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6 Nutrient-Packed Seeds You Should Eat

In scientific terms, seeds are plants in an embryonic stage with the capability of producing another plant.
A marvel of nature and evolution, a seed is almost entirely self-sustainable, containing the nutrients it needs to grow into a robust and sturdy plant with the power to withstand whatever the world throws at it.
But, the many advantages a seed fosters for itself can also be transferred to animals who consume them. Enter, us: human beings.

In our daily lives, seeds can be a superfood with the power to infuse our diet with a beautiful mix of exotic tastes, essential nutrients and potential health benefits.
When we consume them properly and effectively, these tiny, embryonic plants can reach far beyond their hard outer shells to enhance our lives with vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients to help us be at our very best.

Essential Seeds Worth Adding to Your Diet

While there are many options from which to choose, here are six seeds full of flavor and nutritional value:

Chia Seeds

A versatile, healthy export of Central America, the Chia (derived from the ancient Mayan word for “strength”) is among the most beneficial members of the seed family.

When added to salads, yogurts or smoothies or as an addition to many baked goods and health bars, chia seeds offer high levels of essential minerals, such as:

  • Manganese: can help your body metabolize nutrients and protect healthy cells from damage
  • Phosphorus: can keep your bones strong and streamline your body’s use of energy
  • Copper: can assist your body’s production of essential red blood cells and strengthen your immune function
  • Magnesium: can reduce inflammation and aid key biological processes like protein formation and energy creation
  • Iron: can assist essential production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, bringing healthy oxygen to all parts of your body

When utilized as a part of a healthy, well-balanced diet, chia seeds can also provide several other potential health benefits, including:

  • Regulated Blood Sugar
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Protection From Free Radicals
  • Improved Bone Health

Hemp Seeds

Famously known as seeds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, these fascinating seeds supersede their trace levels of THC and offer an excellent flavor and nutrient profile.
In a serving of hemp seeds (aka hemp “hearts”), you can find nutrients such as:

  • Healthy Fats: can lower blood pressure and cholesterol while also improving cardiovascular function
  • Vitamin E: can enhance immune function to help your body fight off infections
  • Phosphorus: can help ensure healthy bones and teeth
  • Potassium: can regulate healthy muscle and nerve function
  • Antioxidants: can remove harmful free radicals and protect our cells from damage caused by oxidation

If you mix a few servings of hemp seeds into your day-to-day routine, you might also experience a number of their other health benefits:

  • Increased Protein Intake
  • Neuroprotective Effects
  • Reduced Inflammation
  • Supports Heart Health 
  • Alleviated Arthritis Symptoms

Holy Basil/Sabja Seeds

Sabja (aka Holy Basil) seeds are a globally beloved snack and seasoning with exotic flavor and excellent nutritional value. Reminiscent of a sesame seed in shape and size, sabja seeds have a unique black color and are internationally renowned for their plethora of vitamins, minerals and nutrients:

  • Fiber: can improve bowel health and help lower cholesterol levels
  • Pectin: can help gastrointestinal function
  • Iron: can assist essential production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, bringing healthy oxygen to all parts of your body
  • Magnesium: can reduce inflammation and aid key biological processes like protein formation, blood pressure control, muscle contractions and repair and energy creation
  • Calcium: can help strengthen your bones and aid heart, muscle and nerve function

With their mild basil flavor and unique versatility (they taste great in smoothies, puddings and even water), these seeds can also offer other potential health benefits, including:

  • Regulated Blood Sugar
  • Relieves Constipation
  • Reduced Inflammation
  • Lower Cholesterol Levels
  • Heartburn Relief

Pomegranate Seeds

Ruby red with a mix of sweet and tart flavors, pomegranate seeds are a yummy and unique member of the seed family.
Highly studied and acclaimed for their nutritional value, these seeds make for a flavorful garnish to your favorite yogurts, salads, smoothies and many other foods or drinks.
Pomegranate seeds pack plentiful nutrients, such as:

  • Antioxidants: can remove harmful free radicals and protect our cells from damage caused by oxidation
  • Polyphenols: can promote healthy circulation and address chronic inflammation
  • Fiber: can improve bowel health and help lower cholesterol levels
  • Vitamin C: can boost immunity and reduce your risk of chronic disease
  • Vitamin K: can help make proteins needed for blood clotting and assist in the building of healthy bones

As a part of a healthy diet and supported by an active lifestyle, consumption of pomegranate seeds also offers potential health benefits like:

  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Improved Memory
  • Higher Levels of Beneficial Bacteria in Microbiome
  • Enhanced Erectile Function in Men
  • Alleviated Arthritis Symptoms

Pumpkin Seeds

Though we might associate them with the inside of our Jack-o’-Lanterns, pumpkin seeds are a yummy, nutrient-rich snack to please our body and taste buds.
Most famous in their roasted form, a crunchy, toasty pumpkin seed makes for an excellent pre or post-workout pick-me-up that feels right at home on a crisp autumn day.
These seeds are a great source of:

  • Magnesium: can reduce inflammation, support muscle and bone health, aid in glucose control and insulin metabolism
  • Antioxidants: can remove harmful free radicals and protect our cells from damage caused by oxidation
  • Fiber: can improve bowel health and help lower cholesterol levels
  • Vitamin E: can enhance immune function to help your body fight off infection
  • Tryptophan: can treat insomnia by relaxing your mind and body

If you mix healthy servings of pumpkin seeds into your food regimen, you also open yourself up to potential biological benefits like:

  • Protection From Free Radicals
  • Regulated Blood Sugar
  • Strengthened Immune System
  • Improved Prostate Health for Men
  • Increased Energy Levels

Sunflower Seeds

More than just a baseball snack, sunflower seeds pack taste, versatility and nutrition to help you feel and perform your best.
Available in a multitude of exciting flavors (classic, dill pickle, hatch chile and barbecue -- to name a few), these seeds make the perfect outdoor snack.
In your standard bag of sunflower seeds, you’ll find a wide range of beneficial vitamins, minerals and nutrients, such as:

  • Vitamin E: can enhance immune function to help your body fight off infection
  • Selenium: can be especially helpful in ensuring healthy metabolism and improving thyroid function
  • Magnesium: can reduce inflammation and aid key biological processes like protein formation, insulin metabolism, blood sugar control and energy creation
  • Healthy Fats: can lower blood pressure and cholesterol while also improving cardiovascular function
  • Zinc: can strengthen a healthy immune response

If you include these seeds in a well-rounded meal plan with plenty of other nutritious foods, you can also see other potential health benefits, such as:

  • Enhanced Cardiovascular Function
  • Reduced Inflammation
  • Strengthened Immune System
  • Increased Energy Levels
  • Aided Prenatal Health

For any questions about nutrition, self-care or other healthy living protocols, feel free to contact us at any time.

About the Author: Lisa Jubilee

Lisa Jubilee

Lisa Jubilee is a New York State Certified Dietician-Nutritionist, who has been counseling individuals on sustainable weight management and disease prevention for over 20 years. Her mission is to empower individuals to obtain healthy food relationships and to clearly understand the concept of food as medicine. Lisa chose to create a functional nutrition practice where what, why and how we eat are all part of the conversation. There is no One-Size-Fits-All dietary approach, but Ms Jubilee has experienced great success utilizing specific dietary protocols such as intermittent fasting, time restricted eating, low carb/ketogenic dietary regimens and AIP (autoimmune protocol) in her practice.

In 2005, Lisa co-created Living Proof Nutrition Strength Pilates, a private nutrition, HIST (high intensity strength training) and Pilates studio, located in midtown Manhattan. The inspiration behind Living Proof was to create a private fitness and wellness space, where the importance of nutrition and functional movement are emphasized in tandem.

As of March 2020, in order to continue to service her clients and the public at large during the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms Jubilee is offering all of her nutrition counseling and support services remotely. Feel free to contact Lisa with any questions: Lisa@livingproofnyc.com