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9 Healthy Seeds with Healing Powers

January 15, 2014

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Little seeds that are high in health perks are popping up everywhere. Whether they’re eaten whole or ground, these tiny superfoods possess the therapeutic power to heal your body, prevent disease, and increase longevity. I love the taste of raw seeds, but they also provide us with vital nutrients and remind us of the miracle of plant-based life, all in bite-sized form. Take a closer look at these delightfully edible seeds and consider which kinds hold the most nutritional intrigue for you.

Flax: This seed is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may prevent heart damage and be cancer-protective. Flax is also super rich in fiber, calcium and potassium. Grind up the seeds and mix them into homemade breads, yogurt, and cereal to jack up the health benefits.

Chia: Seek out these seeds that contain omega-3 fatty acids to up your energy and get out of a bad mood. They’re also full of fiber, calcium and protein. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, chia may stave off heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Use the seed to bring some crunch and texture to your morning oatmeal or be blended into a creamy midday smoothie.

Hemp: You won’t feel buzzed after eating these seed, because they only contain trace amounts of the marijuana substance tetrahydrocannabinol. If you’re a vegan, this is a great plant-based protein that’s easy to sprinkle on to any meal. It’s also rich in essential amino and fatty acids and vitamins E and B. 

Grape seed: Their antioxidants and flavonoids may work to reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure, which means grape seeds are bursting with heart-healing potential. And health perks abound whether you choose to use pure grape seed oil or grape seed extract. Try it for natural relief of circulation problems and even asthma and allergies.

Sunflower: Hone in on the health benefits of this seed, as it’s high in calcium, copper, and magnesium, a combination that may improve your bone health and joint mobility. That’s good news for arthritis sufferers. Sunflower seeds also contain cell-protecting vitamin E, and the cancer-fighting and cardio-protective antioxidant selenium.    

Pomegranate: Deconstruct this fruit and bite into its juicy seeds to unlock their anti-aging and anti-inflammatory health benefits. With high content of antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, pomegranate seeds are a perfect complement to a winter salad or whole-grain side dish.

Poppy seeds: From alleviating coughs and nausea to reducing joint swelling and dark circles under your eyes, poppy seeds have long been used to treat health ailments. These seeds are chock full of riboflavin, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Plus, they bring a little crunch to everything they coat.

Cumin seeds: Seek out these oblong-shaped seeds for their cancer-fighting antioxidants and flavonoids. They also help with digestive woes like bloating and iron deficiencies like anemia. Cumin seeds may spice up your love life as well as your kitchen—they’re also a natural aphrodisiac!

Squash seeds: The heart-healthy seeds from acorn, butternut, or spaghetti squash can be roasted and eaten as a healthy snack. Consider them before bedtime since they contain the amino acid and proven natural sleep aid tryptophan. They also contain bone-healthy calcium and zinc, protein, and have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.

Sprouted seeds:  Though not actually a kind of seed but a stage in seed development, sprouts are nutrient-dense superfoods. That’s because when seeds are actively germinating, they become a powerhouse source of invigorating enzymes, essential vitamins, and minerals. Use them to improve your digestion and rid your body of excess acid, since they are naturally alkalizing. Popular varieties include sprouted chia, sesame, hemp, and daikon. Check out this guide to sprouting your own seeds!

Do you eat certain seeds for their health perks?