Like nuts, seeds are a vital part of our diet. Seeds are high in fibre, 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 superfood, 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 stearidonic 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 fibre. Also containing disease-fighting phytosterols, studies show that hemp seeds, or even hemp milk, may prevent heart disease, along with many forms of cancer, as well as inflammation-based diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
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 fibre 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, selenium and copper, all crucial elements in preventing heart disease, cancer, and other forms of troublesome cellular damage.
3. Sesame Seeds
Traditional societies have touted the positive benefits of this sesame seeds for thousands of years.
Sesame seeds are very high in calcium, magnesium, zinc, fibre, iron, B1 and phosphorus. They are unique in their chemical structure, possessing important cholesterol-fighting fibres 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 Arthritis, asthma, migraine headaches, menopause, osteoporosis and PMS.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
Some scientific studies have shown that the components of pumpkin seeds may stop the triggering of cancerous behaviour 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 warding off inflammation, arthritis and osteoporosis. Finally, pumpkin seed are high in phytosterols, plant components that aid in keeping stable levels of cholesterol, enhanced immune response, as well as cancer-fighting attributes.
5. Chia Seeds
These seeds are from the mint family. Extremely tiny, yet extremely potent, they are packed full of fibre, protein, nutrient oils, various antioxidants and even calcium.
Studies show that chia seeds stabilise the blood sugar, lower our risks for cardiovascular disease, as well as promote 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.
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