Seeds are great sources of fibre. They also contain healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and many important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When consumed as part of a healthy diet, seeds can help reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Gourmet foods expert Aniket Karia shares the health benefits of various seeds.
Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkins seeds are rich in amino acids, alanine, glycine, and glutamic acid, as well as being a good source of zinc and omega-3 essential fatty acids. They also contain protein, iron, and phosphorus and are low in carbohydrates.
Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are packed with protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium and phytic acid while being low in carbohydrates. They also contain sesamin and sesamolin, substances that may help lower cholesterol levels, and are a well-known source of vitamin E plus omega-6 and monounsaturated fats. These can help to prevent furring of the arteries as well as boost the elasticity of the skin. As an added bonus, sesame seeds are thought to aid digestion, stimulate blood circulation and help the nervous system.
Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are rich in the B complex vitamins, which are essential for a healthy nervous system, and are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, protein and Vitamin E. They also contain trace minerals, zinc, manganese, copper, chromium, and carotene as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids - types of ‘good’ fat that may help to protect the arteries.
Chia seeds: Chia seeds are the highest known plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids and are very nutrient-dense. Just two tablespoons provide a whopping 10 grams of fiber, one-third of your daily requirement. Chia is also high in calcium, potassium, and iron. Another interesting fact is that chia seeds which are a combination of protein and fiber also help you lower cravings for food!
Flax seeds: Flax seeds are one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids and are high in fiber. But their most important attribute is that flax seed is the number one source of lignans, seven times more than sesame! It provides fiber, which helps you feel full and offers other weight-loss benefits. So munch away and see those pounds dropping!