Great sources of fiber, monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fats, and an assortment of vitamins & minerals, seeds are extremely delicious and nutritious. Seeds contain starting materials that are necessary for plant development, which ultimately means they are super good for you. When you consume them as part of a healthy diet, they can help lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, and lower cholesterol. Include the following seeds in your diet for some pretty amazing health benefits.
This is not the first time we have given praise to the mighty chia seed. These little omega-3, protein-packed powerhouses are great sources of soluble fiber, which helps to stabilize blood glucose levels (this helps you stay fuller for longer). Several studies have found that eating chia seeds helps to boost ALA, an important inflammation-reducing omega-3 fatty acid, in the blood. Include them in your diet via smoothies, chia pudding, or in homemade energy snacks.
Rich in phytosterols that can help lower cholesterol, pumpkin seeds are commonly consumed as a snack. They are great sources of B-vitamins, iron, magnesium, protein, and zinc, among several other nutrients. Eating pumpkin seeds may also promote healthy sleeping patterns and decrease risk of depression because of the L-tryptophan content. Additionally, they help fight kidney stone formation and reduce inflammation.
Hemp seeds are complete vegetarian protein sources, containing all the essential amino acids that the body cannot make. Studies indicate that the protein quality of hemp seeds is better than most plant-based sources. Hemp seeds contain insoluble and soluble fiber, and they are rich in vitamins A and E, both of which contribute to a healthier complexion. It’s also worth noting that hemp seeds contain vitamin D, which maintains bone structure and regulates calcium in the body.
Perfect for protecting bone health, sesame seeds are chock full of calcium. Sesame seeds are commonly consumed in Asia and in some Western countries in the form of tahini. Sesame seeds contain lignans known as sesamin, which gets converted into another lignan, enterolactone. Low levels of enterolactone have been associated with breast cancer and heart disease. Additionally, sesame seeds are rich in zinc, iron, manganese, phosphorus, copper, and calcium.
One tablespoon of flaxseeds exceeds the recommended daily intake of omega-3s, which help to reduce inflammation. Like chia seeds, flaxseeds also contain ALA and they are fiber superstars. The high fiber content works to establish healthy digestion and the lignans also help regulate bowel movements.
Raw sunflower seeds can be extremely beneficial because they aren’t roasted, salted, and coated in added flavors and preservatives. They are rich in zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, protein, folate, and vitamins B6 & E. There’s a compound in sunflower seeds that helps block an enzyme that constricts blood vessels. This defense allows blood vessels to relax and naturally lower blood pressure levels areas a result. Additionally, sunflower seeds contain unsaturated fatty acids like linoleic acid, which the body uses to make a compound that assists with lowering both blood pressure levels and cholesterol.