Healthy Benefits of Seeds

Health Benefits of Seeds

amazing-health-benefits-of-seeds-and-nuts

Snacking on raw, organic seeds can have amazing health benefits. Not only does it curb your hunger and keeps you away from junk foods, seeds contain plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and protein. [1]

Some athletes even forego the usual (mostly garbage with fancy marketing) energy drinks and choose nutritious options such as chia seeds to replenish their energy and keep their digestive systems in shape. [2] Many seeds are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids which helps prevent heart disease. [3]

 

 

  1. Chia Seeds. The chia herb is grown commercially for its seed, which is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can do many wonders for your body. Omega-3s have been found to decrease your risk of getting heart disease and diabetes by lowering your triglyceride and glucose levels. Studies have indicated that they may be beneficial for joint pain and stiffness due to their anti-inflammatory effects. [4]

Chia seeds are also rich in protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants which makes them a filling snack that helps support weight loss. [5]

  1. Hemp Seeds. Hemp seeds have high nutritional value and contains zinc, iron, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. They also contain plant-based proteins which should help maintain cardiovascular health, plus omega-3 fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that according to studies may boost the immune system and balance the hormones in your body. [6]
  2. Pomegranate Seeds. Pomegranates may be difficult to slice and could become quite messy when you try to eat them. It’s all worth the trouble, though, because the seeds are actually very healthy- they are rich in vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and pomegranate is reported to have incredible anti-inflammatory properties. [8] Pomegranate juice has also been found to protect the teeth against dental plaque microorganisms that could potentially cause oral diseases. [9]

Researchers have also reported that increased pomegranate consumption may fight prostate cancer by stopping the cancer cells from spreading. [10]

  1. Flax Seeds. This tiny seed can be found in all kinds of food, such as muffins, oatmeal, and crackers. It contains omega-3, vitamin B1, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, fiber, and protein, making it one of the most nutritious foods. Eating flax seeds helps promote your digestive health because the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) protects the lining of the stomach. The fiber also helps cleanse the waste and may help with the removal of toxins in your colon. [11] For menopausal women, eating flax seeds may help in reducing hot flashes since they are a good source of phytoestrogens which are dietary lignans. [12]

Note however that flax seeds often survive being chewed, “unharmed” – so unless flax seeds are ground prior to eating, they might “pass right through” the digestive system, negating their nutritional benefits.

  1. Pumpkin Seeds. If you are looking for a filling snack to munch on, skip the potato chips and eat pumpkin seeds instead. These contain many nutrients such as zinc (essential in immunity, cell growth, mood improvement, and insulin regulation), magnesium (helps prevent heart attack and stroke), and antioxidants (eliminates free-radicals). Pumpkin seeds are considered a “male enhancer” that may have positive effects on sexual health. Adding pumpkin seeds to your food may also help prevent the formation of kidney stones. [13]
  2. Apricot Seeds. Apricot seeds are sometimes used as a substitute for almonds since they are just as delicious. They have been vigorously claimed by some to be a possible cure for cancer, but it has been debated whether this is safe or not. Apricot seeds contain small quantities of amygdalin, sometimes called laetrile, a toxic chemical that is converted into cyanide in the body when ingested. In the small quantities present in the seeds, these substances (according to the theories) do more harm to the cancer cells than the person.

Aside from this, apricot seeds may benefit arthritis by reducing the inflammation in the body, and may lower high blood pressure which could lead to stroke. [14]

  1. Sesame Seeds. If you have been eating oily, fatty foods, add sesame seeds to your next snack. The phytosterols in the seeds (and in sesame oil) have been reported to work within the intestinal tract, lowering cholesterol absorption. Sesame seeds are also rich in fiber, protein, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. [15]
  2. Sunflower Seeds. Another rich source of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E, sunflower seeds help reduce inflammation all throughout the body, potentially decreasing the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. [16]

Sunflower seeds are also abundant in magnesium, a beneficial mineral that is essential to life and has been shown to help reduce chronic migraine, depression, and anxiety. [17]

  1. Cumin Seeds. For those with low hemoglobin count or anemia, adding cumin seeds to spice up your meals will not only make a savory new dish, but may also boost your immune system. Cumin seeds are rich in iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and thiamin. [18]

Cumin, interestingly, is thought to aid in having good digestive health because it stimulates the pancreatic enzymes which are necessary for proper digestion and nutrient breakdown. The thymol in the seeds is thought to help in removing toxins and microbes from the body, and the essential oils may also serve as an antifungal and anti-inflammatory agent. [19]

  1. Grape Seeds. The extracts obtained from the grape seeds have been used as a treatment for conditions related to atherosclerosis, diabetic retinopathy (an eye problem caused by diabetes), high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Compounds found in grape seed are also found to be effective in reducing the swelling of the body tissues after an injury or surgery. [20]

That’s it for the seeds!

References:

[1] Mercola, J. 2016. Eat More Nuts, and Sooner Too http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/03/21/benefits-eating-nuts.aspx

[2] Albergotti, R.2012. The NFL’s Top-Secret Seed http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204301404577171061283988408

[3] Axe, J. 10 Flax Seed Benefits and Nutrition Facts https://draxe.com/10-flax-seed-benefits-nutrition-facts/

[4] Salvia hispanica https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_hispanica

[5] Guevara-Cruz, M. et al. 2012. A dietary pattern including nopal, chia seed, soy protein, and oat reduces serum triglycerides and glucose intolerance in patients with metabolic syndrome. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22090467

[6] Axe, J. Hemp Seed Benefits and Nutrition Profile https://draxe.com/7-hemp-seed-benefits-nutrition-profile/

[7] (removed – editor)

[8] Castillo, S. 2015. Pomegranate Health Benefits: The Fruit Helps Protect Against Plaque, Hunger, and Certain Cancers http://www.medicaldaily.com/pomegranate-health-benefits-fruit-helps-protect-against-plaque-hunger-and-certain-340020

[9] Kote, S., et al. 2011. Effect of Pomegranate Juice on Dental Plaque Microorganisms (Streptococci and Lactobacilli) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530267/

[10] Malik, A. et al. 2006. Prostate cancer prevention through pomegranate fruit. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16479165

[11] Axe, J. 10 Flax Seed Benefits and Nutrition Facts https://draxe.com/10-flax-seed-benefits-nutrition-facts/

[12] Mulcahy, 2011. ‘Surprising’ Result in Flaxseed-for-Hot-Flashes Study http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/743995

[13] Andrews, R. All about Kidney Stones http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-kidney-stones

[14] Axe, J. Apricot Seeds: Fight Cancer or Too Dangerous? https://draxe.com/apricot-seeds/

[15] Axe, J. Sesame Seeds Benefit the Heart & Lower Cholesterol https://draxe.com/sesame-seeds/