The Top 5 Healthiest Seeds

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on

Hemp Seeds are healthy

I previously posted my list of different types of nuts that are healthy and nutritious. Like nuts, seeds are a vital part of our diet. Seeds are high in fiber, vitamin E and monounsaturated fats that can help keep our heart healthy and our body disease free.

Healthy seeds are also great sources of protein, minerals, zinc and other life-enhancing nutrients. Numerous studies have shown that different types of seeds and nuts can actually prevent weight gain, the development of heart disease and the accumulation of LDL cholesterol.

If you are going to add seeds to your diet, I would recommend that you eat only organic seeds, in their raw state. I personally try to avoid irradiated or roasted seeds, and stick with raw seeds. Here is my list of the five healthiest seeds you should add to your diet. (In no particular order)

1. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are truly a super food, as they are packed with an impressive list of nutritional attributes. Perfectly balanced with a three to one omega-6 to omega-3 oil ratio, they are also an excellent source of gamma linoleic and acid.

Containing 10 essential amino acids, hemp seeds are composed of over thirty percent pure protein, making them an excellent daily protein source. They are also composed of 40 percent fiber, the highest amount of any grain on earth! Also containing disease-fighting phytosterols, studies show that hemp seeds, or even hemp milk, support heart health and can provide nutritional support against many unpleasant disaease.

2. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds are healthy

The perfect phytochemical-rich seed for those of us looking to lose weight, as they promote healthy digestion and increase fiber intake.

Sunflower seeds are also extremely rich in folate, a very important nutrient for women. They are packed full of good fats, antioxidant-rich Vitamin E [1], selenium and copper, all crucial elements in supporting heart health and balancing troublesome cellular damage.

3. Sesame seeds

Sesame Seeds are healthy

Traditional societies have touted the positive benefits of this seed for thousands of years.

Sesame seeds are very high in calcium, magnesium, zinc, fiber, iron, B1 and phosphorus, sesame seeds are unique in their chemical structure. Possessing important cholesterol-fighting fibers known as lignans, studies show that these seeds can lower blood pressure, as well as protect the liver from damage. Sesame seeds also may help prevent many health problems, including PMS.

4. Pumpkin Seeds

Some scientific studies have shown that the components of pumpkin seeds may stop the triggering of cancerous behavior in male prostate cells [2].

Pumpkin seeds are high in a form of antioxidant known as carotenoids, a special plant derivative that enhances immune activity and disease fighting capacities. These seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and zinc, two important nutrients that may play a role in supporting skeletal health. Finally, pumpkin seed are high in phytosterols, plant components that aid in keeping stable levels of cholesterol and enhanced immune response.

5. Chia seeds

Chia Seeds are healthy

Yes, just like the seeds you used for sprouting your Chia pet, these seeds are from the mint family. Extremely tiny, yet extremely potent, these small seeds are packed full of fiber, protein, nutrient oils, various antioxidants and even calcium.

Studies show that chia seeds stabilize the blood sugar, promote heart health, as well as increase weight loss. These amazing little seeds are an excellent source of high-quality fats, as they are made up of a whopping 34% pure omega-3 oils.

The Benefits of Eating Seeds

I personally love to eat raw seeds and nuts. I eat them on a daily basis and they give me more natural energy than any other food. They’re great if you want a quick, healthy snack that is still low in calories. Obviously, there are many types of seeds that I left off this list, but the seeds listed above are my personal favorites. What’s your favorite type of seed?

References (2)
  1. Annie Bell Muzaurieta. Top 10 Vitamin E Foods, for Radiant Skin. The Daily Green.
  2. Katherine M. Phillips , David M. Ruggio , Mehdi Ashraf-Khorassani. Phytosterol Composition of Nuts and Seeds Commonly Consumed in the United States. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2005 November 8. 53 (24), pp 9436–9445 DOI: 10.1021/jf051505h.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • hcg diet weight loss

    That is such a great idea you are so right. Thank you so much we need more ppl like you.

  • meli

    Hey Dr. Thanks for this article. Have not heard of hemp and chia seeds but will find out. Hmm… hope you dont mind me asking bout nuts here.

    I heard in Kerala, India they use endosulfan on cashew nuts. And it’ll have long term side effects on consumers. Another one is peanuts attract pests so farmers got to use lots of pesticides, thus peanuts are the least healthy nuts. True?

    Are there any organizations out there with reports bout whether certain countries have defiled guidelines and food production laws. Thanks 🙂

  • It’s so good to see Hemp Seed as no. 1 in your list. It is indeed the healthiest seed. Hempseed is considered by leading researchers and medical doctors to be one of the most nutritious food sources on the planet. Shelled hempseed is packed with 33 percent pure digestible protein and is rich in iron and vitamin E as well as omega-3 and GLA.

  • Hemp: Not For Human Consumption
    (taken from article on Weston Price Foundation site written by Sally Fallon)

    Dr. Group, i’m curious about your thoughts?

    A number of companies are now selling hemp oil, toasted and shelled hemp seeds and granola bars containing hemp seeds. This is not a good use for hemp. Hemp may be appropriate for domestic animals and birds, but it should not be used for human food. In China, where cultivation of hemp originated, hemp oil was used occasionally, but there are no references in the Chinese literature to the use of hemp seeds as food for human beings. (Simoons, Food in China, 1991)

    Hemp oil has been promoted in recent years as a “heart healthy” oil that is rich in essential fatty acids and low in saturated fat. Hemp oil is indeed highly unsaturated, and this is exactly why it should be avoided. Hemp oil is over 75 percent polyunsaturated, containing about 55 percent omega-6 fatty acids and about 20% omega-3 fatty acids. It contains only about 10 percent saturated fatty acids and 10 percent monounsaturated fatty acids. It is, therefore, highly unstable and prone to oxidation; and the high content of linoleic acid makes it particularly unsuitable for human consumption. Diets containing an excess of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-6 fatty acids, have been linked not only to heart disease but also to cancer and autoimmune disease.

    An additional problem derives from the fact that hemp oil may contain traces of cannabinoids and these substances can then turn up in the urine of those who consume it. In one research project, seven adult volunteers purchased hemp oil from a health food store and ingested 15 milliliters each. Urine samples taken at 8, 24 and 48 hours after ingestion were positive for THC. (Journal of Analytical Toxicology October 1997 21(6):482-485.) If these volunteers had been obliged to give a urine sample to their employers, they would have failed their drug test.

    Because hemp oil is highly unsaturated, it makes an excellent base for paints and varnishes. In fact, there is no need to consider hemp for human consumption except in small quantities for medicinal purposes. There are many good fats and oils that humans can use and there are many good industrial uses for all the by-products of the hemp plant. Let’s not make the same mistake with hemp that we have made with soy, by promoting its inappropriate use as a human food.

  • Kelli Claypool

    Excellent article. I didn’t realize that Hemp seeds had so many healthy attributes, such as Omega 3s. I’m particularly interested in this seed as my dad has Parkinson’s disease. It may be something that he could snack on during the day and gain a healthy benefit.
    He’s also taking shark liver oil to increase his Omega 3 intake.

    Thank you again for such an informative article. I really learned a lot.

  • Larry

    I loved your article I was not aware of all the benefits that Pumpkin seeds had. I love the nut and take Omega 3 everyday now I know that as I enjoy my pumpkin nuts I will be ingesting more Omega3 Thank You for the useful information.

  • jessie Zander

    Hemp seed, is a wonderful seed, and should be promoted more, as should all the foods that are beneficial to humans.

    Unfortunately hemp seeds are not available in australia for humun comsumption as yet we can only buy the ground which is sold as pet food. Nonetheless I still use these in my smoothies and a food source, it would be nice to try some hemp seeds to use in cooking as one would use beans. Thank you for your article it has only reaffirmed the need to eat healthy.

  • samson aseervatham

    Pumpkin juice cures cancer of all kinds. According to Siddha medical system practiced in Tamilnadu in south most Indian state. Thank you for the valuable information. Pumpkin is a source for many medicines .

  • maggie

    well,well,this surprise me, but make a sense to me, thanks for this article,if this information come from Weston foundation must be right,thanks,maggie,ormond beach,fl

  • Caroline James

    Excellent and very informative articles. Could yo tell me about flax seeds and its benebit please.

  • Karen

    I use cold pressed organic hemp seed oil to make salad dressing, but it is NOT to be heated for cooking!

  • Sean Edwards

    I had no idea hemp seeds had so much protein in them, If they weren’t illegal in my state I would eat them for sure.

  • Organic Hemp Protein Lover

    Hemp seeds are an awesome food. So nice to see you have rated them so highly. I use the un-shelled hemp seeds on just about everything. I put them in my porridge in the mornings, and i sprinkle them over salads and virtually everything else I eat. I also consume hemp protein daily and in my organic workout shakes.. its a very impressive plant the hemp plant 🙂

  • HempProtein101

    Hi Sean,

    I had to reply to your comment, because Hemp seeds and hemp protein or any other Hemp products for that matter, aren’t illigal to buy anywhere in the world.

    However few countries like the U.S. have a very agressive and not very detailed and enlightened drug law, which mistakenly doesn’t differentiate between the drug Marijuana, and the health food Hemp.

    That’s why Hemp is illigal to PRODUCE inside the U.S. But only to produce. Just take a look at Amazon? Most of the Hemp supplements found there are made in Canada, and imported to the U.S 🙂

  • Hemp Protein

    Taylor, eventhough I have to agree with your post, it almost sounds as if you didn’t read before posting?… 😀

    “Here is my list of the five healthiest seeds you should add to your diet. (In no particular order)”

    I tweeted this. Thought it was a good read.

  • Jay

    Very nice list although I would rate Chia higher because of it versatility and many nutrients. But, again, overall this is a very good list

  • Dar

    I would add Perilla seed to this list.

  • marthese attard

    my husband has parkinsons disease and is on meds. (4 sinemet daily). would shelled hemp seed help with his tremors or maybe the progression of PD?

  • marthese attard

    is shelled hempseed any good for Parkinsons patients that are on PD meds. ?

  • ruby

    Hello, do you know anything about Semelia seeds? I have heard about it several times but can’t seem to find any relevat information about it.

  • Sands

    Hi Ruby,

    I too am busy searching for infomration on Semelia seeds and am failing to come up with anything substantial other than they come from South America…. !

    I want to find out where and what the plant looks like and just in general know as much as I can before I pay for something that might be …. not what it claims to be…..

  • kim

    I used to suffer from dreadful constipation! I hated the lengths I had to go to, to try balance things and still I could never get on top of things. So I went to my doctor and he recommended Linseeds. I pour them on my cereal every morning. That was a year ago and I have never looked back!!! 🙂

  • Tiffany Fung

    Excellent article!

  • Sherry Rennick

    I am wondering about a nice list or source for recipes that include these.

  • kariena

    very interesting. i am buying a whole sack of all the 5 healtiest seeds tomorow. thanks for the info


  • Halfrunt

    Love hemp seeds and hemp oil. We eat the others also.

  • Phil

    What amount of seeds should I be eating aday?

  • Ma3

    Is semelia nut a good natural weight loss product?

  • ghc_health

    Hey Ma3 — thanks for your question, it’s a good one. I checked out semelia seed and the majority of the available information was advertising. Pubmed — a popular research paper database, contained no information on it.

    I think there are probably some people out there selling semelia seed who are claiming it’s a miracle fat burner when there is nothing to substantiate that.

  • Hayley

    Oh shut up. Hemp seeds are not bad for you.

  • Darryl Lynn

    This guy must work for the FDA, or maybe the government. And probably one of the big pharma companies. Let me guess Vaccines are probably better then anything Hemp right lol Let’s all get our formaldehyde soaked aluminum injections, because they are way more nutritious then Hemp lmfao NOT!!!!

  • Darryl Lynn

    Blue Green Algae works amazing for constipation. I used to mix a half a teaspoon with my greens drink everyday, and then lookout. Bowel movements are huge and just slide out 🙂

  • Darryl Lynn

    We live in Canada and have some amazing Hemp products here. Silver Hills in Abbotsford BC is an all organic non GMO store with awesome products. If you have questions is my contact info. Just write Silver Hills or Hemp info in the title bar and i could email or mail you any info you require.

  • Darryl Lynn

    If i mailed you Hemp seeds, or Hemp hearts from Canada, would you receive them or would the government confiscate them.

  • stash

    ha ha, good luck getting em thru customs

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  • Glenys Flegg

    Where would flax seed fit in with your list? I already eat Hemp and Pumpkin.. thinking of eating Sunflower now but interested in where flax fits in on the list.

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  • DD

    Nobody needs this for their well being. Don’t get me wrong.. I love sunflower and pumpkin seeds and put them on everything, but we didn’t evolve and make it to we are today by eating hemp oil. In fact, our primordial ancestors surely didn’t make “oils” out of seeds to survive and we certainly don’t need to do that today. Just eat healthy, don’t eat manufactured crap and you’ll be fine. You’ll even lose weight. Lemons in water works wonders..

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  • amy

    cool infos!

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  • Renato

    Same here, I eat nuts seeds , but the most important is jsut eat heatlhy natural foods. Some bread is fine also. As long as it is the full grain ones. Look at the people in Sardinia or other places where they get really old. The foods they eat are diverse. But natural. And very important. Don’t overeat.

  • Renato

    The USA would crucify Jesus again, if he would live again on this planet.
    They would consider him a socialist/communinist etc.

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  • Mia Vos

    I eat all the above every day, but also a teaspoon of flax seed. They all go into my muesli.

  • Mia Vos

    Is the author promoting the consumption of hemp oil? He is talking about hemp seeds.

  • Mia Vos

    Aren’t they sesame seeds?

  • carol lervig

    I make a chia seed cereal every morning for breakfast
    2 tablespoons chia seeds (black or white)
    1/2-2/3 cup almond milk (I use unsweetened no carrageenan)
    hand full of raw pumpkin seeds
    hand full of raw almonds
    1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground flax seed
    hand full of dried cranberries
    Mix together, mix again in a 30-1 hour the night before. Ready in the morning! It will look awful….tastes better than it looks, but so good for you!

  • Dmember

    what’s a 30-1 hour?

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  • Noah Figg

    Perilla (or shiso) is in the mint family and it is different from sesame. It is used as an herb or greens normally, but it is news to me the seeds are healthy which is great.

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