Nuts get lots of attention when we talk about foods that pack a big nutritional punch. However, seeds bring equally big nutritional benefits to the table. Take a look at the list below and you’ll see what I mean. Try adding a handful of these seeds to your oatmeal or yogurt, or just eat ’em on their own to tap into the benefits!
- Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are the food with the highest natural content of vitamin E. Not only is vitamin E an important antioxidant for your skin and keeping you looking young, it is also important for a healthy heart. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of sunflower seeds over your slaw or salad for instant crunch and flavor.
- Flax seeds: Flax seeds contain important omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart and brain health. However, the seeds need to be ground in order for you to get these benefits. Buy them pre-ground or run them through a coffee grinder and add two tablespoons of the ground seeds to your morning smoothie or yogurt.
- Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds are a great source of protein and they contain omega-3 fatty acids. You can enjoy hemp seeds whole. Try them sprinkled over fresh fruit to add some crunchy texture.
- Chia seeds: These small seeds (pictured above) provide fiber and omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. In addition to that, they provide iron and calcium. The best way to add them to your diet is by stirring 1-2 tablespoons into water or your favorite beverage for 3-5 minutes, then enjoying.
- Pumpkin seeds: Enjoy roasted pumpkin seeds on their own to get in a good source of iron and zinc, nutrients important for maintaining energy levels and supporting the immune system.
- Sesame seeds: You may have only thought of these seeds as a garnish for a hamburger bun in the past, but sesame seeds are actually a good source of calcium, copper and manganese. The last two are important for regulating your body’s functions and helping with nutrient absorption. Toast a couple of tablespoons in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and add to your favorite stir-fry to get these benefits.
posted by Sarah-Jane Bedwell