When you decide to take on healthier eating habits, sometimes that is a harder task to undertake than you may have imagined. Many times you may already know what kinds of things you want to start avoiding. However, you may be confused as to what kind of foods you should add to your diet to achieve certain health benefits.
You don’t need to worry, though, because here is a list of healthy and beneficial seeds for you to consume. Many of these seeds are easy to add to your current diet, too. We have also added a few resources for simple recipes that will help you add some new and exciting meals to your healthy cooking routine.
1. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a healthy option for gaining fiber in your diet. In fact, one tablespoon packs five grams of fiber. Every bit of carbohydrates in chia seeds comes from dietary fiber. Current information shows that when chia seeds are soaked in liquid, they create a gel that can fill up your stomach and conquer your cravings. This will aid in controlling your blood sugar, make you feel fuller and deter your urges to binge on empty-calorie junk foods.
Chia seeds are also a source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and plant proteins. Chia seeds are not complete proteins, they contain low levels of the amino acid, lysine. Studies also indicate that they contain antioxidants that help fight free radicals. Chia seeds have also been shown to help women who want to produce more milk when breastfeeding.
- Kitchen Uses – Using chia seeds in the kitchen is fairly simple, because they don’t have a strong flavor, and you can use them in a variety of dishes, such as:
- Add chia seeds to yogurt and smoothies.
- Put them into cottage cheese and salads.
- Since chia seeds absorb several times their weight in water, you can easily make fruit spreads or puddings.
- You can also use them when baking in the place of eggs as a binder.
- Chia Seed Options – There are two types of chia seeds. One type is white and one type is black in color. Current studies have shown there is no difference in nutritional properties.
- Chia Seed Recipes – You can find several chia seed recipes when you visit www.dailyburn.com, such as:
- Snack options for chia seeds and other healthy foods to allow you to enjoy delicious snacks while still eating healthy.
- Recipes for shakes and smoothies that incorporate chia seeds.
- Dinner recipes that will show you how to use chia seeds in entrees for healthy meal options.
- Breakfast recipes to get your day started with lots of energy.
The next type of seed can bring you lots of high-quality protein.
2. Hemp Seeds
Hemp Seeds will provide your diet with healthy high quality plant proteins. These proteins will help boost your muscle-building routine. In fact, hemp seeds have more plant protein then a number of other plants, such as grains and legumes. They contain a massive amount of essential amino acids like you find in dairy products.
Also, hemp seeds are loaded with minerals that will boost your energy, such as iron, calcium and magnesium. Scientists from Harvard University has conducted a study showing diets rich with magnesium lower cardiovascular disease by up to 30 percent. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are also present in hemp seeds giving them anti-inflammatory properties.
- Kitchen Uses – Hemp seeds have a flavor much like the combination of pine nuts and sunflower seeds. They can be added to a variety of foods that you eat, such as:
- Add hemp seeds to oatmeal for a morning boost to your energy and health.
- Add hemp seeds to any type of soup to add some extra flavor and dietary benefits.
- Protein shakes can be made from hemp seeds to achieve a more protein rich and flavorful shake.
- Since pine nuts and sunflower seeds are already used in a variety of salads you can easily swap them out with hemp seeds for the flavor of both and a more nutritious option.
- Hemp Seed Information – As you are probably already aware of, there is a myth that eating hemp seeds will cause you to fail a drug test. The reason that you don’t have to worry about this is because food production hemp seeds are different than the type of hemp used for smoking.
- Recipes – Located on www.thekitchn.com are five delicious recipes made for the use of hemp seeds, like:
- Recipes that incorporate hemp seeds into salads.
- Ways you can create a delicious pesto sauce from hemp seeds.
- Tips for making delicious snack foods made from the use of hemp seeds for healthy snack options over eating chocolate.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
These nutritious seeds are packed full of healthy unsaturated fats that will help keep your body moving. They also pack a variety of minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamin K. Dutch scientists have shown that eating more vitamin K can protect you against developing type-2 diabetes When eating pumpkin seeds, remember to avoid a lot of salt for flavoring. Instead you can choose healthy recipe options to add seeds to.
- Kitchen Uses – We are sure you already know the popular fall option for eating pumpkin seeds by roasting them in the oven. However, there are more options that you can try when using pumpkin seeds in your cooking, such as:
- Adding pumpkin seeds to your morning oatmeal as a garnish will step up your morning routine.
- Like other seeds, you can also sprinkle some pumpkin seeds onto your yogurt for a snack power boost.
- Pumpkin seeds can also be added to stir-fries for a delicious and healthier dinner option.
- You can also add some pumpkin seeds to your soups or salads for a nutritional appetizer before your entree
- You can also take pumpkin seeds and grind them into a coating for fish or chicken for an alternative to bread crumbs or flour.
- Pumpkin Seed Information – When looking for recipes, you can also look up the word, pepitas, which is the Spanish word for pumpkin seeds.
- Recipes – You can easily use www.google.com to search a variety of pumpkin seed recipes or search recipes for pepitas, as well. Here are some ways to get your daily dose of pumpkin seeds:
- There is always the old fall back of roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven. You can search for recipes for ways to flavor them without using salt.
- Grind pumpkin seeds up into spreads, butters, or puddings.
- Create marinades, pesto, and sauces from smashed up pumpkin seeds.
- Add seeds to your favorite baked goods, such as cookies for a healthy twist to your snacking.
- Add pumpkin seeds to your granola or when baking quinoa bars for a healthy and delicious snack.
- Include pumpkin seeds in your fish recipes, either ground up into a coating or whole as an additional flavor and texture option.
- Sprinkle chopped pumpkin seeds on your vegetables and casseroles, too.
4. Flax Seed
One of the first seeds to be noted as a super food, flax seeds have a variety of healthy benefits. One major benefit that some women may find attractive is the fact that flax seeds have been shown to increase milk production during lactation. They are also proven to increase your blood flow because of the lignans present.
Flax seed also help maintain blood-pressure to prevent reaching unhealthy levels. This also helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Flax seeds also carry an omega-3 fatty acid called alphalinolenic acid (ALA). The ALA in flax seed may be the reason why people who eat them regularly have lower cholesterol then other people.
- Kitchen Uses – Flax seeds are like the other seeds as they can be added to a variety of your meals or already made snacks, such as:
- Add them to yogurt and pudding.
- Throw some flax seed into pancake or cookie batter for a little added nutrition to an otherwise nutritionally lacking food.
- For your salads, you can mix some flax seeds into your favorite salad dressing.
- When cooking, you can add some ground flax seed to recipes, replacing about a quarter of the flour called for in most.
- Flax Seed Information – Flax seeds have a hard outer shell that makes digestion difficult. That is why using ground flax seed is a better option for you to achieve the maximum health benefits from them.
- Recipes – On the websites. www.eatingwell.com and www.allrecipes.com, you can find a variety of recipes that you can use flax seeds for, including:
- Ground up flax seed can be swapped out for a portion of the flour in most recipes to make them far healthier than they would originally be.
- There are also plenty of baking recipes that call for flax seed in the ingredients for delicious snacking options.
- You can use flax in certain recipes for smoothies or milk shakes.
- You can find recipes that show you how to use flax seed in breakfast meals, such as oatmeal or pancakes.
- There are recipes for vegetable sides that incorporate flax seeds, too.
- You can also find recipes that use flax seed for vegetarian food options.
5. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seed have long been a snack option for many people. This is an easy and inexpensive healthy seed option for healthy eating. As with many of the other seeds mentioned, sunflower seeds carry unsaturated fats that are healthy. They also have magnesium, copper, and manganese in their tiny little shells.
Vitamin E is also present in significant levels. When eaten in foods, vitamin E is a great way to reduce your risk of cancer and it performs better then supplements.
- Kitchen Uses – When used added into a variety of dishes and already prepared snacks sunflower seeds can boost your healthy intake of nutrients. Try the following serving suggestions to get more sunflower seeds in your diet:
- Toss them into yogurt, pudding or smoothies.
- Sprinkle them onto a salad or tuna salad.
- Blend them into a variety of dips or spreads.
- You can also purchase sunflower seed oil as a cooking option that is better than vegetable oils.
- Sunflower Seed Information – There are sunflower seeds that are not shelled, but you can also buy them shelled, so they are readily available for easy use when you want to cook, or just snack on them.
- Recipes – The website, www.rodalesorganiclife.com offers recipes that you can use when looking for ways to cook or use your sunflower seeds, such as:
- Add sunflower seeds to breads, cakes or cookies for a delicious snack that has more health benefits than normal recipes.
- Throw sunflower seeds in with your favorite entrees for a delicious and healthy dinner you are sure to love.
- Use sunflower seeds in salads of many varieties as a crunchy topper.
- If you want a little crunch in your meal, throw in some sunflower seeds.
- Use in casseroles and vegetable dishes to add some great flavor.
6. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are too good to be eaten on just buns and bagels. There is so much to gain in healthy benefits from them. These seeds are a great way to get your calcium without consuming fatty dairy products.
Having the proper amount of calcium in your diet is vital for building strong bones and helping your muscles function. You can also get copper in sesame seeds, which is vital for helping you properly maintain numerous enzyme reactions in your body.
- Kitchen Uses – Sesame seeds have long been used in many dishes, especially those calling for sesame oil. You can add them whole or in oil form to add flavor to a variety of dishes and snacks, such as:
- By using sesame seed to cook chicken, fish or pork it can add flavor and is healthier then vegetable oil.
- You can also use sesame seed oil on vegetables to add flavor, or sauté them in it.
- You can take use sesame seeds and add more flavor to roasted vegetables or to many dishes to add some crunchy texture.
- Sesame Seed Information – Black sesame seeds are said to hold more antioxidants then the beige ones. This is because the black color is linked to higher antioxidant powers.
- Recipes – An article on www.guardian.com has sesame seed recipes for a variety of food options to boost your meal and snack options, including:
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on baked goods like cookies and bread.
- Mix toasted sesame seeds into many dinner recipes.
- You can find recipes that use sesame seeds to create sauces to make your main dishes more interesting.
- Use sesame seeds for dips, such as hummus made with sesame seeds.
- There are also recipes that call for sesame seeds, like your favorite vegetables.
7. Quinoa Seeds
This seed is native to Bolivia, and is packed full of complete proteins. This means that quinoa will provide all nine essential proteins to you when consumed. All plants have proteins; however, quinoa is the only one that has all nine proteins in one seed. This seed is gluten free, too, which can be important to many people who are gluten intolerant. Quinoa is related to Swiss chard and spinach, but the relation is currently unknown.
Kitchen Uses – You can use quinoa in a variety of ways to get more nutritional value out of current recipes or ready-made snacks, such as:
- Adding quinoa into your smoothies or milk shakes can ramp up the health factor.
- Using quinoa grains instead of your typical oatmeal will bring your breakfast up a notch on nutritional value.
- Adding quinoa to your soups, salads or canned vegetables will give you a quick way to add them to your diet.
- Quinoa Seed Information – Quinoa is commonly mistakenly called a grain when it is actually a seed. Quinoa seeds are soft and fluffy and have a nutty taste when cooked. Quinoa can be made into flour, flakes and pasta, which may attribute to the grain confusion.
- Recipes – The website, www.cookinglight.com, has numerous recipes that can help you incorporate quinoa into your diet with ease. Here are some suggestions:
- Snacking always seems to be a problem with people, but when you use quinoa recipes to make granola bars, you end up with a healthy snack option instead of junk food.
- Quinoa flour for baking recipes are guaranteed to give you a protein-packed snack option.
- You can also use quinoa recipes for soups, salads, or quiches for a quick and easy boost to your nutrition.
- Finding recipes for quinoa dinners is also easy. There are many ways to add these seeds to fish, chicken or pork for a nutritional alternative to your usual dishes.
It is easy to see how you can easily boost your daily health routine to add more nutrition to your life with edible seeds. All of these healthy and delicious seeds can be incorporated into meals you already enjoy or you can create new meals with them. They can also be added to snacks you already are fond of and often crave. There is no need to turn your life upside down to get more nutrition on a daily basis when you add super seeds to your eating and cooking routine.