Quantcast

5 Omega-Rich Seeds You Should Include in Your Daily Diet

Food

While attention is often given to the nutritional qualities of nuts, their smaller cousin seeds also provide rich sources of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Seeds offer excellent sources of nutrients without containing any natural sugar, making them healthy plant food choices for kids and adults alike.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Seeds can also be used in meals similar to nuts—eaten whole as snacks, blended and spread on bread and crackers as butters, sprinkled on salads and ground into powder, which can be added to baked goods and pancakes. These five types of seeds offer excellent sources of nutrients without containing any natural sugar, making them healthy plant food choices for kids and adults alike. The website NutritionData.com provides nutritional information based on portion size.

Chia Seeds

This seed taken from a plant in the mint family is growing in popularity since it is a great source of omega 3 fat. One ounce of chia seeds contain 1.6 grams of omega 3 fat, which is the total amount that the Food and Drug Administration recommends eating every day. Omega 3 rich foods are important in your daily diet because most plant foods contain lots of omega 6 fat but very little omega 3 fat. Chia seeds do contain some protein, phosphorus and manganese, but virtually no vitamins or other minerals. So be sure to balance your consumption of chia seeds with other types of seeds with a more balanced nutritional profile. Consumer Reports also notes that while the unsaturated fat in chia seeds is generally healthy, they can be harmful to men with prostate problems.

Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds contain an unusually high amount of omega-3 fat, a type of fat found very few foods that is essential to every person’s diet. Omega 3 fat not only acts as an antioxidant to prevent disease, but it is used by the body to promote healthy cell growth and brain function. Flaxseeds can be purchased whole or already ground up, but should be eaten ground since they are better absorbed in that form. One tablespoon of ground flaxseeds contains about 1.6 grams of plant omega-3 fat. Check the U.S. Department of Agriculture web site for a table indicating the amount of omega-3 you or your child should be getting daily.

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are incredibly nutritious, packed with 5 important minerals you should be getting daily. One ounce of these toasted seeds contains at least 25 percent of the daily recommend amount for adults of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. One ounce also contains a notable amount of protein, thiamin and vitamin B6. However, sesame seeds contain a lot of omega 6 fat but almost no omega 3 fat. So adults and children alike should make sure to eat foods higher in omega 3 fat daily. Some omega 3 rich foods include fish, chia and flaxseeds, walnuts and canola oil. Sesame seeds are commonly used in Asian cooking, sprinkled on sautéed meats and vegetables. Sesame paste, or tahini, can be mixed into in salad dressing and is often found as an ingredient in chickpea spread, otherwise called hummus.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are another seed that can provide the same amount of protein and other nutrients as nuts. They are high in vitamin E, a natural, healing antioxidant that nourishes the cells in your body and protects your skin against sun damage, according to Dr. Weil. These seeds also contain plenty of B6 and folate, in addition to the minerals phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Finally, one ounce of sunflower seeds have 20 percent of all the pantothenic acid, or B5, you need in one day. B5 is important because it helps the body process carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and promotes healthy skin, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a satisfying, crunchy seed that can be eaten roasted and salted as a snack or added to salads and cooked vegetables. These seeds from the pumpkin squash are a great source of protein and magnesium, and also contain some zinc and copper. Similar to sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds are very high in omega 6 fat so they should be eaten balanced with foods high in omega 3 fat.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

3 Ways to Sneak Flaxseeds Into Your Kids’ Meals

Why Grass-Fed Butter Is One of the Healthiest Fats on the Planet

4 Types of Nontoxic, Eco-Friendly Cookware That’s Safe for You and Your Family

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Opera House is seen with smoke haze which enveloped Sydney Harbor on Dec. 10 in Sydney, Australia. Smoke haze hangs over the city as the New South Wales fire danger risk is raised from 'very high' to 'severe'. James D. Morgan / Getty Images

The brushfires raging through New South Wales have shrouded Australia's largest city in a blanket of smoke that pushed the air quality index 12 times worse than the hazardous threshold, according to the Australia Broadcast Corporation (ABC).

Read More Show Less
People walk across the bridge near Little Raven Court in downtown Denver. Younger Americans increasingly prefer to live in walkable neighborhoods. Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post via Getty Images

By David B. Goldstein

Energy efficiency is the cornerstone of any country's plan to fight the climate crisis. It is the cheapest option available, and one that as often as not comes along with other benefits, such as job creation, comfort and compatibility with other key solutions such as renewable energy. This has been recognized by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for at least a decade.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Activists from Extinction Rebellion New York City engaged in nonviolent direct action to confront climate change outside City Hall on April 17, 2019. Erik McGregor / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Over 500 groups on Monday rolled out an an action plan for the next president's first days of office to address the climate emergency and set the nation on a transformative path towards zero emissions and a just transition in their first days in office.

Read More Show Less
The Ladakh region of India, pictured above, is a part of the Himalayan mountain region of the upper Indus Valley which is the most vulnerable water tower, according to researchers. Suttipong Sutiratanachai / Moment / Getty Images

The drinking water of 1.9 billion people is at risk from the climate crisis and the demand for water is rising, a study published Monday in Nature has found.

Read More Show Less
Jet stream triggered heat waves could threaten food production in several important breadbaskets, including central North America. Carl Wycoff / CC BY 2.0

Researchers have pinpointed a previously underexamined threat to global food production, and they warn it will only get worse as the climate crisis intensifies.

Read More Show Less