Nuts are always getting plenty of good press, but that doesn't mean you should choose almonds and walnuts over pumpkin and flax seeds! Seeds are small but pack in giant sources of nutrition that you should be adding to your diet.
Please be seeded!
Chia Seeds: You may well remember hearing about 'Chia' from the sprouted heads and animals of the '70s but Chia seeds are actually a great source of fiber, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Calcium, and B vitamins including Niacin, Thiamine and B2. Chia seeds are a whole grain food and gluten free. Plus for 2 tablespoons or one ounce, they have only 137 calories while packing 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. With all that fiber and protein, they are a great partner in your weight loss goals.
Pumpkin Seeds: These shouldn't only be reserved for Halloween. Pumpkins seeds are a great source of magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. They also have a rich source of Zinc, which boosts your immune system helping to prevent colds, flu and even depression. Lastly they contain ALA ( alpha-linolenic acid) which converts to plant-based Omega-3’s supporting brain and heart health. In order to preserve the healthy fats in pumpkin seeds, they should be eaten raw.
Flax Seeds: Flaxseed is already well known as being a great protein and fiber booster to salads, smoothies, and veggies, but there are more reasons to love flax. According to CDC, one in three Americans have high blood pressure. By adding flaxseed oil to your diet, you can lower your blood pressure as well as help prevent headaches. One tablespoon of ground flax has about 36 calories and packs omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron and even Vitamin C. And when it comes to fiber, flax seeds have both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are bursting with Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids but they are also a high quality protein that is more digestible than meat, whole eggs, or even cheese. That makes them a great swap for vegetarians. Hemp seeds are high in vitamin E and can be added to desserts, salads, yogurt, cereals, and even bread. They also have magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus which all help fight inflammation.
Poppy Seeds: Poppy seeds are a tiny kidney-shaped seed from dried poppies. They add flavor to dressings with a pleasant nutty taste. They are packed with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium as well as rich in Oleic acid which helps lower cholesterol. They are a good source of fiber and B-complex vitamins as well.
Add these seeds to salads, your eggs, or any soup for an easy boost in nutrition and a delicious snack even your kids will like.