Many seeds can be extremely beneficial for your health, though often forgotten at the expense of nuts or other foods. Whether you are fitness enthusiast or just a person who cares about his health, it’s good to know everything that can be useful in the diet, to keep you in the best shape. The seeds are full of healthy fats, protein, etc., and can help you in many health and fitness aspects. I have listed 6 super seeds for optimal health.
60 calories, 3 g. protein, 3 g. fat and 5 g. carbohydrates in 1 tablespoon
It is believed that chia seeds originated in Central and South America, They were a staple in the diets of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans.
To begin with, that chia seeds are full fibres – one tablespoon contains 5 grams goals! In fact, all the carbohydrates in chia are the form of a dietary fibre. When these fibres are mixed with the digestive juices they form a gel that helps control blood sugar and make you so well that you do not need to look to some unhealthy junk.
Chia is also a source of healthy (especially heart) omega-3 fatty acids and vegetable proteins. It is not what is called “complete” protein because contents of lysine, one of the main amino acids is too low. Recent studies show that chia is a powerful antioxidant, which allows it to operate successfully against dangerous free radicals.
Chia seeds can be white or black in colour, but a significant difference in nutritional value is not been found. Their flavour is quite mild, so it can easily be added to almost everything – salads, cottage cheese, and oatmeal – without noticeable influence on the taste of the dish. Chia is hydrophilic, i.e. can absorb water several times its own weight so you can use it to make healthy fruit spreads and puddings. And in vegan cuisine, chia gel is used as a binder instead of eggs.
7 calories, 3 g. protein, 4 g. fat and 1 g. carbohydrates in 1 tablespoon
The soft hemp seeds – sometimes called hemp hearts are a great source of vegetable protein for your muscles. A study of Canadian scientists has shown that the protein value (PDCAAS) of these seeds is higher than that of plant foods such as wheat, nuts and legumes. This is because hemp seeds contain important for building muscle amino acids- just as meat, eggs and dairy products.
There are other reasons to try these seeds. They are full of minerals such as iron for energy, calcium for bones and magnesium which is related to lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study by Harvard University.
Among other things, hemp seeds contain omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids in a ratio of 3: 1, which protects the body from infections. Many people take too much omega 6 fats through cheap vegetable oils, which increases the risk of infections and diseases, and interferes with recovery after training. Moreover, the seeds are tasty – they are a combination of pine nuts and sunflower seeds. You can add it to almost everything – from soups and protein shakes to oatmeal and salads.
47 calories, 2 g. protein, 4 g. fats and 1.5 g. carbohydrates in 1 tablespoon
If your only contact with pumpkins is during Halloween, then you missed a lot. Pumpkin seeds are extremely useful food containing high levels of healthy unsaturated fats. Also, they are rich in iron, magnesium, zinc (which increases testosterone) and vitamin K. A study of Dutch scientists suggested that this vitamin may play an important role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
You can choose raw or roasted seeds, but be careful with the salt added to them. It can be used as a garnish in many meals – salads, soups, oatmeal, can even be added to chicken or homemade energy bars.
37 calories, 1 g. proteins, 3 g. fats and 2 g. carbohydrates in 1 tablespoon
Linseeds or flaxseeds are one of the first products to become known as “superfoods”. And although in recent years are offset by other foods such as coconut and Amazonian berry du jour, it is still among the giants in the sector.
It is also one of the best dietary sources of soluble fibre. These fibres slow digestion and thus help control blood sugar and appetite.
Another useful feature of flaxseed is that consumption stabilises blood pressure and thus preventing cardiovascular diseases. Researchers who discovered this property relate this to the high levels of lignans (chemical compounds in plants that help blood circulation) in flax.
There’s more – flaxseed is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid; not to be confused with alpha-lipoic acid). Although the content of ALA is not as in fatty fish like salmon, the benefits for the heart are still enormous. ALA is beneficial for cholesterol, especially for people at increased risk of heart disease.
Flaxseed has a hard outer shell that is hard to digest. For this reason, usually taking it in a form of powder is better in order to be able to feel the full benefit of its valuable properties. Keeps this in mind when you buy products containing flax seeds. Ready to eat seeds can be used almost anywhere – in smoothies, salads or oatmeal instead of flour, which you have prepared for pancakes.
51 calories, 2 g. protein, 4.5 g. fat and 2 g. carbohydrates in 1 tablespoon
If your financial situation is not brilliant, the sunflower seeds are a good option to supply needed nutrients without spending too much money. Like other seeds, these are also rich in unsaturated fats, and minerals such as magnesium, copper and manganese. But the main advantage is the high content of vitamin E.
Studies have shown that when this vitamin is obtained naturally (through food), it is more useful in reducing the risk of cancer than if taken through supplements. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and helps rapid recovery by reducing oxidative stress in the body caused by training. You can buy unpeeled seeds if you want to save some time.
In the kitchen, sunflower seeds can serve as a supplement to many things – salads, pasta, yoghurt, troubled, and others.
51 calories, 2 g. proteins, 4.5 g. fats and 2 g. Carbohydrates in 1 tablespoon
Sesame is not just for sprinkling hamburgers. It is very useful food, though often overlooked. Its major contribution to your health is in the high content of calcium necessary for bones but also supplies you with copper needed for the proper functioning of enzymes, including energy production and productivity of the nervous system.
Black sesame seeds are more potent antioxidant than beige counterparts thanks to their colouring pigment, so do not be intimidated by them. Overall, sesame is a traditional Asian cuisine but does not prevent you from adding it to roasted vegetables, grilled salmon and … burgers.