Good things often come in small packages and seeds are the best example of it. They give you plenty of energy with very little calories and this is just one of the few giant benefits that miniscule seeds offer. Read on to get a heads up on why and how you ought to include these powerhouses of nutrition in your diet.
Ek anaar, sau ilaaj
Pomegranate seeds commonly known as anardana and under the fancy name of arils are a rich source of anti-oxidants, Vitamin C and K and heart healthy polyphenols.
The benefits of this fabulous fruit / seed range from lowering blood pressure, fighting cancer cells especially that of prostate and breast cancer, reducing effects of arthritis and joint pain, improving general immunity and heart health.
Gaining quick popularity for all the right reasons chia seeds are potent little nutrient hoarders. Chia is an ancient Mayan word for strength and they do actually provide plenty of it with least possible calories.
Their high fibre and protein content helps aid weight loss. A rich source of omega 3, minerals and vitamins, these slimy seeds are great to maintain a healthy heart, strong bones and also reduce the effects of type 2 diabetes.
Pumpkin seeds for happiness
These are one of the few food ingredients that actually improve in nutritional content as they age. A brilliant source of magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, copper and Vitamins A & K, pumpkin seeds are an integral part of Mexican cuisine where they are known as pepitas.
Pumpkin seeds help in several physiological functions of the body, reduce inflammation and bad cholesterol and acidity while increasing production of ‘the happy hormone’ serotonin. Moreover it stops the cancerous behavior of male prostate cells.
Hemp seeds as vegetarian protein
Hemp seeds are gaining plenty of recognition these days for its mammoth omega 3 and omega 6 content and heart healthy benefits. They are a great vegetarian source of protein and help build lean muscle and provide the body with all essential amino acids.
It contains plenty of fibre and disease protecting elements that aid digestion, increase immunity purify the blood stream and help regenerate tissues and cells in the body.
We in India are definitely not new to the use of cumin seeds (jeera) in our food, but did you know that besides giving that fabulous aroma and flavour to food they also provide nutrition?
With its great reserves of iron, fibre and anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties cumin seeds aid digestive health, fight anemia, cure insomnia and keep flu’s and infections at bay. They are also a great source of nutrition for expecting mothers.
Get to sesame street
Traditional societies have always vouched for the benefits of sesame seeds yet it’s only in the recent past that these are being gives super food status. They contain a pigment called lignans, plenty of protein, fibre, iron and calcium.
These nutrients in sesame collectively help in improving bone and oral health, detoxify the body, tackle respiratory problems, improve blood circulation, fight cholesterol, blood pressure, liver disease and depression.
Flax seeds for a healthy heart
Flax seeds are actually not seeds, but grains. They are gluten free, anti-inflammatory, loaded with antioxidants – particularly lignans and a bulk quantity of Omega 3 acids.
With all these super pigments and nutrients in it, flax seeds help in maintaining heart health, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, fighting cancer and reducing menopausal symptoms in women.
How to you include seeds in your daily diet
• Try as much as you can to eat seeds in their raw form because they lose a large chunk of their nutrition when heated.
• Use them to cure hunger pangs. They are way more filling than you think.
• Make a healthy brittle using a combination of seeds, nuts and jaggery to munch on that too guilt free.
• Mix up a combination of these healthy seeds with some saunf and sugar crystals for a mukhwas that does more than freshening your breath post a meal.
• If you are a baker, then add a good dose of them atop the breads you bake for that nutty irreplaceably delicious crunch.
Check out a bunch of healthy recipes made with these magical seeds and more on sanjeevkapoor.com
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Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.