Best Seeds to Eat and Their Natural Benefits

Best Seeds to Eat: Natural Benefits & Ways to Consume Them

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If you're thinking healthy superfoods, think seeds. These small yet mighty foods prove that size is not an indication of how healthy something is. Don't let their looks deceive you - since seeds have all the essential nutrients required to become full-grown plants, they are super healthy and more beneficial than you can imagine.

If you're looking to reap the benefits of eating healthy, edible seeds will definitely put you on the fast-track to visible results. They are a great source of fiber and are packed with essential fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. When consumed within a healthy diet that is designed to cater to your body's specific needs, edible seeds will help you get healthier, fitter, and stay fuller. 

Here are the best seeds to eat an their natural benefits! 


• Best Edible Seeds and Their Benefits


1. Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds in a Wooden Bowl with a Wooden Spoon
Chia seeds are small black or white edible seeds derived from the Salvia hispanica plant, a member of the family of Mint plants. These seeds were a vital part of the daily diets of the Aztecs and Mayans, and have been a part of human diets for more than 5000 years. 

a. Chia Seeds Benefits

Chia Seeds are loaded with fiber, proteins, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids. Here are a few benefits of all these properties:

1. They help reduce blood pressure

2. They also help lower cholesterol levels

3. Aid weight loss and weight management 

4. Help control diabetes (Type 2)

5. Help improve and control anxiety and depression

6. Reduce inflammation in the body

7. Support digestive health


b. Ways to Use Chia Seeds in Diets

Chia Pudding in Glass Jars

1. Smoothie Bowls -- You can make use of these wonderful edible seeds to add to your fruit smoothie bowls. Mix them in or use them as topping on top of your yogurt, fruits, oats, and homemade granola bars. 


2. Chia Pudding -- If you're craving something with a different consistency, you can also incorporate chia seeds into a milk of your choice and add some flavoring (vanilla extract, honey etc). Let it set and thicken to become a pudding-like consistency. 



2. Flax Seeds 

Flax Seeds in a Glass Bowl
Usually brown or yellow in color, Flax seeds are also called Linseeds. They originated in the Middle East thousands of years ago and have been a part of common diets since. They are small oil seeds and provide a vast spectrum of health benefits that make them very desirable in diets for individuals across the world. 

a. Flax Seeds Benefits

These seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, and other unique plant compounds. They are beneficial in the following ways:

1. Aid weight loss and weight management 

2. Great for heart health because of omega-3 fatty acids

3. Improve cholesterol levels

4. Effectively lower blood pressure

5. Improve digestive health


b. Ways to Incorporate Flax Seeds into Your Diet

1. Flaxseed Meal -- Grind whole flax seeds into a fine powder using a blender or coffee grinder. You can then sprinkle this flaxseed meal over yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal for added texture and a great nutty flavor. You can also mix it into smoothies or incorporate it into baked goods like muffins, pancakes, or bread.

2. Flaxseed Oil Dressing -- Since these are oil seeds beneficial for heart health, you can make a homemade salad dressing using flaxseed oil as the base. Combine flaxseed oil with vinegar or citrus juice, mustard, garlic, herbs, and spices to create a flavorful dressing. Drizzle it over salads, steamed vegetables, or grilled meats for a healthy boost of omega-3 fatty acids.



3. Sunflower Seeds 

Sunflower Seeds in a Wooden Bowl with Sunflowers Around It
The greyish outer covering is just a shell that encases these soft, white sunflower seeds. Derived from the heads of sunflowers, these soft seeds have a nutty flavor and are often used in healthy dishes worldwide. 

a. Sunflower Seeds Benefits

These edible seeds are rich in fiber, healthy fats, essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a well-rounded source of nutrients and will allow you to easily reap the benefits of eating healthy. These healthy seeds provide the following benefits:

1. Naturally boost immunity

2. Reduce cholesterol levels

3. Potentially reduce the risk of cancers in the body

4. Help lower blood pressure 

5. Helps with type 2 diabetes management 

6. Provides instant energy

7. Aids weight loss and weight management 

8. Helps with controlling Anemia 


b. Ways to Incorporate Sunflowers Seeds in Your Diet

1. Salad Topper -- Sprinkle toasted or even raw sunflower seeds on top of salads for added crunch, texture, and a nutty flavor. They pair well with a variety of salad ingredients, such as mixed greens, vegetables, fruits, and cheese. You can also toss them into grain salads like quinoa or couscous for extra protein and nutrition.

2. Trail Mix -- You can also create your own homemade trail mix by combining sunflower seeds with other nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and maybe even a bit of dark chocolate for a satisfying and energy-boosting snack. Portion it into small bags or containers for a convenient grab-and-go option.



4. Pumpkin Seeds

Green Pumpkin Seeds in a Wooden Bowl
Derived from pumpkins, as the name suggests, these edible seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients. They renowned for their health benefits as well, with many studies proving their benefits. 

a. Pumpkin Seeds Benefits

Pumpkin seeds are rich in minerals like magnesium, healthy fats, proteins, and fiber. These are a few pumpkin seeds benefits that make them desirable in diets:

1. They may lower the risk of certain cancers such as breast and prostrate cancer

2. Help manage blood sugar levels for type 2 Diabetes

3. Help boost immunity

4. Protect against heart diseases

5. Lower cholesterol levels

6. Help support bladder health


b. Ways to Incorporate Pumpkin Seeds into Your Diet

1. Simple Snack -- You can enjoy pumpkin seeds as a standalone snack by roasting them with a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasonings, such as salt, garlic powder, or smoked paprika powder. They make a satisfying and nutritious snack option that's rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.


2. Addition to Other Meals -- Sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds over soups, salads, and stir-fries to add a crunchy texture and boost of flavor. They complement a wide range of dishes and provide an extra dose of nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and iron.


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5. Sesame Seeds

Black and White Sesame Seeds in Wooden Spoons
Often known as "Til" in India, Sesame seeds can be black or white in color. These seeds are extracted from flowering plants that are specially cultivated for their healthy seeds. These oilseeds are older than 3000 years and are regularly used in different ways worldwide. 

a. Sesame Seed Benefits

These edible seeds are packed with healthy fats, fiber, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Their benefits are reaped worldwide in various forms and cuisines. Here are a few of their benefits:

1. Help lower blood sugar levels

2. May have anti-cancer properties

3. Help lower blood pressure

4. Reduce inflammation in the body

5. May help protect the liver and its functioning

6. May help improve hair health


b. Ways to Incorporate Sesame Seeds in Your Diet

1. Sesame Seed Sprinkle -- Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top of salads, stir-fries, soups, or roasted vegetables for added flavor, texture, and a nutritional boost. They provide a nutty taste and a delightful crunch to your dishes. 

2. Dressing or Sauce -- Make a creamy and flavorful dressing or sauce by blending sesame seeds with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Use it as a dressing for salads, a sauce for roasted vegetables or grains, or a dip for raw veggies or falafel. It adds richness and depth to your meals.

3. Sesame Seed Encrusting -- You can use sesame seeds as a coating for proteins like chicken, fish, or tofu. Simply press the seeds onto the surface of the protein before cooking to create a crunchy crust. It adds both flavor and texture to the dish, enhancing its appeal.


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