I am always looking for ways to sneak a little added nutrition into my life with a minimal amount of hassle. One of the easiest sources to boost nourishing, healthy nutrition is to include seeds in your diet. I love eating them straight from the package, in smoothies, sprinkled on salads or baked into healthy baked goods. Four of my favorite seeds are discussed below.
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are one of the best sources of vegetarian protein and were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans. Only one tablespoon provides 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and almost three grams of Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are great for promoting bowel regularity and for sustained energy. They can be eaten raw and are perfect thrown into a smoothie, made into a breakfast pudding or served over yogurt.
Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, have a high antioxidant content making them good for reducing inflammation. They are also high in zinc, copper, iron and magnesium. The nutrients in pumpkin seeds may improve heart healthy by reducing blood pressure and increasing good cholesterol. They are also high in fiber, improving digestion and gut health.
Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are packed with easily digestible proteins and contain all 10 essential amino acids, making them one of the rare plant-based foods that provide a complete protein. These seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, high in fiber and are rich in minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium. These seeds are easily digestible and rarely cause allergic reactions. These are great to put into a smoothie or as an added protein boost on a salad.
Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are an excellent addition to any diet. They are high in B vitamins which are important for nervous system health, fighting stress and increasing energy. Sunflower seeds are extremely high in Vitamin E, an amazing fat soluble antioxidant for neutralizing free radicals.
Adding a regular dose of seeds to your life is an amazing way to increase the health benefits in your diet. What are your favorite ways of eating seeds?
Photo from flickr.