Edible seeds are the origin of nutrition. After all, they’re a living plant that allows for the renewal and regeneration.
Seeds are a food that can be kept alive even after being stored. They have, in reserve, the elements that are necessary to keep the future plant living through its first stages.
For this reason, it’s easy to understand why they were among the first foods cultivated by man. Overall, they contain high concentrations of vitamins, protein, minerals, enzymes and essential oils in their raw state.
Types of seeds
There are different species and categories of seeds:
Basically, these are seeds that are dried, cleaned, and extracted from the pod. For example, these include garbanzos, lima beans, green or refried beans, and lentils, just to name a few.
They are complete foods that include almost every nutrient. Typically, they provide about 350kcal/100g. They also provide:
- Between 16 %and 19% of our recommended protein
- Slow-digesting carbohydrates
- Soluble fiber
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) and monounsaturated fatty acids (omega 9)
Legumes are an important source of vegetable protein for humans.
Nuts have a hard shell and a seed on the inside. These include chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts and acorns, among others.
This type of seed is rich in healthy fats. Plus, it has a high content of antioxidants, vitamin E and minerals.
- A reduction in the possibility of suffering from cardiovascular and circulatory diseases
- Improvement in the transmission of nerve signals
- Strengthening of the skeletal, muscular and nervous system
Next, these are the seeds that you can extract oil from. This is the case of sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, among others.
Similarly, they function as a complete food because of their high content of proteins and healthy fats.
Seeds and their properties
Next, we’ll take a closer look at 5 edible seeds that have incredible properties.
1. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds contain about 36% oil and 23% protein.
They’re a source of vitamins E, B1, B2 and B3. In addition, they also contain minerals like potassium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
Sunflower seeds provide omega 6 fatty acids that are important for cellular metabolism and for reducing the risk of circulatory and cardiovascular illnesses.
Plus, they also contain soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps to keep your intestinal functions working correctly.
2. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein. Afer all, just 100 g provides about 54% of our daily value!
They also contain essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) that help to decrease cholesterol levels and help circulatory functions work correctly.
Because they contain B vitamins, vitamin E, folic acids, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, they’re also helpful if you have a deficiency of any of these in your body.
Finally, they also contain curcubitacin, which helps to get rid of intestinal parasites.
3. Flax seeds
Flaxseeds are especially known for their rich contents of alpha-linolenic acid (part of the omega 3s). Plus, they’re also known for providing diverse nutrients like carbohydrates, fiber, proteins, vitamins B and E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, among others.
Together, these nutrients function as antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants.
They’re also very useful if you are suffering from constipation or intestinal inflammation.
4. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are known as the best vegetable source of omega 3. They’re rich in vitamins (especially B vitamins) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium).
Plus, they can help reduce joint pain, encourage weight loss and improve the intestinal tract. They even help to prevent cardiovascular problems and diabetes, and are free of gluten.
However, ti’s important to point out that chia seeds are very high in calories: 100 g contains 500 kcal, so you should eat them in moderation.
This nut contains a high percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids (close to 75%). These help to reduce death related to cardiac illnesses.
In addition, they also contain albumins, carbohydrates, minerals (iron, calcium and phosphorus) and vitamins (A and B1).
Peanuts are very nutritious and contain more protein than other legumes and even meat, which provides you with energy.
According to studies, peanuts reduce your risk of suffering from breast cancer and help to decrease the growth of cancerous cells.
- Eat raw nuts. Eating nuts that have been exposed to high temperatures decreases their nutritional value and de-naturalizes the vitamins and minerals.
- Avoid seeds that are covered in sugar or toasted in salt.
As you can see, a balanced consumption of seeds is very beneficial for your health and for you body. The next time that you go to the grocery store, don’t forget to include some of them on your list!