You’ve tried it all or maybe you haven’t. Whichever the case, if your health goals include a better body and lush, shiny locks, here are nine seeds you should add to your diet now!
Seeds come from different kinds of plants, and have been through an extensive process in nature. This process is designed to fill them up with essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and nutrients for the human body.
You can derive a lot of food components from seeds such as oil, paste and powder. However, not all seeds were created equal and not all of them are edible.
They also all work in different ways and the best nine seeds highlighted below can be used in different ways to ensure better health and hair growth.
6 Reasons Why Edible Seeds are Good for You
- They are natural and unprocessed. An entire plant, which you probably use in cooking, came from one tiny seed. Imagine how much power is packed into the tiny seed from which an entire plant came.
- They contain enough protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients to nourish your body and follicles.
- They add flavor and essence to any dish.
- They are filling and make a great snack.
- They are an adequate addition to any raw food, vegan and gluten free diet.
- Seeds improve brain and immune system function, helping your body to optimize itself internally.
What Type of Seeds are Edible
1. Chia Seeds
These are one of the healthiest seeds out there. They originate from South America and were part of the Mayan and Aztecs diet. They are usually black and white, and are loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids as well as fiber.
Chia seeds can be a useful component in a weight-loss program due to their ability to swell up when soaked in water, which fills up the tummy faster. They can be absorbed as they are and don’t need to be ground or processed to be ingested.
Chia seeds boost energy and help in the formation of stronger bones and cartilage through calcium. While expensive, they remain one of the best seeds to include in your diet.
They can also be used as a replacement for eggs in baking and other dishes. This is one of my favorite seeds, but I don’t care for the taste too much so I always mix it into smoothies to mask it.
2. Flax Seeds
They are more commonly grown and available than chia seeds, and are usually brown or yellow and contain as many nutrients as chia seeds, including lignans and important micronutrients like iron and zinc.
Unlike chia seeds, they need to be ground before consumption in order for the body to digest them and utilize their nutrients. They also need to be refrigerated after grinding so that they don’t go rancid.
3. Hemp Seeds
Regarded as a complete protein and a superfood, hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 acids, fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium, copper and potassium.
When it comes to hair health, these additional components come into play–vitamins B, D & E, carotene, sulfur, phosphorus, enzymes and essential amino acids.
Hemp seeds are a great replacement for energy bars minus the sugars and any other unhealthy additives. It also contains albumin, which is similar to the one found in egg whites. They are more easily digested than regular protein foods like meat, eggs, cheese, etc.
4. Sesame Seeds
The sesame plant is cultivated in tropical regions around the world and grows in pods. They come in several different colors with white being the most common. They contain omega-6, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, linoleic acid, protein and fiber.
Additionally, they contain two special nutrients known as sesamin and sesamolin, which belong to the lignan family. They help to lower cholesterol and prevent high blood pressure.
This substance also gives the seeds an unusually long shelf life. They add a nutty taste and delicious crunch to dishes and work especially well for sprinkling on top of baked goods. They are also the main ingredient in Tahini (sesame paste), a famous Middle Eastern dish.
5. Sunflower Seeds
These seeds are a product of the familiar sunflower, which is like a ray of sunlight. They were originally grown among Native Americans but were brought back to Europe by missionaries. They are rich in copper, folate, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and copper.
Additional nutrients, which make sunflower seeds excellent for healthy hair growth, include selenium and vitamin E. Sunflower seeds are available shelled or unshelled. Like ground flax seeds, they are prone to go rancid quickly so they should be stored in an airtight container and/or refrigerated.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
They come from the inner part of the pumpkin, are light green in color and are a significant source of zinc, which is important for boosting immunity. They also contain folate, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, vitamin E, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, omega-6, protein and fiber. Pumpkin seeds are a common culinary ingredient in Mexico and are also called pepitas.
7. Pomegranate Seeds
These seeds are located in the inner part of the large red fruit of the same name, which is grown in the Middle East, tropical Africa, parts of Asia and North America. Each fruit can contain as many as 600 seeds individually wrapped in small, red capsule-like pulp known as arils.
Unlike most of the seeds in this article, pomegranate seeds can be eaten once the fruit is sliced open, and don’t need to be dried or processed in any way although they can be messy to eat.
The pulp and the seeds are the only edible parts of a pomegranate. The seeds are low in calories but high in fiber, potassium, vitamins C & K and folate. Pomegranate seeds are also rich in antioxidants.
8. Poppy Seeds
These kidney-shaped seeds are found within the opium poppy flower grown in the Mediterranean, Europe and certain parts of Asia. The seeds are obtained after the seedpod has dried, rendering it devoid of any narcotic effects.
They can be consumed as is or ground based on personal preference. They contain oleic and linoleic acid, fiber, vitamin B, iron, copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium and zinc.
9. Mustard Seeds
These seeds can be yellowish, black or white and come from 3 types of mustard plants grown in Europe and Asia. The taste and smell is distinctive and pungent. The mustard seed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and vitamin B1.
The Best Way to Include Edible Seeds in Your Diet
- Raw and unprocessed seeds are the best for consumption. All the natural nutrients remain contained in the seeds and your body and hair will get the best out of it this way.
- Lightly roast the seeds before consuming them. Do this yourself as the versions available commercially have been roasted at high temperatures, which will have destroyed the natural nutrients. You can flavor them lightly with chili and salt after roasting.
- Dehydrate the seeds before consumption, remembering to keep the temperature below 115 degrees.
- Sprinkle them over toast, biscuits, cakes, salads, general baked foods, deserts and stir fried dishes.
- Mix them in with your smoothies.
- Add a few ground seeds to dishes before baking. You can try one at a time to decide how you like the end result and which seed tastes best.
Tips for Buying and Eating Edible Seeds
- Mix different seeds to get the full range of benefits from all of them.
- Eat them in moderation. More doesn’t mean they will work faster.
- Always make sure you are purchasing fresh seeds to ensure longevity.
- If purchasing from a container in a supermarket, smell the seeds first. You can usually tell if they are fresh or have been in the container for a while.
- Keep all seeds in airtight containers and store in a cool area.
- Check the seeds for signs of a broken shell before purchase.
There are other seeds on the market but the most common and the best are the ones discussed in this article. Including them in your diet will ensure you attain your weight-loss goals, which will optimize your body for better hair growth.
How have you incorporated seeds into your diet? Do you have any questions about seeds? Discuss these in the comments section below.