We don’t tend to think very much about seeds as a snack. Probably as they are small and tend to fly under our snack radar but maybe it’s time to change your opinion on seeds and introduce them to your diet.
Seeds have many health benefits to offer, and they do vary per type of seed. So here is a list of some of the more popular seeds that you can add into your diet.
- Flax Seed Also known as Linseed, these seeds are readily available in most supermarkets and health food shops and are one of the most popular types of edible seed. You can either buy them as whole seeds, ground, milled powder or even as an oil. Flax Seed offers up minerals such as Thiamin (B1), Copper, Manganese, Magnesium and Phosphorus. They are a valuable source of Omega 3, Omega 6 and are high in polyunsaturated fat.
- Chia Seeds These nutty flavoured little black/grey seeds are packed full of fibre and Omega 3. They are also high in polyunsaturated fat and are capable of absorbing water and turning into a gel like consistency so can be added to drinks and soups. One once of Chia seeds can give you 167% of your vitamin K requirement as well as manganese, magnesium, Iron and phosphorus.
- Poppy Seeds Most of us eat these without knowing. These little seeds are normally found sprinkled on top of loaves but if added to your daily diet by sprinkling of salads or added to soups and smoothies, can offer up some great nutrients for the body. Again, they are another source of polyunsaturated fat but also contain a high source of Omega 6 and Manganese (83% of your RDA) as well as copper, calcium, magnesium and Phosphorus.
- Pumpkin Seeds These lovely little green seeds are a fantastic snack. They are almost equal in their high content of both unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and have a good Omega 6 and protein content too. Pumpkin seeds also contain Manganese, Magnesium, phosphorus, copper and Zinc.
- Hemp Seeds These little protein packed gems are one of the most nutrient packed seeds available. They are high in polyunsaturated fat and Omega 6 and among other minerals it boasts high levels of Iron, Calcium, Manganese, Copper, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Thiamin (B1), Niacin and Vitamins A, D, E & K.
- Sesame Seeds Sesame seeds have a very distinct nutty and slightly sweet flavour. Like poppy seeds we generally tend to see them topping loaves of bread but they are used frequently in cooking in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine and are also available as an oils which can be used to flavour dishes. This flavoursome seed is packed full of Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated and Omega 6 oils and has 129% of you RDA of Copper as well as Calcium, Manganese, Iron and Magnesuim.
- Sunflower Seeds If eaten raw, these seeds are soft and taste bitter and unpleasant but once roasted they become crunchy and have a nutty flavour. They are great for making cooking oils but can also be used in certain recipes and as a snack. They are around equal in the amount of Mono and Poly unsaturated fats and contain a good source of Omega 6and plenty of protein. Vitamin and mineral wise they are a good source of Vitamin E and also contain Copper, Thiamin (B1), Manganese and Magnesium.
As you can now see, seeds are a great was to get extra nutrients. Most of these seeds you can buy from your local supermarket or health food shop but can be bought online too and in bulk. So why not consider sprinkling some over salad or into a soup, maybe even pop into a smoothie or just munch on them as a snack. It’s an easy step towards a healthier way of eating.