Seeds are power packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Albeit they are tiny, but they are rich sources of protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, calcium, and much more. Here are our top 5 picks of super seeds that will add the much needed crunch to your diet and keep you packing a healthy punch.
1. Chia seeds
The one major disadvantage when it comes to a vegetarian or vegan diet is that you miss out on the essential Omega-3 fatty acids which are usually found in animal based sources such as salmon and other seafood. An easy solution to this dietary dilemma are Chia seeds which are 18% richer in Omega-3 fatty acids than any animal based source. They are also rich in protein and fiber which helps reduce the risk of diabetes and stabilize one’s metabolism. Regular use of Chia seeds has known to lower blood pressure and is highly recommended for dieters as it imparts a feeling of fullness. They can be consumed in powdered or whole form, but for added benefits soak them for an hour and add them to puddings or smoothies.
2. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are yummiest of the lot and are a good source of vitamin E, zinc, and manganese. A single tablespoon has 4.7 gm of monounsaturated fat that combat the unhealthy variety of cholesterol and boosts immunity. Again it’s a must have ingredient in the diet of people suffering from diabetes as it helps regulate insulin levels. They are a tasty mix when added to soups, salads and stir-fry vegetables, or you can munch on them plain.
Another rich source of plant based Omega-3 fatty acids are Flaxseeds. They have been doing the rounds in the fitness community for some time now and have a large fan following because of their superfood quotient. Why? Because these seeds have a very low calorie count and a high protein, fiber and Omega-3 fatty acid content. They combat free radicals and improve your digestive, cardiovascular and immunity system. The easiest way to consume and digest Flaxseed is in the ground form which can be added to rotis, oatmeal, yogurt or sprinkled over baked goods.
4. Sesame seeds
South-Asian cuisine is incomplete without sesame seeds. They have a a nutty flavor to them and are a favorite among desi til laddu lovers. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium, and copper and also increase the levels of Vitamin E in the body. This infact improves heart health and boosts the immune system and is shown to reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis. They go well with salads, chicken, seafood, yogurt or your morning cereal.
5. Sunflower seeds
These happy seeds have high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and are a tasty snack when hunger strikes. They have higher levels of Vitamin E compared to the other sources and hence are great for the skin. Due to their high magnesium content they are also good for your bones. Add them to breads, salads, or simply sprinkle them over cold cuts to make a healthy meal.