The Top 10 Healthiest Seeds on Earth

Date :March 4, 2020 By :Laura Bill

It’s fairly common knowledge that seeds are one of the healthiest foods out there. People have been eating them for centuries for many reasons. Firstly, they are a great source of nutrition. Ever since the agricultural revolution, people have been finding new types of seeds to harvest and eat for their potential benefits. But your ordinary nutritious seed does a lot more than that. There are many things the humble seed does for your health.

 

The embryonic plant is filled with high concentrations of minerals, vitamins, essential oils, proteins, and dormant enzymes. This makes perfect sense considering seeds are meant to one day grow to be planted. They need all the nutrients they can get in this first stage of growth. However, this is the same reason seeds are so healthy as well. It’s tough to beat this high-quality snack.  Not all seeds are edible though. The ones that are can also be used in cooking oils, spices, beverages, and many food additives.

How to eat seeds?

Many seeds, especially the ones we have put on this list, you should eat raw. This is important for many reasons. Most seeds simply can’t withstand roasting. Although this might make them tasty, this will break up their nutritional value. By roasting seeds, you risk losing some of the best benefits they have to offer. Instead, try to eat the seed in its natural form whenever possible. If you want to go even further, try eating seeds without any additives.

Avoid seeds that are roasted, salted, or dipped in chocolate. However, this may not always be the case. People use many of the seeds on this list as toppings and spices. People have been using sesame seeds this way for years! Many people will put poppy seeds in pastries for added flavor. Make sure to look into the nutritional benefits of the seeds on this list before judging if you want to risk losing any of the health benefits. All the seeds on this list are tasty by themselves.

 

General health benefits

 

The seed embryo and endosperm dominates the makeup of the seed. This is the place where the seed gets most of, if not all of its nutrients from. The storage of proteins here differs from seed to seed, leading to differences in physical properties, protein storage, and amino acid content. Seeds are also a great source of fiber. With their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they may be the healthiest snack out there.

They contain monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and when incorporated into a healthy diet, seeds help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and reduce blood sugar. Let’s take a look at the exact differences between different seeds by looking at the top 10 healthiest seeds on earth, their properties, and nutritional value.

 

1. Chia Seeds

 

Photo by Joanna Kosinska

 

Chia seeds have tons of vitamins and minerals. You have all you need in them nutrition-wise. They are a great source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. But let’s be real, anybody could have told you that. They also happen to be the biggest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. You may also be surprised that Chia seeds help reduce joint pain, help weight loss, deliver a good energy boost and protect against heart disease and diabetes. Chia seeds are gluten-free, making them a great choice for people that don’t integrate gluten into their diet, or people with celiac disease.

Certain universities have done studies on chia seeds. They increase blood levels of the long-chain omega-3 EPA by 30%. This combines with the fact that they are also a source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Studies suggest that ALA helps with heart and liver protection. Studies also suggest that Chia seeds can help with improvements in depression. The benefits of this superfood are far-reaching. Incorporate it into your diet to get a health boost. Many people mix Chia seeds into desserts and use them as an extra topping.

 

1 ounce of Chia seeds contain:

  • 137 calories
  • 12.3 grams carbohydrates
  • 4.4 grams of protein
  • 8.6 grams of fat
  • 10.6 grams of dietary fiber
  • 0.6 milligrams manganese (30 percent DV)
  • 265 milligrams phosphorus (27 percent DV)
  • 177 milligrams calcium (18 percent DV)

 

2. Hemp Seeds

 

Photo by Hempoint

 

Many people have been looking into integrating hemp seeds into their diets because of their health benefits. This is the reason some choose to take hemp seeds in the form of oil supplements. Help seeds have a proportion of omega-6 to omega 3- fats, putting it at 3:1. Such a beneficial ratio is good for health and one of the benefits of hemp seeds. Gamma-linolenic acid is another important advantage of hemp seed as it acts as an important anti-inflammatory fatty acid. Studies also suggest they have a good effect on heart health because it increases the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood.

Hemp seeds have been known to help the symptoms of people with eczema. The study conducted on this topic showed that people with eczema who took hemp seed oil supplements for 20 weeks experienced much less skin itchiness and dryness. They are also a good vegetarian product and help with vegetarians who need a good source of protein. They contain more than 30% protein along with other essential nutrients. Hemp seeds are what’s known as a complete protein, meaning that hemp seeds contain all essential amino acids that your body can’t make. Below are the nutrients found in hemp seeds.

 

1 ounce of hemp seeds contain:

  • 161 calories
  • 3.3 grams carbohydrates
  • 9.2 grams of protein
  • 12.3 grams fat
  • 2 grams of dietary fiber
  • 2.8 milligrams manganese (140 percent DV)
  • 15.4 milligrams vitamin E (77 percent DV)
  • 300 milligrams magnesium (75 percent DV)
  • 405 milligrams phosphorus (41 percent DV)
  • 5 milligrams zinc (34 percent DV)
  • 3.9 milligrams iron (22 percent DV)

 

3. Pumpkin seeds

 

Photo by Engin_Akyurt

 

Pumpkin seeds have a whole bunch of varying nutrients and benefits to keep you happy and healthy. First of all, they are very rich in protein. 100 grams of these seeds daily would provide you with 54% of the fair requirement in terms of protein give or take, depending on your weight. Instead of taking a vitamin B pill, try eating pumpkin seeds instead to get that vitamin B intake the natural way. They have thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Pumpkin seeds also help with fighting depression. Studies have attributed this to the component of L-tryptophan which is the secret ingredient one needs to boost their mood.

Not many people know that pumpkin seeds also help prevent kidney stone formations such as the calcium oxalate kidney stone. One other advantage pumpkin seeds have is that it helps fight parasites such as tapeworms. In terms of minerals, pumpkin seeds contain manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus too. There are many more health benefits in pumpkin seeds than just healthy fat stores and high levels of protein.

 

1 ounce of Pumpkin seeds contain:

  • 151 calories
  • 5 grams carbohydrates
  • 6.9 grams of protein
  • 12.8 grams fat
  • grams of dietary fiber
  • 0.8 milligrams manganese (42 percent DV)
  • 150 milligrams magnesium (37 percent DV)
  • 329 milligrams phosphorus (33 percent DV)
  • 4.2 milligrams iron (23 percent DV)
  • 0.4 milligrams copper (19 percent DV)
  • 14.4 micrograms vitamin K (18 percent DV)
  • 2.1 milligrams zinc (14 percent DV)

 

4. Flaxseeds

 

Photo by Steven Foster

 

There are few fun facts you may want to know about flaxseeds before we get into the nutrients. This is one of the most ancient seeds out there. People have been eating it for centuries. Hippocrates wrote about flax seed and how it helped with abdominal pains. The French Emperor Charlemagne loved the seed so much that he passed laws requiring its consumption. With all of its health benefits, Flaxseed is a seed fit for a king.

The fiber from flaxseed suppresses any rise in blood levels of lips after a meal. It does a great job of modulating appetite as well. This is what makes it so good for facilitating weight loss. Like some of the other seeds on this list, flaxseed is rich in its content of Alpha-Linolenic (ALA) dietary fiber, and lignans.  It is well known that ALA is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Blocking tumor growth in animals is another thing Flax seed does well.  This makes it a healthy choice for some pets.

Certain studies also suggest that it can reduce cancer risks in humans too. The fiber found in Flex Seed promotes healthy bowel function. Soluble fibers in Flaxseed all play a role in lowering blood cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack. Keep in mind that ground Flaxseed provides more nutritional benefits than the whole seed. Be sure to use a coffee grinder or blender to add Flaxseed in cereals, baked goods, and smoothies.

 

1 ounce of Flaxseed contains:

  • 150 calories
  • 8.1 grams carbohydrates
  • 5.1 grams of protein
  • 11.8 grams fat
  • 7.6 grams of dietary fiber
  • 0.7 milligrams manganese (35 percent DV)
  • 0.5 milligrams thiamine (31 percent DV)
  • 110 milligrams magnesium (27 percent DV)
  • 180 milligrams phosphorus (18 percent DV)
  • 0.3 milligrams copper (17 percent DV)
    • Calories 40
    • Total Fat 4.5 g (6%)
    • Saturated fat 0.4 g (2%)
    • Polyunsaturated fat 3.1 g
    • Monounsaturated fat 0.7 g
    • Cholesterol 0 mg (0%)
    • Sodium 0 mg (0%)
    • Total Carbohydrate 0 g  (0%)
    • Dietary fiber 0 g (0%)
    • Sugar 0 g
    • Protein 0 g7.1 micrograms selenium (10 percent DV)

5. Sunflower seeds

 

Photo by Andreas Lischka

 

Everyone knows about the nutrition you can get from snacking on a few sunflower seeds now and then. This is because it is the easiest way to boost your Vitamin E. Most choose to get this in sunflower oil as well. But did you know of the other benefits of this seed super-food? It also contains thiamine and manganese as a great mineral and nutritious boost.

Vitamin E found in sunflower seeds is the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. It travels through the body to neutralize free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing structures and molecules such as cholesterol, brain cells, and cell membranes.

You can also munch on sunflower seeds for their high level of magnesium. Magnesium helps to reduce asthma severity, lower high blood pressure, and prevent headaches, and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

1 ounce of Sunflower seeds:

  • 164 calories
  • 5.6 grams carbohydrates
  • 5.8 grams of protein
  • 14.4 grams fat
  • 2.4 grams of dietary fiber
  • 9.3 milligrams vitamin E (47 percent DV)
  • 0.4 milligrams thiamine (28 percent DV)
  • 0.5 milligrams manganese (27 percent DV)
  • 0.5 milligrams copper (25 percent DV)
  • 91 milligrams magnesium (23 percent DV)
  • 14.8 micrograms selenium (21 percent DV)
  • 0.4 milligrams vitamin B6 (19 percent DV)
  • 63.6 micrograms folate (16 percent DV)

 

6. Poppy seeds

 

Photo by Times of India

 

Poppy seeds are a nutritional super-food that contains a high dose of vitamins and minerals. Only one teaspoon of these seeds take up 4% of your daily intake of calcium, phosphorus, and iron. These are the essential nutrients a person needs to build healthy bones. You can also eat poppy seeds in a whole bunch of ways. People add them to pancakes, muffins, salad dressings, and other dishes as well. Consider doing the same as they are a source of oleic acid, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Not to mention that they are a rich source of folate, zinc, magnesium, and manganese

But that’s not all poppy seeds can do. There are also other physical benefits that you can get from ingesting poppy seeds. If you want to decrease anxiety, relieve exhaustion, and get a good night’s sleep; the poppy seed is the right seed for you. Be sure to have a few to provide relief for any adnominal pain or if you want to ease a dry cough. Also please note that ingesting poppy seeds may cause false positive/ narcotic drug test results.

 

1 ounce of Poppy seeds:

  • 147 calories
  • 7.9 grams carbohydrates
  • 5 grams of protein
  • 11.6 grams fat
  • 5.5 grams of dietary fiber
  • 1.9 milligrams manganese (94 percent DV)
  • 403 milligrams calcium (40 percent DV)
  • 97.2 milligrams magnesium (24 percent DV)
  • 244 milligrams phosphorus (24 percent DV)
  • 0.5 milligrams copper (23 percent DV)
  • 0.2 milligrams thiamine (16 percent DV)
  • 2.2 milligrams zinc (15 percent DV)
  • 2.7 milligrams iron (15 percent DV)

 

7. Pomegranate seeds

 

Photo by Joanna Kosinska

 

Pomegranate seeds are a bit different from the other seeds on this list. While opening up a pomegranate, we sometimes forget that we are eating the seeds because of the fruity flesh. However, pomegranate seeds are much like the other seeds on this list in terms of benefits. Pomegranate seeds are a rich source of antioxidants. Ingesting them helps your body protect itself from free radicals that cause premature aging. This also prevents blood clots next to free radicals, helping the blood flow freely in your body while improving oxygen levels in the blood.

Polyphenols are another advantage of pomegranate seeds. This antioxidant helps reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. You may be surprised to hear that these seeds contain health-boosting anthocyanins and ellagic acid.  Pomegranate seeds even have more antioxidants than red wine and green tea. Don’t forget that they are also high in Vitamin C and potassium all while being low in calories.

It’s also great that you can eat pomegranate seeds to reduce the damage of cartilage for those with arthritis. It does this by lessening the inflammation and fighting the enzymes that destroy the cartilage.

Pomegranate health benefits run bone deep; it can reduce the damage on the cartilage for those hit with arthritis. This fruit can lessen the inflammation and fights the enzymes that destroy the cartilage.

 

1 serving size of Pomegranate seeds:

  • 72 calories
  • 27 grams (g) carbohydrates
  • 89 g sugar
  • 5 g fiber (14 percent daily value, or DV) (8)
  • 205 milligrams (mg) potassium (about 5 percent DV) (9)
  • 9 mg vitamin C (about 10 percent DV for men, 12 percent DV for women

8. Sesame seeds

 

Photo by The Head Nut

The Sesame seed is the oldest condiment out there. They are highly valuable due to their large concentration of oil, making them resistant to rancidity. You can find a staggering amount of vitamins and minerals in sesame seeds such as copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B1, and dietary fiber.

However, Sesame seeds are famous for their unique nutrients sesamin and sesamolin. These substances both belong to a group of special benefit fibers otherwise known as lignans. Lignans have cholesterol-lowering effects in humans, prevent high blood pressure, and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin also protects the liver from oxidative damage.

These aren’t the only benefits of this ancient seed. Eating sesame seeds can lead to long-term benefits in terms of protection from diseases. Sesame seeds can help prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, and improve heart health. Some studies also show that sesame seeds improve bone health, reduce inflammation, improve hair and skin health, treat male infertility, improve oral health, and prevent diabetes.

 

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds contains:

  • Total Fat 4.5 g
  • Saturated fat 0.6 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat 2 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 1.7 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Sodium 1 mg
  • Potassium 42.1 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 2.1 g
  • Dietary fiber 1.1 g
  • Sugar 0 g
  • Protein 1.6 g

 

9. Cumin seeds

 

Photo by Fruitsnspices

 

Here we have yet another ancient seed that people have been eating since antiquity. For thousands of years, people have been eating this traditional herb because of its health benefits and medicinal use. This is not without reason. Cumin is great for any digestive disorder and is also an antiseptic. They are rich in iron and help boost liver power. Eat a few cumin seeds to help you relieve your common cold symptoms as well.

A well-known remedy for a sore throat is ginger mixed with cumin water that will help soothe it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have an ailment either. Cumin juice makes a great tonic to increase heat in the body and make your metabolism more efficient. Other benefits of cumin seeds exist as well. Many believe that black cumin seeds can treat arthritis and asthma. To top it all off, the herb is a powerful kidney and liver strengthener and it helps boost the immune system.

Another interesting advantage of eating these seeds has to do with stress. Cumin seeds may play a vital role in helping the body manage stress. A study in rats observed the effects of cumin extract on signs of stress.  They received the extract before a stressful activity. Their bodies had significantly lower stress response compared to when not receiving the extract. This may be because Cumin works as an antioxidant. The antioxidant found in Cumin performs much better than many sources of Vitamin C. No wonder people have been eating it for so long.

1 tablespoon of Cumin seeds contain:

  • Total Fat 1.3 g
  • Saturated fat 0.1 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 0.8 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Sodium 10.1 mg
  • Potassium 107.3 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 2.7 g
  • Dietary fiber 0.6 g
  • Sugar 0.1 g
  • Protein 1.1 g

 

10. Grape seeds

 

Photo by iamYiam

 

Who would have thought that grape seeds were so nutritious? People buy grapes for the fruit itself. As it turns out, the seeds are just as nutritious and beneficial for us. They have a huge concentration of Vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, and polyphenols. Grape seed extract may prevent certain heart diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol too. Grape seeds limit lipid oxidation; the phenolics do their magic for heart disease by inhibiting platelet aggregation and reducing inflammation.  There have also been many studies that show grape seed to kill cancerous cells while leaving the healthy ones intact.

There has also been substantial evidence that grape seed extract helps with blood vessels. Many have taken this extract for treating varicose veins and capillary fragility. Although more studies need to be conducted on this topic, the research does look promising. Both grapes and grape seeds are both famous for being a good source of anti-oxidants. All in all, the benefits of grape seeds are mostly connected to health and blood benefits.

1 tablespoon of Grapeseed oil contains:

  • Calories 40
  • Total Fat 4.5 g (6%)
  • Saturated fat 0.4 g (2%)
  • Polyunsaturated fat 3.1 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 0.7 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg (0%)
  • Sodium 0 mg (0%)
  • Total Carbohydrate 0 g  (0%)
  • Dietary fiber 0 g (0%)
  • Sugar 0 g
  • Protein 0 g

 

 

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