They are tiny, sometimes even smaller than a fingernail, but they pack a mighty punch when it comes to delivering nutrients. Yes, we are talking about the jewels of nutrition – edible seeds. Sadly, seeds don’t get as much spotlight as their nutritional cousins, dry fruits, and nuts. Here, in this post, we give you the low-down on the best seeds, their benefits, and tips on how to add them to your diet.
Why include seeds in your diet?
Seeds are one of the best natural superfoods power-packed with nutrients.
Each seed is power-packed with all essential nutrients needed for plants to germinate. They are live foods. Rich sources of fibre, heart-healthy fats, high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and micronutrients – seeds are among the top natural foods when it comes to nutrient density per gram. For instance, sesame seeds are rich in calcium, pumpkin seeds are rich in iron, and so on.
Which Seeds to Use?
Nature has blessed us with a variety of edible seeds. Seeds have been used in cuisines around the world for centuries. You can have them alone as snacks, or add them to salads, and desserts for a crunch, grind them into flour and use it to thicken curries and soups, bake bread, or make seed butter and milk.
Each seed has its own unique flavour, texture, and characteristics. Here, we highlight the benefits of some mighty seeds:
Why they are Great
Sabja Seeds (Basil Seeds)
Packed with fibre and rich in minerals and micro-nutrients like flavonoids, polyphenols.
It’s a good flavourless thickener making it a great choice for desserts and beverages.
It has a unique texture. Soaking sabja seeds in a liquid makes them blossom into a jelly-like consistency.
Full of fibre, flax seeds prevent sugar crashes, helping you avoid bingeing on sugary processed treats. Rich in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) that prevents age-related diseases.
Flax seeds have to be ground to help you unlock the nutritional benefits stored in its hard shell.
Rich in selenium, and has a lot of antiseptical and antibacterial properties.
Used as a cure for migraines, insomnia among menopausal women, and for increasing appetite.
Packed full of calcium, it helps build bone health. It has a unique chemical called sesamin that protects the liver and brain from oxidative damage.
They are a constant in Indian cuisine. You can use them for sweets, desserts, chutneys, pastes, etc. Use both white and black sesame seeds. Best natural cure for menstrual pain and cramps.
A rich source of zinc (helps to boost the immune system and is beneficial for men’s health), and phytoestrogens that have been shown to prevent a few types of cancer.
Also known as pepitas, they have a very mild flavour, adding the umami taste to your meals.
Excellent source of folate, a mineral essential for pregnant women. Also contains Vitamin E that gives healthy and shiny hair and skin.
They are technically the fruits of the plant and are harvested from flower heads.
Melon Seeds (Watermelon, muskmelon, etc.)
Rich in protein, vitamins - these seeds help to prevent or reduce diabetes.
It’s a great de-worming solution for kids.
Apart from the seeds listed here, there are several other edible seeds like Poppy Seeds, Methi dana, Pomegranate Seeds (anar dana), Jackfruit Seeds, Wild Rice, Millets, Quinoa, Chia seeds, etc.
In Part 2 of our blog, we cover information on which seeds to use, FAQ about seeds and how to incorporate them into your diet.
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