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Seeds are a very tiny piece of food, but you would be amazed at how much nutritious goodness lies within these little things. Here is a look at the five seeds that you need to add to your diet regimen as well as a few ideas of how to do it in case you’re new to seeds:
With roughly only 50 percent of Americans getting the recommended daily dose of magnesium, pumpkin seeds may be a way to change those statistics. Pumpkin seed are extremely rich in magnesium, which is a special mineral that can help control your blood sugar levels and blood pressure. In addition, half a cup of pumpkin seeds contain 18 grams of protein.
It only takes one quarter of a cup of sunflower seeds to get over 10 percent of your daily amount of various minerals, such as magnesium, copper, selenium and zinc. Plus, sunflower seeds are one of the best sources of vitamin E, which is essential in protecting cell membranes from everyday damage. For those who have nut allergies, sunflower seeds are a good alternative as an afternoon snack.
With flax seeds, it only takes one tablespoon to get a healthy supply of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids (particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)). Studies have shown that flax seeds may have the ability to lower your bad cholesterol levels, especially when several tablespoons are consumed on a daily basis. Keep in mind that flax seeds need to be ground or purchased ground (like flaxseed meal) in order to ensure optimal absorption of nutrients and fats since whole flax seeds are not digested easily.
Although sesame seeds don’t garner near enough attention, these underdog seeds are just as powerful as some of these others mentioned here. This is particularly true when it comes to sesame seed oil. Both the oil and seeds are extremely rich in monounsaturated fats, which are the ones that are actually good for your heart. Plus, sesame seeds and oil contains a considerable amount of calcium and iron.
These seeds contain high levels of ALA omega-3 fatty acids and twice as much fiber as flax seeds. They also contain significant levels of calcium, iron and other healthy minerals. Chia seeds can be enjoyed in their natural form or ground, but large amounts of chia seeds can lead to some digestive problems due to their higher fiber content.
How To Implement These Seeds Into Your Daily Diet
Trail Mix – This is probably the easiest of them all. Combine some of your favorite seeds, particularly sunflower and pumpkin seeds, with a number of nuts, dark chocolate chips, whole-grain cereal and dried fruit. You can opt for sesame or chia seeds if you’re not a fan of the larger seeds in the trail mix.
Oatmeal – Standard oatmeal is like a blank canvas for a painter. It is the perfect experiment to try some ground pumpkin seeds and raisins; blueberries and flax seeds; or chia seeds and cherries.
Smoothies and Yogurt – Flax and chia seeds blend up very well into your morning smoothie, and any of the aforementioned seeds work well to add some extra pizzazz to a yogurt parfait.
Salads – If you enjoy salad and would like an extra health boost along with a taste enhancement, consider adding some pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or even sesame seeds on top of your salad.