The Benefits of Including Seeds in your Regular Diet Plan
High in protein and filled with multivitamins, seeds are truly a treasure trove of health benefits. But how do we know what types of seeds to eat? Let’s learn about the 10 best seeds for your health and the benefits associated with them.
Seeds may be tiny when it comes to their size, but they are a powerhouse of nutrition. Changing lifestyle trends and the lack of time between work or study hours have made it almost mandatory to include seeds in the diet due to the ease of popping them in without the hassle of pre-preparation. If you’re wondering which seeds are good for health, this blog will help outline it for you!
Types of Healthy Seeds
Flaxseeds:An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which fall under the category of good fats, flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are some of the healthiest seeds that exist. Flaxseeds are good for the brain, especially in cases of a related disease. They are also known to improve skin properties and may play a positive role in slowing skin ageing. When studying flaxseeds, several pieces of research show convincing evidence of their beneficial action in cardiovascular issues. So make sure you have some flax seeds to eat the next time you have a meal.
Their medicinal value and nutritional properties have made chia seeds quite popular in recent times. They have the highest content of omega-3 fatty acids and are known to act as an antioxidant that stabilises the harmful molecules in our body. These water-absorbing seeds also possess antimicrobial activity. While certain claims propagate chia seeds for weight loss, a study proved that chia seeds do not promote weight reduction directly. However, due to their high fibre content, chia seeds may keep you fuller for a long time after a meal.
Sunflower seeds:While sunflower seeds are more commonly used to extract oil, they can also be consumed whole. These are high protein seeds, with every handful (20 g) providing 4.6 g of protein. Sunflower seeds are also known to possess anti-inflammatory activity and are rich in Vitamin E, which serves as an antioxidant to neutralise the free radicals that may cause damage to brain cells and cell membranes.
Pumpkin seeds:These seeds may be tiny, but they contain the goodness of bioactive compounds like amino acids, phytosterols, unsaturated fatty acids, and phenolic compounds that are known to be beneficial for health. These functional properties of pumpkin seeds may promise activity against diabetes, depression, and tumour growth while serving as an antioxidant.
Basil seeds:The basil seeds we eat most commonly in faloodas are high protein seeds and contain most of the essential amino acids. Their consumption is linked with benefits like the prevention of type-2 diabetes, and are also known to be protective for the heart. They possess antiulcer properties and exhibit good antimicrobial phenomena. The other most notable benefits of basil seeds include their ability to improve digestive health, the appearance of skin, and relieve stress. Basil seeds may also be considered healthy seeds for weight loss.
Sesame seeds:A popular seed to make til laddoos, sesame seeds are one of the best types of seeds to eat. They contain two unique substances named sesamin and sesamolin. These substances are attributed to having a cholesterol-lowering effect and may also prevent high blood pressure. Sesame seeds are also known to be antibacterial in nature, and this property makes them a reliable choice to help treat certain skin conditions like athlete’s foot fungus.
Hemp seeds:Hemp Seed has a wide range of nutrients, including an excellent content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are supposed to be good for heart health. It is also suggested that intake of linolenic acid (omega 3 fat), which is present in hemp seeds, may contribute to preventing and controlling high blood pressure. The protein content of hemp seeds is supposed to be on par or even better than other nuts, and may also improve skin dryness and itchiness in patients with dermatitis.
Fibre:Seeds are high in dietary fibre and could prevent several ailments. Fibre is known to contribute to greater satiety and is also considered as prebiotics - it serves as food for good bacteria in our gut.
Protein:Seeds contain most of the essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be synthesised by our body and need to be consumed through diet. They are the building blocks of proteins required for growth and maintenance.
Healthy fats:Seeds are a good source of essential fatty acids, including omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 acids especially have a profound role in nutrition. They are responsible for several functions within the cell and are involved in maintaining their structure. Omega 3 fats also regulate the nervous system and are known to be anti-inflammatory.
Calcium:Some seeds, like gingelly and flaxseed, are good sources of calcium, an important mineral for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
Trace minerals:Manganese and selenium are found in seeds and are beneficial for health.
Vitamin E:Seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, which serves as an antioxidant in our body and also enhances immunity.
How you can include seeds in diet
- Dips and spreads: Since seeds are high in fat, they can easily be blended into dips and spreads, imparting a rich buttery texture. You can try out this Egg Mayo Flaxseed Dip to accompany your evening snacks!
- Salad: Fancy a colourful bowl of salad? Make it more nutritious by sprinkling some of the best seeds for health that are mentioned above!
- Smoothie: Flax seeds to eat can be a bit of a task due to their distinctive taste, thus the easier option would be to powder and add them to smoothies! Other seeds, like chia seeds or basil seeds, may be soaked as a pre-preparatory step. You could also try out this Apple Chia Seed Smoothie for a no-fuss alternative!
- Baked goodies: From cakes to muffins, sneak in seeds to the batter to get the best of taste and nutrition!
Seeds offer flavour and a rich nutritional profile. They are excellent sources of nutrients required for health and have proven health benefits for overall wellness. If you aren’t in the habit of consuming seeds regularly in moderation, you may be missing out on a lot of good stuff and should consider adding them to your meals!