In today’s fast pace world, it is essential to keep track of our food habits. It is easy to get lost in the taste and forget about our health when there are varieties of food options available to us. How many times you have chosen a slice of cheese over spinach to make a quick sandwich? Or chocolates over nuts to satisfy your evening cravings?
The truth is that we often neglect the bad effects of our food habits in favour of taste. And that is where we are making a mistake. Taste is good but eating healthy food is a necessity to our body. If we can make a habit of eating healthy food and make it tasty at the same time, well, then there is nothing better than that.
An important part of our diet which we often miss to include are seeds. Those tiny little things which are key to a plant’s life, play an important part in a human diet too. In this blog, I am going to list out some of the essential seeds which we must include as our daily food habits to get the health benefits.
Why eat seeds?
Seeds are the very beginning stage of a plant life. They contain all the essential nutritional elements for a plant to grow. As a result, we get lots of health benefits by including these essential ingredients in our diet. Packed with essential fats, proteins, amino acids and fiber, seeds become a very essential part of our healthy diet. They are easy on our body’s digestive system and most of the seeds are free from allergies too.
Rich in essential nutrients
We need sufficient amount of macro and micro nutrients as part of our daily diet for a healthy functioning of our body. Micronutrients are those which our body needs in smaller amounts and macronutrients are the ones which are needed in larger amounts. Vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients needed for our body. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins and essential fats. A large variety of seeds include both the macro and micro nutrients. And that makes adding seeds to our diet very important to fulfil the need for such essential substances.
Types of seeds to include in our diet
Note: Consult your physician if you ever had food allergies. It’s rare to have allergy from seeds (0.1% of the general population based on a study done in 2010) but it’s not totally risk free for people with allergies.
Here are the 8 best seeds to include in your diet for a healthy body.
- Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are a good source of folate (a form of vitamin B9) which is needed for healthy red blood cells in our body and also reduces risk of anaemia. It’s low on calories so good for those people who always keep weight on check. Fennel seeds are also rich in antioxidants and has properties which reduce inflammation.
These tiny aromatic seeds are rich in fiber too and also contain beta-carotene which helps to keep skin healthy. So there is no doubt that including Fennel seeds in our diet has ample benefits.
- Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are also called as “linseeds”, one of the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids which is very essential for a healthy heart. These seeds are rich in fiber, which helps in promoting bowel health and maintaining low cholesterol levels in human body.
Flax seeds are a rich source of good fats and control blood sugar levels. In India, you will find chutneys prepared using Flax which is super healthy and equally delicious.
- Sunflower Seeds
These big bright flowers certainly have amazing benefits. The wonderful properties of Sunflowers were recognized long back which resulted in production of vegetable oil. Sunflower seeds too have remarkable health benefits which makes these tiny seeds a super food.
Sunflower seeds contain Vitamin B6 which promotes functioning of brain. It is also rich in Vitamin E and contains Oleic and Linoleic acid which helps in slowing down ageing process and reduces blemishes in skins.
- Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are considered as one of the best source of calcium and manganese which help in strengthening of bones. Grown in tropical regions, Sesame seeds come in various colors, mainly white and black. These seeds are high in active antioxidants and prevent liver damages.
Sesame seeds are also good source of essential minerals like Zinc, selenium, phosphorus, iron, etc. which are good for our health. These are also very helpful in promoting respiratory health and reducing cholesterol levels.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain rich amounts of proteins and hence help to strengthen body muscles. These are also great source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is very essential for a healthy heart. These seeds are also high in antioxidants and thus reduce inflammations.
So you see, Pumpkins are not only good for decorations around the world during Halloweens but also power-packed with ample health benefits.
- Melon Seeds
Melon seeds are great source of Vitamin B which helps in improving memory functions. It helps in regulating blood pressure and specially beneficial in preventing coronary heart diseases. These are also rich in proteins and amino acids and hence helps in improving damaged hairs.
Melon seeds are also full of Omega 6 fatty acids, essential to keep our heart healthy.
- Basil seeds
Also known as Sabja or Tulsi, Basil seeds are packed with amazing health benefits. No doubt why Ayurveda describes Basil seeds as a super medicine. Basil seeds are loaded with protein and high in fiber. These seeds also contain high amount of Omega 3 fatty acids and really low on calories.
Basil seeds have high water retention qualities and considered really helpful in curing obesity if taken regularly. This super seed with medicinal properties has high concentration of essential minerals such as magnesuim, calcium, iron and also rich in Vitamin E.
- Chia Seeds
As a dietary fibrous supplements, Chia seeds are really helpful in maintaining bowel health. Chia seeds contain essential amounts of antioxidants which keeps our immunity strong. These are also good source of vitamins and minerals, and help in keeping our body healthy.
Known for keep blood pressure to lower levels and improving blood sugar levels, Chia seeds are definitely a wise choice to be included in our daily diets.
Best ways to consume seeds
While there is no hard and fast rule which states how seeds must be consumed, there are certainly some better and tasty ways to try these super seeds to reap the health benefits. Eating these seeds raw is one easy and simple way but I am sure you will get easily bored in this way.
So here are a few recommended ways in which you can make eating seeds delicious and also get the rich benefits are the same time.
Toss on salad
Just lightly roast your choice of seeds and sprinkle on salads. Have that as your evening salads or as sides with your main course dishes.
Make seed pastes
Select a few different types of seeds and make a thin paste by combining those in a mixer grinder. You can also mix a few spices of your choice to make it even more tastier. Spread the paste in your breakfast bread slices or have it with chapatis.
In India, Seeds have been traditionally used in abundance to make chutneys. Soak seeds overnight, mix with salt and spices, and voila – you have a healthy savouring dip ready.
Use in baking
You can also use seeds while baking breads and cake too. Just use seeds as topping on bread (multi-seeds breads) and cakes.
Use in puddings
Nothing simpler than this, just mix with it with your breakfast puddings.
Roast and mix with nuts
If you are not allergic to nuts then you can just roast seeds and add them to nuts. Store this nuts and seeds mixture in an airtight jar and have daily for maximum benefits.
So now you see that these tiny seeds have lots of health benefits and it would be wise to include these in our daily diets. Select a few of these, if not all, and enjoy the health benefits.
Visit our food blogs to know about how you can cook many more healthy vegetarian recipes at home for a healthy lifestyle. You can also visit FoodQuench’s YouTube channel to view recipes in video format.
Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.