They come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. A seed is an embryonic plant itself and the origin of nutrition. A plant goes to great lengths to produce each seed and fill it with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils and dormant enzymes. A seed is life. It is a living food. It is impossible to eat a raw seed and not derive nutrition from it. Many seeds are edible and the majority of human calories come from seeds, especially from legumes and nuts. Seeds also provide most cooking oils, many beverages and spices, and some important food additives. In different seeds the seed embryo or the endosperm dominates and provides most of the nutrients. The storage proteins of the embryo and endosperm differ in their amino acid content and physical properties. If you’re looking for a high quality, nutritious and filling snack, seeds are tough to beat.
The Best Way to Eat Seeds
There is only one way to derive nutrition from seeds. There is no seed on earth that can withstand roasting or heating without breaking down its nutritional components. Always remember, eat seeds naturally . . . eat them raw. This also means they can be soaked, ground or mashed (i.e. tahini), especially if a seed’s shell or coat is too difficult to pierce with the teeth.
– Choose raw and unsalted seeds
– Avoid coated or roasted seeds
– Avoid sugar-coated seeds
1. Chia Seeds
– 2.5 times more protein than kidney beans
– 3 times the antioxidant strength of blueberries
– 3 times more iron than spinach
– 6 times more calcium than milk
– 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
– 8 times more omega-3 than salmon
– 10 times more fiber than rice
– 15 times more magnesium than broccoli
The seeds are loaded with vitamins and minerals, are an excellent source of fiber, protein and antioxidants, and are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of chia seeds could help reduce joint pain, aid in weight loss, deliver an energy boost and protect against serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease.
The seeds are gluten-free, which also makes them appealing to people with celiac disease or an aversion to gluten.
2. Pomegranate Seeds
Pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants. Therefore, it helps to protect your body’s cells from free radicals, which cause premature aging.
Pomegranate juice pumps the level of oxygen in your blood. The antioxidants fight free radicals and prevents blood clots. This eventually helps the blood to flow freely in your body in turn improving the oxygen levels in your blood.
The pomegranate, with its edible seeds inside juicy sacs, is high in vitamin C and potassium, low in calories (80 per serving, which is just under one-third of a medium fruit), and a good source of fiber.
3. Flax Seeds
Dietary fiber from flaxseed suppresses the rise in blood levels of lipids after a meal and it modulates appetite.
The fiber in flax seed promotes healthy bowel function. One tablespoon of whole flax seed contains as much fiber as half a cup of cooked oat bran. Flax’s soluble fibers can lower blood cholesterol levels, helping reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
Did you know that pumpkin seeds can prevent kidney stones? Studies suggest that pumpkin seeds can help prevent certain kidney stone formations such as calcium oxalate kidney stone.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source for Vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin,
pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and foliates.
For those feeling a little down, pumpkin seeds can help fight through depression. The chemical component L-tryptophan is the secret ingredient to boost your mood.
5. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man. They are highly valued for their oil, which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity.
Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc
and dietary fiber.
In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances; sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.
What is your favorite seed and how do you like to eat them?