Benefits of Including Seeds in Your Diet
Seeds are an essential addition to any healthy diet. Filled with a beneficial complement of essential fats, protein, and a vast array of different nutrients, they play an important role in supporting health.
Seeds are the embodiment of universal life force. Within a seed is an entire embryonic plant, already surrounded by all the food that it needs to thrive once it gets dispersed into the soil. They are high in vitamins and minerals the body needs to function optimally. Seeds are extremely versatile and can be easily incorporated into your diet in a number of ways.
Nutritional Benefits of Seeds
Eating a vast array of different seeds, over the course of your week, will ensure that you receive a healthy dose of phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, iron, copper, B vitamins, vitamin K and anti-oxidant rich vitamin E. All of these nutrients are necessary for supporting health on multiple levels.
- Contains essential fats
All seeds are high in essential fats. Flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds are at the top for omega-3 content – an essential fat that is excellent for heart and brain function, and is often lacking in most diets. Hemp seed also has a perfect balance of omega 6 -to- omega 3, which is considered to be optimal by health experts.
- Abundant in protein and essential amino acids
Seeds are generally an excellent source of protein. Quinoa, amaranth, chia and hemp seeds are particularly noteworthy since they offer complete proteins, meaning that they contain all 9 essential fats required for optimal health.
- Excellent source of fiber
Seeds are naturally full of fiber, as are most plant-based foods. Fiber is excellent for blood sugar control, helping to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates and absorption of sugar. It is also great for promoting healthy bowel movement, heart health and weight-loss management.
- Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
Seeds possess important cholesterol-fighting fibers known as lignans. Flax, chia and sesame seeds contain exceptionally beneficial levels of these lignans – more than most other foods. Studies also show that this beneficial action from seeds can in turn lower blood pressure.
All seeds have a beneficial amount of antioxidants, while some seeds are absolute powerhouses full of it. Flax, is one of the highest-rated antioxidants amongst plant foods, coming up top for polyphenols, which are superstars in the antioxidant world.
Different Ways to Include Seeds in Your Diet
- Sprouted Seeds
Sprouting seeds tends to make the nutrients more readily available for absorption. Sprouting has the additional benefit of releasing the enzyme inhibitors within seeds making them more easy to digest.
- Seed butter
Another great way to speed up the release of nutrients is to enjoy them as a seed butter. You can easily buy all kinds of seed butters in health food stores or if you have a food processor, you can even make your own. Tahini is a great example of a delicious sesame seed butter.
- Baking with seeds
You can turn seeds into a meal/flour and use them as part of a baked recipe in place of breadcrumbs or flour. Grinding your raw seeds means a bigger chance of absorbing the nutrients locked within the whole seeds. Baking really brings out their flavor and can help give a recipe a delicious taste.
Having a handful of raw or roasted seeds for yourself as a snack or sprinkling on top of salads also works a treat too. Remember to chew your seeds well. Un-chewed seeds will simply pass through your digestive system somewhat whole; so enjoy the process of chewing your food properly to make the nutrients more available.
Incorporate seeds into your diet consistently, and you’ll reap the benefits of all those nutrients, making seeds well worth the calories.