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Monday, 17 February 2020

Ten of the Best Seeds to Eat and Why They Are Healthy !


"Seeds are one of life’s greatest treasures. They’re bite-sized treats full of protein, essential fatty acids, and other vital micronutrients. We can sprout them, toast them or enjoy them fresh, sprinkled on a salad, smoothie bowl, or a snack on the go. Here’s a handful you may want to throw on your next meal.

1. Hemp Seeds
Harvested from one of the world’s most sustainable plants with widespread uses, hemp seeds are an incredible way to up the nutritional value of almost any dish. The seeds are known for essential fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3, a quarter of their make-up is a plant-based protein, they’re a good source of dietary fibre and are rich in Vitamin E. Hemp seed oil is becoming increasingly popular in skin care – for everything from acne to hydration concerns.

2. Chia Seeds
For one of the smallest seeds in our package-less pantry, chia comes with an impressive nutritional profile. Aztecs and Mayans praised the seed for its strengthening abilities, which comes as no surprise. The antioxidant-laden chia is a great source of dietary fibre and protein, they contain 5gm of omega-3s in a 28gm serving and contribute to our recommended daily intake of calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. Research also suggests consumption may aid in weight loss – due to the soluble fibre expanding in the stomach, filling our bellies.

3. Pumpkin Seeds
A crowd favourite toasted on a salad, sprinkled on kitchari or folded into granola; pumpkin seeds are more than just a nice crunch to enjoy. Pumpkin seeds or pepitas – the hulled alternative – are rich in minerals the body craves for functioning; phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, and copper. The seeds are also a source of Vitamin A, Vitamins B1, B2 and B3, plant-based proteins, monounsaturated fats and phytosterols – a star-studded line up for an unassuming seed. Naturopathic doctors have also considered research that suggests the benefits of pumpkin seeds can treat prostate conditions.

4. Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds, also known as Linseeds, have been used in the human diet for over 5000 years. They are fantastic sources of dietary fibre, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, but they’re most famous for their high levels of the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid and phytoestrogens, known as lignans. Flaxseeds contain almost twice the level of omega-3 as fish oil, which research has shown can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, alongside optimal brain function. Lignans also assist in regulating oestrogen levels. While flaxseeds have a delightful crunch, they are best-eaten ground for ultimate nutrient absorption.

5. Sesame Seeds
Often considered one of the world’s oldest foods, sesame seeds provide an abundance of nutrients for such a small shell. Bear with me while I go scientific on you; the densely packed seed is a fantastic source of protein, lignans, dietary fibre, monounsaturated fats, Vitamins B1 and B2, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and phytic acid. Incredibly, they are also low in carbohydrates and cholesterol-free. The fatty make-up of a sesame seed is an incredible 82% unsaturated fatty acids, with the average oil content of the seed being 50%. Sesame is rich and varied in amino acids – making it an ideal source of plant-based protein – and is noted for antioxidant and digestive properties. And they’re tasty! Sesame can be enjoyed sprinkled in rice paper rolls, smothering bliss balls or in their tasty purified form, tahini.

6. Cumin Seeds
If you experiment with cuisines in the kitchen, you’ll be familiar with the humble cumin seed. The spice is used in everything from Mexican to Indian and Middle Eastern cooking but provides the body with more than a punchy flavour. Cumin seeds are noted for their powerful digestive abilities, as the oils present in the seed can stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes –crucial for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Additionally, research is currently underway to consider cumin’s anticancer properties – due to the seed’s free-radical scavenging tendencies. The health benefits of cumin have been noted for centuries, where Ancient Greek and Roman kitchens began by using the spice as a cheaper alternative to black pepper. 

7. Pomegranate Seeds
It’s hard to get your hands on fresh pomegranate seeds, but when the seasons allow we should devour as much as possible! The perfect addition to any salad or smoothie bowl, these tart-tasting toppers are laden with beneficial antioxidants to protect our bodies against inflammation and free radical damage. Pomegranate seeds are low calorie and rich in Vitamin C – a single-serve can contain 48% of our recommended daily intake.

8. Grape Seeds
Opting for grapes with seeds inside will always enhance our nutritional profile. In fact, much of the grape’s dietary value comes from the tiny crunch inside the fleshy fruit. Grape seed extracts, rich in flavonoids known as procyanidolic oligomers, are commonly used in treating varicose veins. These same flavonoids are powerful antioxidants believed to reverse atherosclerosis and increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood. Current research is also considering how phytophenols present could halt Alzheimer’s Disease. Natural and easy, there’s no denying that grape seeds are great for you.

9. Sunflower Seeds
Another delightful salad-crunch packing a punch is the sunflower seed. The beautiful flower’s seeds are an abundant source of vital nutrients; protein, Vitamin E, Vitamins B1, B5 and B6, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, copper, iron, folic acid, and dietary fibre. The nutrient-rich seeds actually hold many similarities to nuts – providing a high content of monounsaturated fat and arginine. Research has shown that the readily available nutrients in sunflower seeds are often in insufficient supply in the diet – good thing they taste delicious on almost anything!

10. Quinoa
You read that right – commonly thought of as a grain, everyone’s favourite pantry staple is actually the seed of a plant called goosefoot. Quinoa is an amino-acid stuffed seed, used in everything from salads and granolas to a rice substitute in curries and stir-fries. Unlike most plant-based proteins, quinoa is a complete protein – providing us with all the essential amino acids our bodies need to survive and thrive."
The above from an article by Tess Patrick here

Do you use any of these seeds?
What are your favourite seeds to use? 


This Low Carb Seedy Bread which contains sunflower seeds, and others, is popular
please see more details here

Dear reader, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes!

However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

39 comments:

Tom said...

...I can't say that seeds have ever been my thing!

Valerie-Jael said...

Most of the seeds are great, but I am not a fan of quinoa! Valerie

Elephant's Child said...

I use quite a lot of them.
I haven't seen hemp seeds though. Or grape seeds.

mxtodis123 said...

I love sunflower seeds. I don't like seeds plain, though. I like them in a salad.

Christine said...

good information, love the photo. I recently made some quinoa, my family didn't like it but I did.

Lorrie said...

What a great roundup of seeds to eat. I like them all other than chia, which is too glutinous in some recipes.

happyone said...

I eat pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Seeds are such yummy, healthy additions to food. We use hemp, chia, pumpkin, sesame and flax in a fruit and nut ball we make.

My name is Erika. said...

You surprised me with the news about quinoa. Seeds add a nice little crunch. I especially like tham tossed on a salad.

DMS said...

I am a fan of seeds- so nice to see this list and what they are each good for. I didn't realize that quinoa were considered seeds. Interesting!
~Jess

Margaret D said...

Interesting read regarding the seeds. We often eat seeds but don't know the good value of them.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Very informative blog post! I like adding a variety of seeds to my salads or breakfast yogurt, along with a bit of dried fruit.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I like to eat a good mix of seeds, I sprinkle them on porridge. That loaf looks great!

Sami said...

I use seeds with my breakfast yogurt, make granola with some of the mentioned seeds, put them in salads and in my home made bread.
Never seen grape seeds for sale, but I eat grapes whole, seeds and all :)
Thanks Jan

Jo said...

The only seeds I eat are the ones which are baked into bread.

Lady Fi said...

Delicious!

R's Rue said...

I love seeds.

Sandra Cox said...

Great info here, Jan. Thank you!

CJ Kennedy said...

The seed bread sounds delicious

Sue said...

Great article, I don't dislike seeds but they're not something I eat a lot of x

gloriadelpilar_1994@yahoo.com said...

I love seeds in many dishes especially I love sesame seeds and pomegranate seeds !!

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

I always learn something everytime I visit, and it's always yummy! Thanks!

Elkes Lebensglück said...

i love this!!!!
i love these seeds and grains. The bread is delicious I don't like any other bread!
Greetings Elke

Lee said...

I love seeds, and I love the look of this recipe. I just might have to make this loaf. I will make this loaf. Thanks for sharing. :)

Rose said...

This is a wonderful article...contains so much good information.

Practical Parsimony said...

sigh...and I was told not to eat seeds. I love them so.

Carla from The River said...

Great post. I am just learning about Hemp. In fact I went to a Hemp class at the Garden Expo I attended.
Pinning your post. Thank you!

Angie said...

Jan - most often, we use sunflower seeds and quinoa. Pumpkin seeds are a once-a-year treat after we have carved our pumpkins. Love them!

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I use pepitas just to eat as snacks...But perhaps should include them in some stir fires...I cook with cumin fairly often and quinoa from time to time. Also add sesame seeds to things I cook. I do like seeds and should use more. Thanks for this reminder.

Laurie said...

Thanks for this delicious nutritious list!

Martha said...

Great information. Thank you!

Kay said...

I'm so happy to know this about quinoa. I love to stick them in soups.

Phil Slade said...

All the very best information here as usual. Although I did have to smile at hemp seed "one of the world’s most sustainable plants with widespread uses". I'm sure Jan and Eddie use it for purely legitimate purposes.

carol l mckenna said...

Great post on the benefits of seeds ~

Happy Moments to You,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Teresa said...

Me encantan algunas de estas semillas, girasol, calabaza, sésamo, granada, las demás no me gustan tanto, la de cáñamo nunca la probé. Besitos.

Snowbird said...

What an interesting post!xxx

Bob Bushell said...

I cook with a variant seeds, always have them by me. Thanks Jan.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

We love sesame seeds best but we don't eat a lot of seeds. I need to see if we can work some in to our diets! Thanks!

William Kendall said...

Thanks for sharing!