Just like we should never judge a book by its cover, similarly, we should never judge a food by its size. Every fruit and vegetable has some superfood quality. as do their seeds, which are a powerhouse of essential vitamins and nutrients. However, we refrain from exploring the full potential of any food and decide to discard the seemingly unnecessary parts. It’s the same case with seeds as we tend to overlook their benefits. But, there are some healthy seeds that are super rich in nutritional value and can do wonders for your health.
HealthShots got in touch with Karishma Chawla, a Mumbai-based nutritionist and lifestyle educator, to explore some of the must-have healthy seeds.
6 healthy seeds you must add to your diet
Seeds are rich in fiber content. They have all the starting materials that are necessary to develop into complex plants, and that is why they are highly nutritious. Alongside, they are filled with healthy monosaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and other essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When they are consumed in moderation as a part of our daily diet, they can aid in bringing down blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. Some people also eat seeds for weight loss.
If you’re looking for a list of healthy seeds names, here’s what our expert has shared for you!
1. Watermelon seeds
Watermelon seeds contain omega-6 fats. They are a great source of B-complex vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, potassium and copper!
2. Pumpkin seeds
“Pumpkin seeds contain MUFA and omega-6 fats. They are also rich in Vitamin E, and B complex. They also contain minerals such as magnesium, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium,“ tells the expert.
3. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds contain omega-6 fats and are a rich source of vitamin E and B complex. It also contains minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, and the amino acid tryptophan.
Also read: Is it a good idea to add chia seeds to your diabetes diet? Expert shares insights
4. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fats along with minerals such as iron and calcium.
“Flaxseeds are a very rich source of omega-3 fats. They contain fiber, Vitamin B1, and minerals like copper, magnesium, and selenium”.
6. Papaya seeds
Papaya seeds are rich in minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. They have a strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on the digestive system as well.
Also read: Learn how to roast pumpkin seeds at home for a healthy and ‘chatpat’ snacking option
Why should you add include seeds in your diet
Apart from the aforementioned reasons, here are a few other reasons why seeds should become a part of your daily diet.
1. They contain good fats
Seeds contain healthy fats that keep the blood cells healthy whilst promoting brain function.
2. Reduce inflammation
Just like nuts, seeds curb levels of inflammation in our body that wards off signs of aging and reduce the risk of getting any heart disease.
3. Contain plant sterols
Seeds are rich in plant sterols, that help keep a check on cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cancer.
4. Help prevent weight gain
Over the passage of time, if seeds are consumed regularly, they can aid in preventing unnecessary weight gain.
The bottom line
“Seeds like flax and chia shall be consumed by women as sources of omega-3 fats, but must be avoided by men since they contain phytoestrogens. People should avoid heating them as they are omega-3 fats that are heat sensitive. Seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, or watermelon seeds shall be taken in small quantities to benefit from their vitamin and mineral content. Large quantities increase the intake of omega-6 fats and reduce the benefits of omega-3 fats, “concludes Shah.