Seeds are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that boost overall health and prevention of disease. Learn the health benefits of seeds.
Although small in size, seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, and flaxseeds are packed with essential nutrients. A good source of a variety of the vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats the body needs, seeds offer many health benefits.
Nutrients in Seeds
Seeds are not just a good source of fiber; seeds are also rich in vitamin E and healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Rich in essential vitamins and minerals, other nutrients in seeds include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Health Benefits of Seeds
The fiber found in seeds boosts digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements and helping to prevent constipation. Fiber has also been shown to decrease cholesterol levels and dietary fiber helps to control blood sugar. Fiber also plays a part in maintaining a healthy weight.
If you do not eat fish on a regular basis, seeds would be a great addition to your diet since seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, with flaxseeds being the best plant source of omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are important for overall health, including a healthy heart and brain function. Other benefits of omega-3 fatty acids include reducing blood pressure and joint pain. Omega-3 fats may also boost the immune system.
Vitamin E, also found in seeds, is a powerful antioxidant that fights the damaging effects of free radicals. Vitamin E may help prevent cardiovascular disease and act as an anti-inflammatory that may help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Seeds can play a role in a healthy weight loss diet because seeds provide a balanced combination of carbs, protein, and fat, which promotes satiety and helps control blood sugar, both of which are important when trying to lose weight.
The minerals found in seeds, such as selenium and zinc, are important for a healthy immune system.
Fat in Seeds
Many people avoid nuts because of their high fat content; however, the type of fat in seeds is actually beneficial to overall health if eaten in moderation. According to the American Heart Association, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of developing heart disease and monounsaturated fats may help in preventing a stroke.
- Mateljan, George. The World’s Healthiest Foods Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007.
- American Heart Association. (29 Oct 2010). “Monounsaturated Fats; Polyunsaturated Fats.” Accessed December 27, 2010 from Heart.org.
- Nutrition Data. (n.d.). “Pumpkin Seeds; Sesame Seeds; Flaxseeds; Sunflower Seeds.” Accessed December 27, 2010 from Nutritiondata.com.