26 Jul 5 Essential Seeds to Add to Your Diet
Seeds are a delicious and inexpensive way to supercharge your diet. Each of these five essential seeds has a unique nutritional profile that makes them worth incorporating into your daily menu. Try adding a few of these seeds to at least one meal a day and you’ll quickly start looking and feeling better than ever before!
5 Essential Seeds for Optimal Health:
Here are the top 5 essential seeds to add to your diet
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Hemp Seeds / Hearts
Here’s a quick breakdown of each seed’s nutritional benefits:
|Per 1oz. dry raw||Chia||Flax||Hemp||Quinoa||Amaranth|
|Cost per 30g.||$0.25||$0.58||$1.24||$0.52||$0.38|
Nutritional profile details provided by Calorie King.
Cost analysis from comparing the organic variety of seed available from Bob’s Red Mill.
The best protein sources are ones that have all nine essential amino acids. These chemical compounds are considered essential since they cannot be produced by the body but are required for producing everything from insulin and collagen to enzymes and antibodies. When looking for “perfect” protein, turn to hemp hearts since they have the most protein per ounce with all the essential amino acids. They are the priciest of all the seeds, but a little goes a long way.
Plant-based fat, whether from coconuts, avocados, nuts or seeds are all nutrient-dense. However, flaxseeds are the best for your triglyceride levels as they have a 4:1 omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, which helps correct the imbalances caused by a typical Western diet.
Flaxseeds do require a bit more work since they should be ground up before eaten. Otherwise, they won’t be fully digested and your body can’t extract the nutrients it contains.
Grind only the amount you need in a coffee grinder right before use since the oil in flaxseeds makes them vulnerable to going rancid. Also, save money by buying the whole flaxseed over the expensive flaxseed oil that requires refrigeration. Plus, when you consume the whole seed (once it’s grounded), you will benefit from both the oil as well as from the lignans, fibre and other nutrients contained in the seed coating.
Seeds, quinoa, and amaranth are often mistaken for and treated like grains. In comparison to rice, barley, and couscous, quinoa and amaranth have fewer carbs, more fibre and more protein. Plus, they’re both complete proteins consisting of all nine essential amino acids. Amaranth is slightly lower in calories and has more fibre than quinoa but both are great choices. Just make sure to get the water-to-seed ratio correct and not to overcook the seeds or you’ll have a mushy mess instead of nutritious side dish.
When you need a non-dairy source of calcium, the chia seed is your best bet. Chia seeds have more than twice the calcium as flaxseeds and 9x more calcium than hemp hearts. Cow’s milk still has more calcium at 276mg per 8oz serving but only 30% is bioavailable, so for the lactose-intolerant, chia is a great alternative. Plus, chia seeds can replace eggs in your baking recipes if you are trying to cut back on cholesterol as one chicken egg has 186 mg of cholesterol per yolk while chia eggs have zero cholesterol.
Since all these seeds have important components that better your health, why limit yourself? Start by adding one new seed a week to at least one meal a day. Before you know it, your pantry will be stocked with these superfoods that are easy on the wallet and great for the body.
If you’d like to get more seeds into your diet head across to our personalised meal plan page where we can tailor a meal plan to your goals to ensure you get the most out of your eating! See more here!
This post was written by guest blogger Erika Long.
Erika Long loves corgis, curry and comedy. Always searching for the next great snuggle, flavour or laugh, she inspires people to live their best life now. When not writing, Erika can be found at her local brewery dominating Harry Potter trivia night.