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 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 try to avoid irradiated or roasted seeds and stick with raw seeds. In no particular order, here is my list of the five healthiest seeds you should add to your diet.
The Top 5 Healthiest Seeds
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 ten 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 health conditions.
2. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are the perfect, phytochemical-rich seed for those of us looking to lose weight, as they promote healthy digestion and increase fiber intake.
They are also extremely rich in folate, a very important nutrient for women. They are packed full of good fats, antioxidant-rich Vitamin E, selenium and copper, all crucial elements in supporting heart health and balancing troublesome cellular damage.
3. Sesame seeds
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 lignin, 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 concerns, including PMS.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
Some scientific studies have shown that the components of pumpkin seeds may stop the triggering of cancerous activity in male prostate cells.
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 seeds are high in phytosterols, plant components that aid in keeping stable levels of cholesterol and enhanced immune system response.
5. Chia seeds
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 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. There are many types of seeds that I left off this list, but the seeds listed above are my favorites. What's your favorite type of seed?
- Annie Bell Muzaurieta. Top 10 Vitamin E Foods, for Radiant Skin. The Daily Green.
- 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. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.