4 Essential Seeds to Add into Your Diet

Seeds may be small, but they pack a punch of nutrition that can benefit your overall well-being. By incorporating seeds into your recipes, you're not just adding flavour but also healthy fats, proteins, fiber, and a host of essential vitamins and minerals that can fuel your body with energy.

Seeds are like the power-packed nutrition packets for plants. When we include them in our meals, they enrich our plates with an extraordinary array of nutrients. This includes vitamins, minerals, vegetable proteins, and heart- and brain-friendly fats.

While seeds are calorie-dense, the good news is that we typically consume them in small amounts, usually measured in tablespoons, so there's no need to stress about the calories.

Let's take a closer look at some popular seeds:

1. Sunflower Seeds:

  • Calories: 560 kcal/100 g
  • A 50-gram serving provides 140 calories, less than some common snacks like cheese spread or a glass of skimmed milk with breakfast cereals.

2. Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Calories: 548 kcal/100 g
  • Packed with vitamin K, iron, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
  • Adds color and crunch to salads, rice dishes, and soups. Also makes a healthy and delicious baked snack.

3. Chia Seeds:

  • Calories: 486 kcal/100 g
  • Rich in high-quality protein, fiber, polyunsaturated fats, omega-3, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
  • Just two tablespoons (140 calories) can support healthy habits like reducing inflammation, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
  • Add them to liquid preparations like soups or smoothies or incorporate them into baked goods.

4. Flax Seeds:

  • Calories: 534 kcal/100 g
  • Excellent remedy for constipation due to high soluble fiber content.
  • Rich in unsaturated fatty acids, beneficial for heart health.
  • Contains a substance called ligand, known to reduce "bad" cholesterol and potentially prevent certain cancers.
  • Can be added to muffins, biscuits, breakfast muesli, salads, sautéed vegetables, or fruit salads. Grinding them first enhances absorption.

Now, let's explore the unique benefits of each seed:

Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Essential for blood clotting with vitamin K.
  • Provides iron, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
  • Adds color and crunch to various dishes.

Sunflower Seeds:

  • Meets daily vitamin E needs, a potent antioxidant.
  • Source of unsaturated fats, aiding heart health.
  • Rich in thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, and selenium.

Chia Seeds:

  • High-quality protein with all essential amino acids.
  • Rich in fiber, omega-3, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
  • Supports healthy habits like reducing inflammation, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Flax Seeds:

  • Effective against constipation with soluble fiber.
  • Laxative action without irritating the intestines.
  • Contains ligand, which may reduce "bad" cholesterol and lower cancer risk.
  • Provides diuretic properties and healthy omega-3 fats, vitamins E, and B vitamins.

Incorporate these tiny powerhouses into your meals and enjoy the immense health benefits they bring to the table. Whether you're sprinkling them on salads or blending them into smoothies, seeds are a versatile and nutritious addition to your diet.

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