These tiny superseeds are packed with vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. They are nutritional powerhouses. Just a small pinch of them is packed with protein, fiber, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. They also happen to be incredibly easy to introduce into any diet.
Whether you're trying to add more fiber, protein, or health-boosting minerals into your diet, consider including these seeds in your next meal.
Chia seeds, particularly the Salba variety, are high in iron, folate, calcium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber. The superseed's calcium and magnesium promote bone and dental health, while the omega-3s help your heart by lowering triglycerides, the bad fats in your blood that can cause heart disease. Their soluble fiber helps decrease cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and make you feel full longer.
Also known as linseeds, these little, brown, nutty-flavored superseeds are a great source of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, makes you feel fuller longer, and aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels. Flaxseeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acid, which benefits eye and brain health, and can help lower triglycerides. Flaxseed shells are hard, so grind them in a blender or coffee grinder first. Add the coarse or finely ground superseeds to smoothies, shakes, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, casseroles, and when baking.
These superseeds are a great source of complete protein and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They also contain phytosterols, plant-based compounds that help lower cholesterol levels.
Pumpkin seeds are a source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, and protein, and are particularly rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which may help lower anxiety. Pumpkin seeds also have high levels of essential fatty acids that help keep blood vessels healthy and lower bad cholesterol. Snack on them raw or roasted. Add to granola bars and trail mix recipes; or use to garnish soup. Pumpkin seed oil can boost salad dressings and dips.
These underrated superseeds are an excellent source of B vitamins, including folate (which helps prevent birth defects), and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from damage, helps maintain healthy hair and skin, and may work to prevent cancer. They are also rich in protein and heart-healthy fats. Munch them by the handful, or add them to cookie or muffin recipes, salads, and stir-fries. Avoid salted versions, which often have high levels of sodium.