It seems like every week we hear about a new heath fad or another superfood that will change the way you eat forever. Some of these are actually good advice or healthy staples that you should be mixing into your diet, but once you really look into them, most of these are just overhyped fads. One group of supposed superfoods that actually lives up to the hype? Seeds. Seeds are delicious, nutritional staples that are easy to add into any healthy diet. They can be tossed on salads, into smoothies and shakes, put in soups or stir fries, in yogurts or eaten loose as a snack. You can also blend them into dips, spreads and sauces…there’s really no end to the ways you can consume seeds. You can also use some of these in baking or to make homemade energy bars and granola bars. While all of the seeds listed below are great sources of healthy, unsaturated fats, they also each have unique benefits. So here are some Health Benefits of Seeds and a fun fact about each of them:
These little guys are loaded with protein, antioxidants, iron, calcium, Vitamin C, omega-3s, fiber, magnesium and calcium.
Chia seeds have been known to reduce joint pain, aid in weight loss, keep energy levels high naturally and prevent diabetes and heart disease. On top of all that, they also promote healthy liver function and regulate blood-sugar levels, which helps keep your hunger and cravings in check.
Fun fact: chia seeds are so healthy and filling they were used as rations for the Aztec Army.
These seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids, but the real benefit here is their high level of dietary fiber.
Flax seeds help regulate hunger and support healthy weight loss, relieve abdominal pain and have anti-inflammatory properties. They also help to lower cholesterol and reduce risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Fun fact: these are best eaten ground up—you can substitute ground flax for flour or sprinkle it in oatmeal or protein shakes.
Sesame seeds are chock full of manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, B1, zinc, dietary fiber and linoleic acid—an omega-6 fatty acid.
These little guys are proven to lower cholesterol, prevent high blood pressure and protect against liver damage.
Fun fact: because of the liver support and significant calcium benefits, sesame seeds are great for those who are in a cycle or are cutting out dairy from their diet.
These sweet seeds are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber and potassium.
Pomegranate seeds reduce your risk of cartilage damage and can help increase the body’s fat-burning capabilities.
Fun fact: pomegranates are a great sweet treat for those who are cutting because of their high nutritional and low calorie content.
This amazing seeds contains all 20 amino acids, as well as being high in protein, iron and calcium.
Adding these seeds to your diet can promote cardiovascular and immune health.
Fun fact: these seeds are also called hemp hearts and despite the connotation are not in any way associated with marijuana.
Pumpkin seeds are packed with protein and b vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6 and folates. They are also high in healthy unsaturated fats, zinc, vitamin K and iron.
Adding these seeds to your diet helps fight depression, is good for kidney health and fighting food-borne parasites and helps regulate the body’s sodium levels.
Fun fact: can harvest your own by carving out pumpkins (yes, they’re the same) or you can buy them—make sure to get unsalted ones or the sodium content could go through the roof.
While you might not hear much about these seeds, they’re full of vitamin E, linoleic acid and flavonoids.
The health benefits of grape seeds include preventing cancer, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and reducing inflammation.
Fun fact: grape seeds generally taste terrible—so put them in something to mask the taste. You can also get many of the health benefits by drinking dry, red wine.
These seeds are packed with vitamin E, magnesium, unsaturated fats, magnesium, copper and manganese—but make sure to get the unsalted variety.
Sunflower seeds can help reduce high blood pressure, prevent migraines and reduce risk of heart attack and stroke.
Fun fact: these seeds are incredibly cheap and may help improve post-workout recovery. So they’re great for anyone who is trying to eat right on a budget.