Have you ever wondered about the health benefits of seeds? Dietitian Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, says people don’t realize certain seeds have a variety of health benefits.
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Hemp seeds, for example, can be a great source of vitamin E.
“Vitamin E is an antioxidant in our body,” says Jamieson-Petonic. “It helps to reduce these free-radicals — these harmful chemicals that can increase our risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.”
Healthy seeds to grow on
If you’re not into hemp seeds, there are other types to consider. The following seeds are a good place to start:
Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart healthy. Sesame seeds are high in selenium which is an antioxidant shown to decrease the risk of chronic disease. Pumpkin seeds have been shown to lower your LDL, or bad cholesterol, and help prevent muscle weakness.
What about those ever popular sunflower seeds? If you are looking for an extra boost of vitamin E, sunflower seeds might also do the trick — but you should stick to the unsalted kind.
Does eating unsalted seeds not sound very appealing? An easy way to get seeds into your diet is to sprinkle them on a salad or into your yogurt. You can also bread chicken or eggplant dishes with crushed sesame seeds.
How much is too much?
Like anything else, you should eat seeds in moderation. “One to two tablespoons per day is all you need,” Amy explains. “The other thing that is important about these seeds is they’re usually very high in the good heart healthy fats, but they’re still high in calories.”