Do You Know Benefits of Diet Based on Seeds?
Most seeds may seem small but they can make a huge nutritional difference in your diet. There are a vast variety of seeds that all look, taste and smell different. However they have one common characteristic- they can be an extremely healthy nutritional addition to your diet. If you are not aware of all the health benefits that seeds contain read this article. You may just want to start adding seeds to your diet to boost your nutritional intake and add yummy flavors and a satisfying crunch as well. Add them to just about any meal or take them along for a quick healthy snack.
Popular seeds to try:
Sesame seeds are very popular, especially in Asia. These seeds are a great source of manganese and copper as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B1 and dietary fiber. In addition sesame seeds contain one of the highest levels of phytosterols out of most other seeds and nuts. These phytosterols, in high enough amounts, are believed to reduce blood cholesterol levels, strengthen the immune system and decrease the risk of certain cancers. Sesame seeds can be added to salads, tossed into stir-fries, sprinkled on steamed veggies or sprinkled on breads. They are also ground into a paste, called tahini or sesame paste. Tahini can be used to spread on toast or crackers or used to make common Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus and falafel.
Flaxseeds are packed with alpha linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fat that can be converted into the form of omega-3 found in fish oils. These types of fats can help to reduce inflammation, protect bone health as well as protect against diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. In addition, flaxseeds can help promote regular digestion, lower the risk of breast cancer as well as slow the growth of prostate cancer, bolster cholesterol lowering benefits and control/lower high blood pressure. In addition flaxseeds contain loads of beneficial dietary fiber and are a good source of manganese, vitamin B1 and magnesium. The most beneficial way to eat flaxseeds is ground. The ground form will enhance digestibility and therefore nutritional benefits. Try sprinkling ground flaxseed on oatmeal, cold cereal, in yogurt, in your favorite smoothie or include them in your favorite baked goods recipes and other recipes.
Hemp seeds are a great source of polyunsaturated fats as well as the essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. Hemp seeds are packed with complete protein, dietary fiber and disease-fighting phytosterols. In addition hemp seeds contain many vitamins and minerals including vitamins B1 and B2, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and copper. Because of their nutritional value hemp seeds make a great vegan source of nutrition. The benefits of hemp seeds range from acting as an anti-inflammatory to lowering bad cholesterol levels to supporting healthy nails, skin and hair. Use hemp seed on salads, in health shakes or simply eat them raw.
Sunflower seeds contain high levels of vitamin E and are a good source of vitamin B1, manganese, copper, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B6, phosphorus and folate. Sunflower seeds have several health benefits including skin protection, cancer prevention, cardiovascular health, nerve health and cholesterol lowering benefits. They are great on salads, sprinkled in hot or cold cereals and as a healthy snack.
Pumpkin seeds are both nutritious and delicious. They are a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, tryptophan, phosphorus, copper, zinc and iron. In addition they are a great source of protein and the heart healthy monounsaturated fats as well as polyunsaturated fats. Pumpkin seeds promote good prostate health, anti-inflammatory benefits and cholesterol lowering benefits. Enjoy pumpkin seeds on top of salads, added to your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe, on top of hot or cold cereals or just raw for a great snack.
Chia seeds are known as “super seeds” because they deliver a lot of nutrition in a small amount of calories. They are extremely rich in dietary fiber, omega fatty acids (both omega 3 and omega 6), calcium, antioxidants and protein as well as iron and potassium. According to experts intake of chia seeds can help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, stabilize blood sugar and increase weight loss, by helping to curb appetite. Chia seeds have a very subtle flavor so you can add them to just about anything. Enjoy them sprinkled on a salad or in your favorite yogurt. Try them in a smoothie, sprinkled on steamed veggies or in soup. The sky is the limit with these little powerhouse seeds.
Seeds are not only delicious but nutritionally speaking are also very healthy. In fact it is hard to list all of the health benefits of seeds. If you want to protect your overall health, trying adding them to your diet. They contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients to help fight against depression, prostate problems, cancer, cardiovascular disease and much more. Many of them work as a natural anti-inflammatory, prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones, lower cholesterol levels, improve bladder function and the list goes on. Seeds may be small but they can be very powerful nutritionally and therefore important to good health. Including seeds in your diet might be one of your best decisions. Just remember that as healthy as they are, seeds are a very concentrated source of fat, though healthy fats, and calories so enjoy them in smaller portions.
The World’s Healthiest Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/