There are many people whose skin starts crawling every time they hear the word diet. Either because they are following one and suffer some cravings, or because they are against some dangerous, invasive and yet popular draconian eating programs we mentioned not so long ago. And there is the third category of people, those who understand that nutrition and health should involve a more general perspective on life and food, a balanced one and one that includes healthy products and normal eating habits.
So today we will talk about some of the most healthy seeds for a nutritious diet, seeds that are there, on the shelf, easy to buy and easy to eat in numerous combinations. They won’t do magic, bet they will ensure you a healthy nutrition, a balanced intake of all good substances your body and your brain needs and will actually turn some dull dish into an exotic one, if you are willing to try new recipes.
You probably know already about many of these seeds, but for your benefit, we’ll take a look over what specialists have to say about them. Before we start, however, let’s establish some rules about how seeds should be eaten. The experts from Prevent Disease tell us that
There is no seed on earth that can withstand roasting or heating without breaking down its nutritional components. Always remember, eat seeds naturally…eat them raw. This also means they can be soaked, ground or mashed (i.e. tahini), especially if a seed’s shell or coat is too difficult to pierce with the teeth.
– Choose raw and unsalted seeds
– Avoid coated or roasted seeds
– Avoid sugar coated seeds
1. Chia Seeds
Listed as number one in almost every list that deals with the most healthy seeds for a nutritional diet, Chia seeds are the richest source of Omega – 3 fatty acids, and is healthier than milk, spinach, fruits and vegetables combined, as the proteins, the vitamins and the fibers they contain can beat milk products, meat and even fish. They have long term beneficial effects on preventing heart disease and diabetes and since they are gluten – free, they make an excellent food choice for Coeliac Disease patients.
2. Flax Seeds
Just like the Chia seeds, these too have the potential not only to cure ailments, but also to prevent some. Recent research concluded they make good partners in fighting to prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Apparently, they also help us loose some belly fat in case you exaggerate a little with the Christmas gourmet goodies. Best served grounded, to absorb better the nutrients, flax seeds go great with almost any dish (soups and yoghurts make a perfect combination) and even some sweets.
3. Hemp Seeds
You can find them anywhere nowadays, making an entire industry of healthy foods and products. If you didn’t try them, you should, as they actually have a pleasant flavor and are very easy to chew. Hemp seeds make an excellent lifestyle companion, as they contain all of the 20 amino-acids including the 9 essential amino – acids our bodies don’t produce, thus protecting our cells, internal organs, circulatory system and skin cells.
4. Sesame Seeds
Now we are all used to them, as they are quite popular especially in the culinary arts, but it is not less true they have quite a comprehensive history of medicinal purposes. Although we usually eat them roasted in different dishes, they should also be tried raw. Children will benefit a lot from them – especially if they are in their growing stage -, as well as the entire family, of course, as they have almost miraculous effects on cleaning our blood of the “bad” cholesterol and providing our bodies with essential minerals and proteins.
5. Cumin Seeds
Our grandmothers knew to make a cumin tea to alleviate some of their health issues (colds and flu symptoms especially) and even used it as an antiseptic, but nowadays cumin is better used for its culinary flavorful properties. However, even if we said to consume raw seeds, a cumin strong tea has tonic effects and improves metabolic functions. The seeds contain high levels of iron and make great protectors for our livers.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
There is no nutritionist out there or health specialist to not emphasize the beneficial effects of pumpkin seeds, although there are some chefs too who will tell you these seeds can exquisitely compliment almost any salad. They are not so tasty eaten raw and without any salt, granted, but they have curative properties on almost any of our systems, from preventing the apparition of kidney stones, protecting our hearts from disease, eliminating parasites and improving our brain functions, as they contain a good level of vitamin B.
7. Sunflower Seeds
Children seem to like them very much and you should too, especially if you know you have some vitamin E deficit. They also fight the good fight against free radicals in our bodies, having a lot of preventative functions in cancer. Do you suffer from asthma, high blood pressure or migraines? Try these most healthy seeds for a nutritional diet. Not tasty if raw, true, but you can sprinkle them on salads or even bakery products.
8. Apricot Seeds
How can you say no to them when they are proven enemies of cancerous cells that want to spread in our bodies? There are tons of research conducted on foods containing amygdalin and social studies comparing Western diets with other ones richer in this substance, just to figure out that those eating habits which include regular consumption of amygdalin rich seeds also involve less cancer patients. You may not want to eat them everyday for the rest of your life, but don’t leave them out when you shop for healthy foods.
9. Pomegranate Seeds
Pomegranates are incredibly delicious fruits that maybe shouldn’t be even listed here among the dry seeds. However, awareness regarding their healing properties is mandatory: they help your blood to be free of oxidants, thus preventing it from clotting. Free radicals are fought with mighty force. Forget about green tea or red wine having anti-oxidant properties, try pomegranate juice and eat the seeds with confidence in their ability to prevent cancer and heart disease.
10. Grape Seeds
People spit out the grape seeds. Some rumors even propelled the myth that they are somehow dangerous. We don’t need to tell you how really healthy grapes are, but don’t ignore the seeds either. They don’t taste very good but they are freedom fighters in all their rights: they have alleviating effects on high blood pressure, cholesterol and they can even target and kill cancer cells.
Without pleading for giving up on your dietary habits, this list of most healthy seeds for a nutritious diet aims to be more like a wake – up call. Many seeds go ignored while we strive for living healthy lives, and it is truly a shame. Do you regularly eat some of these seeds? Can you tell if they have beneficial effects?