Seeds contain all the starting materials necessary to develop into complex plants. Because of this, they are extremely nutritious.
Seeds are a great source of fiber. They also contain healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and many important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When consumed as part of a healthy diet, seeds can help reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, are a great source of fiber and omega-3 fats, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). However, the omega-3 fats are contained within the fibrous outer shell of the seed, which humans can’t digest easily.
Therefore, if you want to increase your omega-3 levels, it’s best to eat flaxseeds that have been ground. Flaxseeds may also help reduce blood pressure. An analysis of 11 studies found that flaxseeds could reduce blood pressure especially when eaten whole every day for more than 12 weeks.
In addition, to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, flaxseeds may also help reduce blood sugar, which may help lower the risk of diabetes.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are very similar to flaxseeds because they are also a good source of fiber and omega-3 fats, along with a number of other nutrients. Like flaxseeds, chia seeds also contain a number of important antioxidant polyphenols.
Chia seeds may also reduce risk factors of heart disease. Chia seeds may also help reduce blood sugar. A couple of studies have shown that whole and ground chia seeds are equally effective for reducing blood sugar immediately after a meal.
Hemp Seeds Hemp seeds are excellent sources of vegetarian protein. in fact, they contain more than 30% protein, as well as many other essential nutrients.
Hemp seeds are one of the few plants that are complete protein sources, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids that your body can’t make. Hemp seed oil may have a beneficial effect on heart-healthy by increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood.
4. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are commonly consumed in Asia, and also in Western countries as part of a paste called tahini. Like flaxseeds, sesame seeds contain a lot of lignans, particularly on called sesamin. In fact, sesame seeds are the best known dietary source of lignans.
Sesame seeds may also help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can worsen symptoms of many disorders, including arthritis.
5. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are one of the most commonly consumed types of seed, and are good sources of phosphorus, monounsaturated fats and omega-6 fats.
Pumpkin seeds are also good sources of phytosterols, which are plant compounds that may help lower blood cholesterol. These seeds have been reported to have a number of health benefits, likely due to their wide range of nutrients.
A couple of studies have shown that pumpkin seed oil can improve symptoms of prostate and urinary disorders.
6. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds contain a good amount of protein, monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. Sunflower seeds may be associated with reduced inflammation in middle-aged and older people, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
In particular, consuming sunflower seeds more than five times per week was associated with reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a key chemical involved in inflammation.
Seeds are great sources of healthy fats, vegetarian protein, fiber, and antioxidant polyphenols.
Furthermore, they can help reduce the risk of certain diseases. In particular, the lignans in certain seeds may help lower cholesterol and the risk of cancer.
Seeds are extremely easy to add to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies, and can be an easy way to add healthy nutrients to your diet.