Healthy and delicious! Seeds are rich in fiber, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Here’s a run-down of 5 of the top healthiest seeds to boost your nutritional intake.

1. Flax Seeds: Not a fish eater? No worries. Many vegetarians and those people who do not eat fish can get some of their omega-3 fatty acids from flax seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids reduces your risk of heart disease, particularly sudden cardiac death, by lowering blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, stabilizing irregular heart beat and lowering blood pressure. Flax seeds contain fiber, vitamin E, and calcium. In order to get the benefit from flax seeds, they must be crushed. Try grinding them in a blender or food processor or purchase milled flaxseed. Sprinkle on cereal, add to smoothies, yogurt, or mix with flour in baked goods.

2. Chia Seeds: Once known for being a staple to the pre-Colombian Aztec diet, Chia seeds is now back in the seed game. These small white seeds contain more omega-3 fatty acids than any other seed! They also contain high concentrations of fiber, protein, iron, and calcium. Eating just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds will increase the amount of oxygen throughout your blood stream to help nourish cells and organs. Chia seeds do not need to be ground up to make the nutrients available. So go ahead and add them to cereal, yogurt, salads, or eat as a snack.

3. Hemp Seeds: These seeds contain all the essential amino acids making them an ideal source of protein for vegans. High concentrations of magnesium, iron, potassium, and fiber are found in hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are high in vitamin E, contributing to its high antioxidant content. The omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid content of hemp seeds helps to promote healthy hair. Hemp seeds also contain phytosterols which are plant-based compounds that help lower cholesterol levels. Hemp seeds are being used in many packaged products, usually found in health food stores. Try adding them to salads and smoothies, yogurt and cereal.

4. Sunflower seeds: Good things do come in small packages! This delicious snack is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that may lower the risk of certain diseases and can help repair damaged cells. It also contains heart-healthy fats and protein. Sunflower seeds contain an amino acid called tryptophan that helps reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and helps to enhance brain function, particularly memory. One ounce of sunflower seeds provides half of the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin E.

5. Pumpkin Seeds: These tasty seeds are a great healthy snack to munch on. Pumpkin seeds offer heart-healthy fats, protein, fiber, zinc, potassium and iron. They also contain phytosterols, plant based fats that help lower your LDL, also known as bad cholesterol levels. Pumpkin seeds are especially essential to men, helping to improve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition that causes enlargement of the prostate gland.
When choosing to include seeds in your meals and snacks, keep in mind that they are calorie dense, so keep your portions small!

So, go ahead add some seeds to your meals and snacks and reap the health benefits!

Author's Bio: 

Bonnie R. Giller helps chronic dieters and people with medical conditions like diabetes take back control so they can get the healthy body and life they want. She does this by creating a tailored solution that combines three essential ingredients: a healthy mindset, nutrition education and caring support. The result is they lose weight and keep it off without dieting and live a healthy life symptom free.

Bonnie is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.), Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist (CDN) and Certified Diabetes Educator (C.D.E.) with specialized training in Intuitive Eating. She offers programs for the chronic dieter to achieve long lasting weight loss, for people with diabetes to attain blood sugar control and prevent diabetes complications, and for those suffering with irritable bowel syndrome to identify their food triggers so they can enjoy a symptom free life. Bonnie also treats a variety of other medical conditions, and offers a nutrition program teaching young children how to make healthy food choices.

Get a copy of Bonnie’s Free Guide, 5 Steps to a Body You Love without Dieting at www.DietFreeZone.com, and learn about her many programs, presentations and cookbooks by visiting her website at www.brghealth.com.