Eat like a bird
7 healthful seeds to eat
2011 November 9
Packed with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, these plant-based foods help boost immunity and energy. Studies on various seeds show they help reduce heart disease, improve the digestive system and control weight. Eat them alone as a snack or use in a dish.
“Seeds are great because just one serving is packed with protein, healthful fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are easy to eat, requiring little to no prep work,” said Tiffiany Moore, of Gilbert, a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant.
“They can also enhance the immune system and help reduce the signs of aging.”
Here are seven seeds to know:
Strength: Offer high concentrations of vitamin E, antioxidants, thiamin, magnesium, copper, niacin, selenium, manganese, vitamin B6, folate, phosphorus and fiber.
Weakness: Though they offer healthy fats, they should be used in moderation.
How to use: As snacks or as toppings for salads, smoothies and baked goods
Strength: Hulled crunchy seeds are packed with protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamin E and minerals that keep the heart healthy.
Weakness: The seeds do not contain as many vitamins and minerals as other seeds.
How to use: Eat as a snack, or sprinkle some on your salad or use in a smoothie or baking.
Strength: Yes, these are the “cha-cha-cha chia” seeds from the commercials. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, fiber and minerals that help maintain hydration and prevent some effects of aging.
Weakness: There are no studies that show any effects after consumption of these seeds.
How to use: Soak seeds in water for 30 minutes and they turn into a jellylike tapioca ball. Use in smoothies, yogurts and salads. Or grind the dried seed and use in baked goods.