Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Seeds may not be something you eat on a daily basis, but these tiny capsules of nutrients can boost muscle growth and energy levels and are certainly worth adding to any diet.
Below are 10 super seeds to try out, whether it be a salad garnish, smoothie addition, or yogurt topping:
Amaranth is a lesser-known seed but don’t let its anonymity undermine its nutritional value; amaranth is rich in protein, calcium, iron, fiber, and manganese. Because of its sticky consistency, we suggest using it in breakfast cereals or as a substitute for sushi rice.
2. Chia Seeds
You’ve probably heard of this health-craze food, and for good reason. Packed with fiber, protein, calcium, and healthy fats, chia seeds are an excellent addition to any drink, particularly smoothies, iced teas, juices, and kombucha. These seeds, which expand in water and thus serve as an excellent source of hydration, provide more Omega-3s than Omega-6s, which helps combat inflammation. It does this by slowing the absorption of sugar into the body, as well as binding and eliminating toxins.
3. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are another health-craze food you’ve probably heard of. They are known for a number of benefits, including their high fiber content, Omega-3s, and antioxidants. They have also been shown to aid in lowering blood sugar. However, make sure you use ground flax seeds, as whole seeds will pass through the body without being broken down or absorbed. Try ground flax seeds on anything, including salads, baked goods, and in smoothies.
4. Cumin Seeds
More commonly used as a spice, cumin seeds are rich in iron. Cumin is also known to help with the common cold and indigestion. Try adding it to Mexican dishes, chili, or curry.
5. Hemp Seeds
Packed with tons of magnesium, which aids in regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar, and blood pressure, hemp seeds are a must-try. This heart-healthy food also provides a good ratio of Omega-3s and Omega-6s. Add it to your breakfast smoothie for a light nutty flavor.
“A seed neither fears light nor darkness, but uses both to grow.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
6. Pomegranate Seeds
If you eat pomegranates but spit out the seeds, think again! Pomegranate seeds are full of Vitamin C, which aids in protection against immune system deficiencies and cardiovascular disease. Try adding them to your favorite trail mix, or sprinkle them on any savory dish for an added crunch.
7. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds aren’t only for the fall! Packed with protein, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin E, pumpkin seeds are a tasty snack year-round. Try them in salads, pastas, or even bread!
Although often mistaken for a grain, quinoa can serve as a healthier substitution for rice or oatmeal in many dishes. In addition to being high in protein and fiber, quinoa contains essential minerals including phosphorus, folate, copper, manganese, and magnesium. It also contains all nine essential amino acids. This versatile food can be used in almost any recipe.
9. Sunflower Seeds
Bringing you on a trip down memory lane to warm summer nights and baseball games is not the only cool thing sunflower seeds can do. These little seeds are high in iron, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, and selenium, and are easy to incorporate into any meal. Try grinding them up to make SunButter and use it as a sandwich spread or as a butter substitute in baked goods.
10. Sesame Seeds
A staple in many foods, sesame seeds are a great source of iron and calcium. Sesame seeds are also high in fiber and phytosterols, which helps lower cholesterol and maintain cardiovascular health. You can also reap these benefits in sesame oil and tahini, both of which can add a nutty spin to any dish.