S Is for Seeds

seeds
Variety of healthy seeds

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. They contain healthy fats and are rich in a spectrum of micronutrients, including phytosterols, minerals, and antioxidants.

Countless studies have demonstrated the cardiovascular benefits of nuts. In addition, nuts in the diet aid in weight maintenance and diabetes prevention. The nutritional profiles of seeds are similar to nuts when it comes to healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants, but they are also abundant in trace minerals, higher in protein than nuts. And each kind of seed is nutritionally unique.

The seed from flax, chia, and hemp are extremely rich sources of omega-3 fats. In addition to the omega-3s, flaxseeds are rich in fiber and lignans. Flaxseed consumption protects against heart disease by a number of different mechanisms. And lignans, which are present in both flaxseeds and sesame seeds, have anti-cancer effects.

Sunflowers are especially rich in protein and minerals. Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron and calcium and are a good source of zinc. Sesame seeds have the greatest amount of calcium of any food in the world, and provide abundant amounts of vitamin E. Also, black sesame seeds are extremely rich in antioxidants. The healthy fats in seeds and nuts also aid in the absorption of nutrients when eaten with vegetables.

By including seeds in your weekly diet, the natural fiber, iron, protein, good fats, vitamins, and minerals they contain contribute to a wide range of potential health benefits. Toasted seeds are a great source of energy, can help reduce fatigue and will contribute to healthy hair and skin, muscle and bone growth and maintaining a healthy heart. They can boost the body’s immune system, and can be a great food supplement for those living to a particular diet, for example providing protein and iron for vegetarians and vegans.

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