Seeds are something quite overlooked when it comes to nutritional value. I’ve got a list of seven seeds that you should be consuming on a regular basis to get an easy hit of a broad range of nutrients that will keep you healthy and feeling full all morning.
Quinoa (“keen-wah”) is a pseudocereal originating from the Andean regions of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile and Columbia, closely related to beetroot and spinach. Quinoa is high in B vitamins, Iron, Magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, calcium and vitamin E.
Sunflower kernels are popular snack around the world. Commonly roasted and salted, they are a great source of vitamin E. They contain high amounts of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and linoleic acids, as well as “phytosterols” which can help contribute to healthy blood cholesterol levels.
Sesame Seeds come from one of the hardiest fruit growing plants cultivated. It originates from dessert conditions and is said to be the oldest oilseed crop known to humanity. Sesame seeds contain an amazing amount of copper. 100g can provide up to 204% of dietary copper which is very important for hair and eye health, production of connective tissue, brain function, absorption of iron, and helps reduce signs of aging.
Linseed, also known as flaxseed, provides high amounts of the Omega 3 fatty acid ALA. This essential fat cannot be produced by the body and is therefore required by the body through foods. One tablespoon of linseed can supply approximately 1.8g of omega 3.
Millet comes from a variety of grasses that grow throughout Asia and Africa. It provides a host of benefits concurrent with its fellow seeds including reduction of risk of type two diabetes, maintaining healthy cholesterol, overall cardiovascular health and providing good protein and fats for the body’s fuel. Further to that, millet also is a great source of Quercetin, Curcumin and Ellagic Acid, all of which function as antioxidants and help the liver with detoxification.
Pumpkin Seeds, also known as Pepitas, are a great source of Vitamin E. Further to that, they also serve as a fantastic source of zinc which is required for many functions in the body including immune function, cell division, wound healing and the digestion of carbohydrates. Among these, higher levels of zinc can help with athletic performance, reproductive health, cognition, mood and depression, and reducing insulin resistance.
Chia Seeds, to round out this list, can provide you with 11g of fibre, 4g of protein and 9g of fat to a 28g serve. On top of this, that same 28g serving size can provide you with 30%, 27% and 18% respectively of your daily requirement of manganese, phosphorus and calcium.
Try these in a blend and add them to yoghurt and fruit, make up a porridge or bircher muesli. These seeds can even be used in cooking baked goods to increase the overall protein and fat content.