In trying to maintain a well-balanced diet you must learn how to incorporate foods from various essential groups. Though adding things like dairy, meat, fruits, and vegetables to the mix are common, one of the most overlooked, but important foods to consider are seeds. Seeds are essential to a healthy diet, and if you’re not allergic, has a plethora of benefits you should take advantage of. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of eating seeds.
High in Essential Fats – Though you’re taught not to consume too many saturated fats, the body needs essential fats like Omega 3 to flourish. If you were to look at the nutritional label found on products like Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed, you’ll find that they’re packed with omega 3 fatty acids. Other seeds high in essential fats include chia and hemp seeds.
Good source of protein and amino acids – Your body needs protein. It is used to build strong skin, bones, hair, and muscles. Though sources like lean meats can be a great source of protein, you can also get it from seeds. Seeds like quinoa and amaranth contain all 9 essential fats needed for maximum health.
Packed with Nutrients – Seeds contain a lot more than fatty acids and protein, they are loaded with essential nutrients and vitamins to fuel the body. The right combination of seeds on a weekly basis could increase your body’s exposure to nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin E, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and more.
Great Fiber Source – Fiber is necessary to your diet. It helps to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar which helps to control blood sugar. Seeds contain a lot of fiber which is also great for improved bowel movements, heart health, and increase your ability to manage your weight.
Lowers Your Cholesterol – Seeds like flaxseed, chia, and sesame have exceptionally high levels of cholesterol-fighting fibers called lignans. The seeds, when consumed on a regular basis, help to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Rich in Antioxidants – As for boosting the immune system, seeds are your best friend. Many seeds contain antioxidants which help to ward off disease and improve your overall health.
Though all seeds are beneficial for your health, some pack more vitamins and nutrients than others. As you’re starting to incorporate more seeds into your diet try to include “super seeds” like flaxseeds, hemp, chia, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.
Ways to Incorporate More Seeds
Now that you know how beneficial seeds can be for you, the next step is to determine how to add them to your diet. Eating at an ounce or two of seeds each day can improve your health. Below are a few quick tips on how to consume more seeds each day.
· Use them in a paste or dip to spread on crackers, bread, or dip with chips
· Ground them up and add them to a salad, yogurt, or dish for a crunchy texture.
· Turn them into flour and bake with it
· Purchase seed oil and use it for cooking and baking
· Add them to a smoothie for increased protein and fiber intake
· Roast, season, and eat them like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
When you think of foods packed with nutrients and ingredients that are beneficial to your health, it can be easy to overlook the little things. Try incorporating more seeds into your diet by using some of the above-mentioned tips. Keep in mind, however, that seeds are high in calories and therefore should only be consumed in small quantities. A serving of two ounces or fewer each day will improve your health by leaps and bounds.