If you open our kitchen cabinet, you would find many pots of seeds in addition to the spices. I really like seeds in my salads and bowls of almond yogurt. In my opinion, there are seeds that are better than others, and tastier. I will list the best seeds to eat.
Seeds are a magnificent source of minerals and vitamins:
- Nutrient rich
- High Omega-3 fatty acids
Most of them have been used in medicines for ages. And in my opinion they are tasty, so we use them a lot in salads and in snacks.
To a greater or lesser extent seeds may support your health by:
- Lower blood sugar
- Control of blood sugar
- Reduce risk of cancer
- Improve cholesterol levels
- Lowers risk of heart disease
Take good notion of the word ‘may’. No 100% guarantees are given.
HOT TIP: It is best to eat seeds raw and pure.
A general caution though before taking too much of these seeds: we all respond differently to nutrients. And this includes seeds. No matter how healthy they are, for some they can cause discomfort. Always try little quantities first and see how your body responds. If you get nausea or diarrhea, your body warns you to not eat them.
Why do we need vitamins?
Vitamins are found in small amounts in food and drink. This varies from a few micrograms to tens of milligrams. These nutrients are necessary to stay healthy. They do not provide energy. Most vitamins cannot be produced, or not enough, by the body itself. That’s why we have to get these essential nutrients through our food or supplements.
Sometimes an excess of vitamins can be harmful to health. In addition, some people need extra vitamins. It is necessary to inform yourself well about what your body needs, depending on any diseases and / or shortages.
Why are minerals important?
Just like vitamins, minerals are indispensable for good health and normal development and growth of the body. Minerals do not supply our body with energy, but play an important role in energy metabolism.
Some minerals are better absorbed by the body in combination with other nutrients. For example, the absorption of iron is better in the presence of vitamin C in the body. Vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium.
Trace elements are minerals of which the body needs very little. The recommended daily amount of minerals is usually expressed in grams, trace elements in micro- or milligrams. Excessive amounts of trace elements can even be toxic.
My personal favorite seeds
This table indicates the DV (daily required or maximum amount) of minerals and vitamins of the seeds. It says nothing about the real grams or micrograms. An x indicates that it is part of the DV. Two xx indicates that it is almost the necessary amount. And three xxx that it goes way over the DV. Calculated per 100 grams. (You will rarely eat 100 gr of a seed in one day!).
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||x||xx||xx||xx||x||xx||x|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||xx||x||xx||x||x||x||x|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||x||x||x|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||x||x||xx||x||x||x|
Chia seeds are rich in Calcium
If you don’t eat dairy products, like me, it’s important to find other sources of Calcium. That’s my main reason to eat Chia seed. I consider all the other goodies that are in the seed as a bonus.
Health benefits of Chia seeds are the balancing of your blood sugar and the Calcium absorption which is good for your bones and muscles. This means Chia seeds may lower the risk of heart disease. It also may reduce chronic inflammation.
Poppy seed is not addictive, don’t worry
Poppy seed is seed from the Papaver. Heroin is made from Papaver, although not from the seeds. The seeds only contain traces of opium, yet it is good to know. You won’t get addicted, but depending on how strict a drug test is, it seems you can fail that test.
I rarely eat bread, but dark integral bread with poppy seeds is truly delicious, don’t you think?
Sunflower seeds full of sun energy
When there has been an event on the Spanish streets, like Carnival or a parade, the sidewalks are covered with the remains of sunflower seeds. Spanish love to eat Pipas! They usually eat the big grey and white variety. The same ones that Ai Wei Wei used in his sunflower seeds installation.
Personally I like the smaller beige variant more. It’s a matter of taste. Sunflower seeds may lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar. They contain lots of calories so I won’t eat as much of them as the Spanish do.
Sesame seeds – open sesame!
It really seems like a fairy tale, because sesame seeds are said to be able to cure or relieve lots of diseases: liver problems, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, eczema, migraine, bone diseases, insomnia. That’s a long list!
Both sesame seeds and sesame oil are used a lot in the Indian and Chinese kitchen. I like the seeds the most in salads. Although they are also really nice on (sugar free) cookies!
Pine nuts are thrown to my head regularly 🙂
We live at the foot of a nature park that consists of pine trees. They are also around the house and in a tiny wood behind the house. The squirrels that live in those trees love pine nuts even more than I do. Whenever I am doing my runs around the pool they throw their leftovers to my head. It always makes me laugh.
In English, they are called nuts, but in reality these are seeds of the pine tree. I could eat them every day, I really love pine nuts. What I didn’t know until now is that they are also an ingredient of pesto. Yummy.
And of course, like the other seeds, they are very healthy. A small group of people get a metal-like unpleasant taste from raw pine nuts. That has no health side effects, but the taste can stay there quite some time.
Flaxseed, maybe I should try it more often
In my early thirties I visited a homeopathic doctor who prescribed me flaxseed. Morning, afternoon and evening I had to drink a brewage of flaxseed and probably other nutrients as well, but I only remember the flaxseed. After 5 days I disposed of what was left and vowed never to have flaxseed again.
What a pity, isn’t it? Because, like the other seeds, flaxseeds have so many health benefits. The cookies with seeds I mentioned earlier have flaxseeds, so I am gradually getting used to them again.
For vegans and vegetarians flaxseed is extremely good because of the protein it contains.
Cardamom, seeds within a seed
It’s best to buy Cardamom in its shell. It stays fresh longer and the nutrients are better preserved then. My husband Tom is the cook in the house (lucky me) and since he discovered the Indian cuisine we eat Cardamom often. We both love it for the taste.
There are many health benefits attributed to Cardamom: detoxification, ease digestive problems, prevent and cure cold and flu, beneficial against asthma, getting rid of the hiccups, lowering blood pressure, fight against pathogens, infections of the oral cavity and breath freshener.
Taste is very personal
These are my preferred seeds. Taste is personal of course, so there might be seeds you don’t like at all. Sometimes you can still choose a specific seed because of its health benefits. Either way, it’s great to know what’s in them, isn’t it.
Which seed do you love most? Tell me in the comment box.