7 MUST HAVE SEEDS In Your DIET
The Google dictionary defines seeds as “the unit of reproduction of a flowering plant, capable of developing into another such plant.”
Though these are tiny in size, not only is it capable of developing into complex natural plants but if included in our meals, these can pack in one mean dose of our essential nutrients and minerals.
Not only are these huge in fiber but also comes with huge health benefits
For me – it’s all about the crunch. I love that feeling in every bite. In fact, I absolutely addicted to it, and when I miss it I can get quite creative to add some 🙂
Here is the list of must-haves in your Kitchen & Diet and Why :
Also known as linseeds, they originate from Mesopotamia. A part of Flax plants: there are records of it being widely used in ancient cities of Greece and probably Rome.
Flaxseeds are a powerhouse of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, plus contains iron, minerals magnesium, fibers, protein, and vitamin B6.
It quite easy to include this in your daily diet – sprinkle it in your salads, blend it in your smoothies, add it in your cereals or roast it and have it as a mouth freshener after every meal. In fact, I know for a fact that ground flaxseed is used in a vegan diet as Vegan Egg (1tbsp of flax powder with 3 tbsps. of warm water). I believe it is used for baking.
Point to note is that Omega fats are majorly found in the outer shell of these seeds which cannot be easily digested in our human system– hence the recommended way to use is in the powdered form: to get maximum benefits. Or alternatively, you can soak flaxseeds in a glass of water for a few hours and then drink it up along with the seeds.
Flaxseeds help burn body fat and regulate insulin level, improves cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol i.e. the bad LDL Cholesterol, helps reduce blood pressure and protects the body from cancer.
Chia is a seed of a flowering plant in the mint family and is native to Central America. Is also related to plants in America, Mexico, and Guatemala. Since ancient times this crop has been cultivated since the Aztecs and was a staple food of many cultures
These dried seeds when soaked can absorb liquid up to 12 times its size and it develops a gel-like coating. These can be added to make smoothies, juice or yogurt. And if these soaked seeds are ground it comes out a gelatin-like texture and can be used in baking as a replacement for egg. Try Chia pudding, it is a healthy and tasty option. Search the net and you’ll find a recipe… or wait I post one soon.
Chai seeds keep you energized and with the feeling of fuller for a longer time.
3. Seaseme seeds
Commonly consumed in the East – in fact in Hindu mythology, it holds a special significance during Makar SSankranti a festival which is equivalent to New Year ) – it’s said God Yama has blessed this seed and hence is regarded as a symbol of immortality. There are loads of sweets prepared with Seaseme seeds (know as Til) and consumed on this day.
In the west, it is more known as Tahini (ground paste of sesame seeds with a hint of garlic & lemon)
Seaseme seeds is packed with protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium. Is good for Bone health, helps in lowering cholesterol and reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, boosts skin texture, aids digestion and stimulates blood circulation. It is a known source of Omega 6, Vitamin E and monounsaturated fats, contains lignans – which may help sex hormone status for estrogen.
Important to note that this is a good substitute as a nut-free option for those with food allergies.
Sprinkle them on salads, stir-fries, use it to bake, roll sweets on them to make the perfect dessert or ground them up to make Tahini and use as a dressing or as a sandwich spread. Get creative. Nothing but good comes out of it
Pumpkin seeds one of the most commonly consumed seeds around the world. Commonly consumed because commonly available – raw or roasted or as pumpkin oil. This is an excellent snack if roasted because roasting brings out its natural flavor. It can be used for baking, making smoothies or sprinkled in your daily cereals or oatmeal’s, make a nutri bar’s – or do it with all seeds.
These seeds have zinc which plays an important role in burning fat and building muscle. It’s full of fibre – helps in keeping you feel fuller – longer. Has iron, and is a good source of omega 3, protein, minerals such as zinc and magnesium and amino acid. It is a rich source of Vitamin B.
Medically these seeds are used for the treatment of prostate disorders, it helps in urinary tract infections in women and lowers risk of bladder stones, also helps in increasing of red blood cells. Keeps our bones healthy, reduces the risk of breast cancer and reduces blood pressures.
And like all other seeds, this too is another powerhouse of health benefits. This seed has been known from ancient civilizations for its properties. All parts of a sunflower were and are used – it is a fodder for animals, used as a natural dye, used in food or crushed to make oil.
Particularly it is known as a high source of Vitamin E. Vit E is a powerful antioxidant. And a great place to find essentials minerals, proteins, and fiber. A standout is a copper and zinc. Its B complex plays a big role in regulating our nervous system and keeping it healthy, its good fat protects the arteries. Zinc boosts immunity.
And not to keep repeating myself – it has all the benefits and more.
Plus this is used as a gluten-free ingredient. Used in all kind of cooking, baking or on salads.
After doing some research – to my surprise, I found that there is not much difference between marijuana and hemp seed. In fact, both are uses derived from the cannabis plant. Hemp has a small amount of feeling high creating properties than that of Marijuana.
Hemp is rich in fiber and Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. Is a high source of protein. It has a nutty flavour and can be is used in salads, smoothies, as a topping or as sprinkles, used in baking too. Benefits are :
- Great of weight loss
- Builds immunity and boost memory
- Its Vitamin E plays a great role in forming red blood cells
- Decrease risks of cancer, arthritis and heart diseases
- Is a natural laxative
This is a seed is the edible nutritious part obtained from poppy (opium poppy). Though the source of opium, heroin, and morphine are the same – take note that these seeds do not contain opium. It is obtained from the dry fruits i.e. the pods of the poppy plants. The seeds are processed to remove residue. Though it is advised to stop eating poppy seeds weeks before any scheduled drug test.
The poppy plant origins are from the Mediterranean and Asia. It has a nutty taste and depending on where it is cultivated – it can be of a gray, black on bluish in color.
- It has antioxidant which is good for skin texture
- It’s good for heart health
- Improves digestion and eases constipation problems
- Improves metabolism
- Soothes nerves
- In traditional medicines, it is used for cough prevention and cure
So, in the end, doesn’t it feel like all seeds have the magic dose of good benefits. If you have diligently read all of the above – then you would find it difficult to differentiate the benefits from each of these seeds. They are all good and nearly have similar benefits. But don’t ignore one for the other.
Seeds are not only the mother of nature but also of us.
If there were no tree – do you think there would have been any civilization !!.
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Author: Margaret KM