If you’re not getting enough seeds in your diet, you may want to start now. It doesn’t matter if you sprinkle them on your salad, infuse them into a recipe, or just plain eat them straight — they do a body good! Here are five of the most important ones to include in your diet.
Why they’re good for you: Chia seeds are extremely rich in fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and antioxidants. They also contain a healthy amount of iron, calcium, and magnesium.
What they can do for you: Reduce your risk of being diagnosed with heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Lowered inflammation and blood pressure are also touted benefits.
A fun way to eat them: Try them in these delicious Get Up and Goji energy bars.
Why they’re good for you: Flax seeds are inherently loaded with alpha-linolenic acid and dietary fiber. They also contain lignans, chemical compounds often found in plants.
What they can do for you: Reduce inflammation, lower your cancer risk, and decrease symptoms of PMS.
A fun way to eat them: Sprinkle flax seeds or flaxseed meal on top of Greek yogurt with raspberries for an extra boost of nutrition.
Why they’re good for you: High in protein and fiber, hemp seeds also contain a healthy amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
What they can do for you: Increase energy, lower blood pressure, boost metabolism, and reduce bad cholesterol.
A fun way to eat them: Hemp protein bars are both delicious and jam-packed with nutrients.
Why they’re good for you: These especially salty seeds are naturally infused with essential fatty acids and remain a great source of zinc, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. They also contain loads of protein.
What they can do for you: Lower bad cholesterol levels and improve the look of skin. For men, pumpkin seeds have been hailed as a way to improve prostrate health.
A fun way to eat them: Consuming these seeds raw is encouraged to enjoy their maximum nutrient impact. Throw a handful in your favorite trail mix for on-the-go healthy eating.
Why they’re good for you: These seeds are especially high in vitamin E — just a quarter-cup contains 62 percent of the daily recommended value.
What they can do for you: Reduce inflammation, symptoms of arthritis and asthma, and lower cholesterol.
A fun way to eat them: Put a spin on a lunch staple with a sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwich, or add some to your salad for some hearty vegan protein.