More and more people are enjoying the health benefits of tiny edible seeds. If you want to try them to boost your health, you should learn everything you need to know before you add them to your diet. Here are the three most common seeds you can find in your local grocery or health food store.
1. Nutritional Wonders of Crunchy Sesame Seeds
The sesame plant grows extensively in Asian regions, particularly in China, Burma and India. Sesame seeds are tiny in size and oblate in shape. When roasted, they are crunchy and nutty in flavor.
If you enjoy sprinkling sesame seeds on your salads or throwing them into your cookie batter, then you are doing your health a huge favor. Small sesame seeds are powerhouses of energy. They are widely used in culinary practices, as well as traditional medicines for their therapeutic, protective and nutritious properties.
Sesame Seeds contain a large amount of nutrients. In fact, just two tablespoons of sesame seeds contain the following:
- Calories: 160
- Protein: 5 grams
- Carbohydrate: 6.6 grams
- Total fat: 13.9 grams
- Vitamin A: 2.5 IU
- Folate: 27.2 mcg
- Choline: 7.2 mg
- Calcium: 273 mg
- Iron: 4.1 mg
- Magnesium: 98.3 mg
- Phosphorus: 176 mg
- Potassium: 131mg
- Sodium: 3.1mg
- Zinc: 2.2 mg
- Copper: 1.1 mg
- Manganese: 0.7mg
- Selenium: 1.6 mcg
- Phytosterols: 200 mg
Sesame Seeds: Nutritional Benefits and Chronic Disease Prevention
The presence of magnesium and other nutrients helps to improve plasma glucose levels in diabetics and also lowers blood pressure. Sesame seeds, specifically black ones, are highly rich in phytosterols that inhibit cholesterol production.
Sesame seeds contain anti-cancer constituents such as magnesium and phytic acid along with the aforementioned phytosterols. They are also good for your heart, as they prevent atherosclerotic lesions with their effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The nutritional constituents of sesame seeds prevent the onset of respiratory disorders, too.
Sesame Seeds for Beautiful Skin, Hair and Eyes
The richness of zinc in sesame seeds helps in the formation of collagen and provides more elasticity to your skin tissues. It also works to repair damaged bodily tissues. Moreover, topical application of sesame oil prevents the ultraviolet rays of the sun from damaging your skin.
The high levels of hair-nourishing vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and calcium in sesame seeds promote good health of the scalp and prevent hair thinning as well.
Chinese practitioners relate eyes with the health of your liver because the liver sends the blood to the eyes to help them function properly. The healthy news is that sesame oil works to strengthen your liver.
Help Relieve Stress With Sesame Seeds
The soothing vitamins, tryptophan and thiamin, which are present in sesame seeds secrete serotonin, which diminishes pain, alleviates moods and helps you sleep better.
- For Your Little One’s Health: Massaging your little baby with sesame oil works to promote growth and enhance sleep. It also reverses dry skin and moisturizes the skin thoroughly. You can also apply this effective oil on rash-prone skin areas of your baby to help them stay comfortable.
- Amazing Cure for Anemia: The black sesame seeds are full of iron content. Regular consumption of these tiny black pearls stabilizes iron levels.
Ways to Consume Sesame Seeds
There are many ways to enjoy the toasty flavor of sesame seeds, including:
- Dry roast 100 grams of black sesame seeds and ground them to make a fine powder. Add 50 grams of crushed jaggery to this powder and form small balls from it. Eat one ball each day to improve your iron levels.
- Add one cup of dry roasted sesame seed to two tablespoons of vegetable oil and grind them together to create a thin light brown color mixture. You can add more oil to obtain the desired consistency. The obtained paste is known as tahini, which is the prime ingredient in hummus preparation.
- Munch one tablespoon of black sesame seeds early in the morning. Wash them down with a glass of water. This treatment strengthens your overall body including your joints, bones and hair.
- Sprinkle dry roasted sesame seeds over your salads, yogurt, biscuits, breads, toasts, stir-fries and cakes. Use roasted and ground seeds in your desserts, sundaes and ice cream preparations.
- Use sesame oil obtained from the seeds for cooking purposes. Sesame oil is widely used in cooking In Indonesia, Malaysia and southern India.
- Let your body enjoy the benefits of sesame oil, too. Pamper yourself with a sesame oil massage. It strengthens your muscles and provides calcium to your joints and bones. Also, it relieves muscle and joint pains.
2. Chia Seeds: A Small Yet Powerful Superfood
Chia seeds are ancient to the folks of Aztec and Mayan populations. One should not be confused by the tiny size of chia seeds. These black and white, miniature seeds are powerhouses of numerous nutrients.
The Potency of Chia Seeds
The incredible potency of chia seeds has categorized them as one of the top superfoods available on Earth. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds contain:
- Carbohydrates: 12 grams
- Fiber: 10.6 grams
- Calcium: 177 mg
- Protein: 4.4 grams
- Potassium: 44.8 mg
- Fat: 8.6 grams
- Iron: 2.2 mg
- Phosphorus: 265 mg
- Copper: 0.1 mg
- Sodium: 5.3 mg
- Zinc: 1.0 mg
- Manganese: 0.6 mg
- Calories: 137
Chia Seeds Bring a Boatload of Nutritional Benefits
The benefits of chia seeds continues to grow as medical researchers learn more about them. Here is what we know so far about these tiny and flavorful seeds:
- Keeps You Feeling Full For Hours: Chia seeds are hydrophilic in nature, which means that they can swell up to 27 times their size in water and create a thick gel in your digestive system. Consuming soaked chia seeds keeps you feeling full and inhibits sugar cravings.
- Keep Your Bowels Moving: The high fiber content contained in chia seeds makes them an incredible source of fiber, which is required for regular bowel movements.
- Prevents Diseases: Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are vital for your health since they eradicate damaging free radicals from your body. Free radicals are harmful elements that cause illnesses and diseases.
- Pumps You Full of Energy: The consumption of chia seeds fills your body with essential amino acids, which your body needs for the formation of proteins. Proteins keep your energy levels high and promote the formation of lean muscles.
- Good for Your Heart: The lipid profile of chia seeds contains 60 percent of omega-3s, which makes them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds reduce inflammation, decrease high cholesterol and increase cognitive performance.
- Incredible Benefits of Minerals: The minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous contained in chia seeds help you maintain a healthy body weight, along with reducing hypertension and boosting your metabolism.
- Healthy Egg Replacement: You can replace eggs with these seeds in order to lower cholesterol and enhance the nutritional properties of baked goods and foods. To make a replacement for one egg, you need to add one tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with three tablespoons of water and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- You Can Eat Them Whole: Unlike many other nutritious seeds, there is no need to ground chia seeds to obtain their incredible health benefits. Consuming one to two tablespoons of whole chia seeds will provide you with the same benefits as the ground ones.
However, you need to be careful when gobbling dry chia seeds. This is specifically true for people with a constricted esophagus or those dealing with issues related to difficulty in swallowing. The seeds form a jelly-like ball when wet which can partially block your food pipe and can even cause death.
Ways to Consume Chia Seeds
It is super easy to add these tiny seeds to your foods. You can try any of these serving options:
- Blend a tablespoon of ground chia seeds into your smoothies.
- Drizzle some seeds over your yogurt for added nutrition and texture.
- Mix chia seeds to your milk to make healthy pudding that you can eat alone or with the toppings of fruits.
- To relish the unique texture of chia seeds, throw them in your favorite juice.
- Simply add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds to your cooked oatmeal or any other grain porridge. You may also mix them into your overnight oats to add volume.
3. Tiny Flaxseeds With Huge Health Benefits
Flaxseeds are one of the first cultivated superfoods of the world. Also known as linseeds, these are small tan, brown or golden colored seeds that are highly rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Another amazing quality of flaxseeds is that they are the number one source of lignans in human diets.
The Goodness of Flaxseeds
You will be amazed to learn all of the wonderful nutritional facts of flaxseeds. Two tablespoons of flaxseeds contains the following:
- Protein: 5.1 grams
- Total Carbohydrate: 8.1 grams
- Dietary Fiber: 7.6 grams
- Total Fat: 11.8 grams
- Vitamin K: 1.2 mcg
- Vitamin B: 60.1mg
- Folate: 24.4mcg
- Calcium: 71.4mg
- Iron: 1.6mg
- Magnesium: 110mg
- Phosphorus: 180mg
- Potassium: 228mg
- Sodium: 8.4mg
- Zinc: 1.2mg
- Manganese: 0.7mg
- Selenium: 7.1mcg
Nutritional Benefits of Flaxseeds
Reduces Cholesterol: The soluble fiber contained in flaxseeds traps cholesterol and fat in the digestive system so that they are not absorbed into the body.
Soluble fiber also traps bile, which is prepared from cholesterol present in the gall bladder. The body later sends this bile towards the digestive system, and stimulates the body into producing more by using the excessive amounts of cholesterol in the blood. This whole process helps to lower the overall cholesterol level of the body.
Great for Gluten-Free Diets: If you are intolerant to gluten or dealing with celiac disease, flaxseeds are an incredible option for you. Flaxseeds are beneficial because they are anti-inflammatory, whereas gluten-containing grains are inflammatory.
Flaxseeds are also an amazing resource of omega-3 fats for individuals who are allergic to seafood. Also, you can use flaxseeds as a substitute if you are looking to do some grain-free cooking.
A Wonderful Source of Antioxidants: Another excellent benefit of flaxseeds is that they are jam packed with antioxidants and lignans. These are effective fiber-related polyphenols that work as anti-aging agents, improving hormonal balance and cellular health.
Polyphenols are also beneficial for improving the flora of the gut and they eliminate candida and yeast from the body, as well. The antibacterial and anti-viral properties of lignans are useful for the treatment of cold and flu too.
Flaxseeds for Healthy Skin and Hair: You can have healthier skin, hair and nails by consuming just two tablespoons of flaxseeds daily. The presence of healthy fats in flaxseeds delivers immense benefits to the skin and hair by providing your body with therapeutic amounts of vitamin B and essential fats. It also improves the symptoms of numerous skin diseases including acne, rosacea and eczema.
You can replace flaxseeds with flaxseed oil to enjoy similar benefits in your body. Consuming one to two tablespoons of flaxseed oil effectively hydrates your skin and hair. You can also apply this oil to your skin after mixing it with other essential oils such as almond and olive oil. This also works as a fantastic moisturizer for your skin.
Flaxseeds are Rich in Fiber: Flaxseeds are composed of high levels of mucilage gum content. Mucilage is a gel-forming fiber that is soluble in water and provides wonderful advantages on the intestinal tract.
The mucilage works to keep the food in the belly, preventing it from emptying too speedily into the small intestine. This delay increases nutrient absorption.
In addition, the presence of both soluble and insoluble fiber in flaxseeds supports colon detoxification and diminishes your cravings for sugar.
Flaxseeds are Your Friend in Weight Loss: Flaxseeds are full of fiber and rich fats that keep you feeling full for longer. This in turn makes you consume fewer calories than you normally do and this promotes weight loss.
Omega-3 fatty acids also help to decrease inflammation. This is a significant factor for losing those stubborn pounds since an inflamed body usually holds on to excess fat.
Flaxseeds for Improved Digestive Health: The capability of flaxseeds to improve digestive health is one of their huge health benefits. The presence of alpha linoleic acid in flaxseeds helps to maintain the health of gastrointestinal tract and protect the lining of the digestive tract.
They also contain soluble and insoluble fiber, which maintains good digestive health. The fiber acts as a food for the good bacteria in your colon, and that then helps to eliminate waste from your body.
People dealing with Crohn’s disease or other digestive ailments should seek the benefits of flaxseeds since they work to diminish gut inflammation.
Ways to Consume Flaxseeds
You can enjoy the light and nutty flavor of flaxseeds in these easy ways:
- Sprinkle these tiny seeds in your soups or salads.
- Enjoy them in your breakfast by adding a few spoonfuls to your hot oatmeal or cold cereal.
- You can add a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds to your sandwich spreads.
- Give your yogurt a healthy twist by adding a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds.
- Add flaxseeds to your homemade cookie, muffin or bread recipe.
When it comes to adding flaxseed to your diet, the best way is by eating ground flaxseeds because they are easy to consume and digest. Also, your body absorbs more fiber from ground flaxseeds.
You don’t have to make huge changes in your diet to have a healthier life. Enjoy the benefits of these wonderful tiny seeds to make your life better. Choose one of them today, and start enjoying what they have to offer. If you are wondering where to get these mighty little seeds, just check with your local health food or grocery store, or even online.