7 Super Seeds That Are Unmatched In Their Health Benefits
Some good things do come in small packages. Seeds are tiny but are worthy of the title of superfoods because they are loaded with nutrients, such as protein, vitamin, fibre, iron and omega-3. While the world of wellness has a plethora of super seeds to pick from, some of them fare much better than others because of the potential health benefits they have to offer.
Grind and sprinkle these seeds like mentioned below or over your dishes, breakfast cereals or anything else you want to add flavour to:
#1. Hemp seeds
A complete protein like egg, hemp seeds are an excellent source of easily digestible proteins. They contain the essential fatty acids (Omega-6 and Omega-3) with GLA (Gamma-linoleic acid) that helps build anti-inflammatory hormones; they prevent conditions like arthritis, asthma and fibromyalgia.
Add them to your diet: They look like sesame seeds but have a nutty flavour like sunflower seeds. Add them to salads or breakfast cereals, soups, pesto sauce (instead of cashew nuts) and post-workout smoothies for faster muscle recovery.
#2. Chia seeds
Excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and minerals like calcium, manganese and phosphorus (all necessary for healthy bones and teeth), chia seeds are a healthy addition to your diet. They lower insulin resistance (the main cause of PCOD among women) and help fight diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac problems.
Add them to your diet: Chia seeds don’t have any particular taste. Add them to your breakfast your breakfast porridge or even plain milk. Sprinkle them (whole or ground) on salads or risottos or make them into a pudding with fruits, or make chia seed jam.
#3. Pumpkin seeds
Diversity in antioxidant content makes pumpkin seeds a good anti-ageing property. They contain Vitamin E in different forms and thus benefit the skin. They ward off cancer, heart attacks, diabetes and have anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-microbial benefits. A handful of pumpkin seeds, three to four times a week, is a must.
Add them to your diet: Roasted pumpkin seeds make for a tasty snack when flavoured with paprika or just lime and pepper. Do note they are high in calories too (100 gm = 560 calories), so limit your consumption. You can make granola bars out of them or add them to baked products, like muffins.
Rich source of dietary fibre, Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, flaxseeds help adjust your good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol ratios and thus protect your heart, promote fertility, relieve constipation, improve immunity and avert production of cancerous cells.
Add them to your diet: Most nutritionists suggest that ground flaxseeds are better than whole because the former is easier to digest. However, remember, these seeds when ground and exposed to air, oxidise easily, turn rancid and lose their nutrition profile. So, grind small quantities, store in an air-tight container and consume them soon. Add them as a topping to yogurt, oatmeal, desserts and shakes.
#5. Sunflower seeds
An excellent source of Vitamin E, sunflower seeds neutralise free radicals and prevent asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. High in magnesium, they treat blood pressure, headaches and migraines along with promoting healthy teeth and bones.
Add them to your diet: Because of their high-fat content, sunflower seeds become rancid quickly. It is best to store them in the refrigerator. Add them to salads and scrambled eggs or sprinkle on hot or cold breakfast cereals.
#6. Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds possess nutritive, preventive and curative properties. Their copper content helps provide relief from rheumatoid arthritis. Magnesium improves cardiovascular health and lung function while calcium prevents osteoporosis, migraine and PMS.
Add them to your diet: Tahini, made out of sesame seeds, is a favourite Arabic paste added to dips like hummus and moutabel. Sauté sesame seeds with vegetables or chicken, garlic, ginger and soy sauce or add them to bread, muffins or theplas and dhok theplas and dhoklas to increase their nutritional value.
#7. Quinoa seeds
They are loaded with omega-3 fatty acid, proteins, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, are gluten-free and very low in calories as well as fats. They have a good satiety and are a very healthy way to lose some kilos.
Add them to your diet: The best way to consume quinoa is just the way you eat rice. You can also have it through upma by combining it with other vegetables.