, enjoying a meal service, or even getting a cheeky takeout dinner.
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