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7 NUTRIENT-RICH AND PROTEIN-PACKED SEEDS

April 26, 2020 by Renee Tavoularis

7 NUTRIENT-RICH AND PROTEIN-PACKED SEEDS

Seeds. Some people love snacking on them, but few people realize how truly healthy they are. Their small size belies the mighty nutritional punch they pack. In fact, research supports some very strong claims regarding the impact of seeds on optimum body function and disease prevention.

In any good diet, it’s important to include a wide variety of foods so you are sure to consume an array of nutrients. And every seed has different benefits, but the ones listed below all have three things in common: 

  1. They are very nutrient-rich.
  2. They contain abundant health-supportive properties.
  3. They are easy, even convenient, to include in any diet. 

Well Within Beauty outlines 7 healthy seeds that can really make a difference in your wellness plan:

WHAT IS IT

CHIA SEEDS: These diverse seeds come from the chia plant (Salvia hispanica), native to Central America.

WHAT IT DOES

Chia seeds contain healthy omega-3s, and about as much calcium as milk! They’re also loaded with fiber and protein—a winning combination that helps balance blood sugar.

HOW TO USE IT

Chia seeds are perfect for breakfast, offering a nourishing way to start your day. Look for simple and creative recipes such as chia seed smoothies, puddings, and overnight oats.

 

WHAT IS IT

HEMP SEEDS: These nutty-tasting and nutrient-dense seeds derive from the hemp plant, increasing the flavor and health benefits of your meals and sides.

WHAT IT DOES

Hemp is rich in fiber and considered a complete plant-based protein. It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fats, as well as magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. This seed is excellent for skin health, as it may help reduce inflammation and ease skin irritations. 

HOW TO USE IT

Scoop a few tablespoons of raw hemp seeds into smoothies, sprinkle onto vegetables, salad dressings, or add to your morning oats.

 

WHAT IS IT

QUINOA: This little powerhouse made our list of healthy seeds for its abundant protein and its versatility as a stand-in for grains.

WHAT IT DOES

Quinoa is high in manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. The antioxidants in quinoa are shown to prevent and even treat cancer. Quinoa also supports bone and heart health, as well as blood-sugar regulation. 

HOW TO USE IT

Quinoa fills in nicely for pasta or rice in casseroles, stuffed peppers, and hot and cold salads.

 

WHAT IS IT

FLAXSEEDS: Golden and brown flaxseeds, also called linseeds, are touted for their ability to improve digestive function.

WHAT IT DOES

Flaxseeds contain plenty of fiber and healthy fats, which can help heal leaky gut and reduce Candida (yeast) in the body. They’re also a source of important minerals, such as copper, manganese, and magnesium. Flaxseeds have been shown to detoxify the body, prevent cancer, regulate blood sugar, and lower bad cholesterol.

HOW TO USE IT

Purchase whole flaxseeds and grind in a coffee grinder or food processor. Once ground, use flaxseeds as you would hemp seeds—sprinkled into whatever you wish!

 

WHAT IS IT

SUNFLOWER SEEDS: Ever stop to look at a field of golden sunflowers? In addition to their startling beauty, sunflowers yield nutrient-rich sunflower seeds. 

WHAT IT DOES

Sunflower seeds are abundant in vitamin E, copper, manganese, and selenium. The antioxidant vitamin E combats free radical damage, and selenium fights cancer and improves thyroid function. This healthy seed also reduces bad cholesterol and hypertension, detoxifies the body, and improves the skin.

HOW TO USE IT

Sunflower seeds can be enjoyed as a snack, in recipes, or over salads. They can even be ground into sunflower seed butter!

 

WHAT IS IT

PUMPKIN SEEDS: Scoop out the insides of a pumpkin and you’ll find their seeds—a go-to source of plant-based protein. 

WHAT IT DOES

In addition to their protein content, pumpkin seeds contain manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. They’re also anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. 

HOW TO USE IT

If you don’t want to extract the seeds from the pumpkin (as it can get messy), buy whole, raw seeds at the grocery store. Enjoy as is, add to trail mix, or roast with olive oil and salt in a 325° oven for about 20 minutes or until golden.

 

WHAT IS IT

POMEGRANATE is a vibrant red fruit that yields hundreds of healthy, juicy seeds (also called arils).

WHAT IT DOES

Pomegranates are packed with immune-boosting vitamin C. High in antioxidants, these seeds can prevent bacterial infections and reduce inflammation.

HOW TO USE IT

Purchase pomegranate seeds in a container or buy the whole fruit and extract the seeds yourself; easy but messy, so protect your hands and countertop. Pomegranate seeds add a stunning pop of color to green salads and grain dishes. They’re also a festive addition to holiday drinks and dishes.

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