There is a wide variety of seeds that you can include in your plant-based diet for increasing nutrient availability and promoting your overall health. Seeds are packed with all the starting materials that are required for a plant to grow, hence, they are really nutritious.
Seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber. They also contain monounsaturated fats as well as polyunsaturated fats along with a wide array of other nutrients.
Including these healthy plant-based foods in your diet can aid to control cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and hypertension. In addition to this, they may be beneficial for lowering the chance of various diseases.
You can find a wide range of healthy seeds to include in your plant-based diet. Some of them are listed below:
Flaxseeds that are also known as linseeds are an excellent source of fiber. They are also known for their high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, especially, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). But these fatty acids are mostly contained in the fibrous outer shell of these seeds that the human body cannot digest. So, if you want to increase the levels of omega-3, then it is better to consume flaxseeds that have been ground.
Flaxseeds contain a lot of other nutrients including protein, thiamine, manganese, and magnesium. These seeds also contain various polyphenols, particularly lignans, which exhibit great antioxidant properties.
The presence of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and lignans in flaxseeds can help to reduce cholesterol along with lowering the risk factors associated with many other health conditions like heart diseases. Studies suggest that consuming flaxseeds can be beneficial for reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol that can be harmful to your body.
Flaxseeds might also help to control hypertension. Based on the studies, it can be suggested that eating flaxseeds daily can aid to control blood pressure effectively, especially when eaten as a whole.
In addition to this, eating flaxseeds is also associated with reduced risk of various forms of cancer. It might help to control the markers of growth of tumors in women who are suffering from breast cancer. Researchers suggest that this ability of flaxseeds can be linked to the presence of lignans in them. Lignans are phytoestrogens that exhibit properties similar to estrogen, which is a female sex hormone. This compound is also found to be beneficial for controlling prostate cancer in men.
Chia seeds are similar to flaxseeds, as they are also an excellent source of omega-3 fats and fiber. They also contain a wide variety of other nutrients including protein, magnesium, manganese, and thiamine.
Similar to flaxseeds, chia seeds are also rich in various important antioxidants. Eating chia seeds can be useful for increasing the amount of ALA in the blood. ALA is a significant omega-3 fatty acid that can aid to control inflammation. Your body will be able to convert ALA into various other omega-3 fats including EPA and DHA that are usually present in oily fish. However, this natural conversion process can be quite inefficient.
Chia seeds might also help with reducing the blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that ground chia seeds can be effective for lowering blood sugar levels immediately after a meal. Chia seeds might also help with reducing appetite thereby aiding weight loss. They can also lower the risk of heart diseases.
Hemp seeds are well-known for their high amounts of protein. These seeds contain higher than 30% nutrients along with various other essential nutrients. Hemp seeds are one among the plant-based foods that are a complete source of protein. It means that these seeds contain all the essential amino acids that cannot be produced by your body.
Hemp seeds are also rich in fiber, magnesium, zinc, and thiamine. Hemp seeds have the perfect ratio between omega-6 fats and omega-3 fats, which is 3:1. Another important compound present in these seeds is gamma-linolenic acid, which is a fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. So many people take hemp seed oil for deriving various benefits provided by this seed.
These seeds are also known for their wide nutrient profile. They are a rich source of fiber, protein, omega-6 fatty acids, copper, magnesium, and manganese.
Sesame seeds are rich in various lignans, especially sesamin. They are known as the best dietary source of lignans, which makes them a perfect option to include in your plant-based recipes.
Sesamin that is found in sesame seeds might be converted by the bacteria in your gut into another type of lignan known as enterolactone, which might have similar properties of the sex hormone called estrogen.
Also, if the levels of this particular lignan are lower in your body than the required levels, then it can increase the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.
Consuming sesame seeds can also help with controlling inflammation and oxidative stress, which are factors that can increase the risk of various health conditions. Hence, eating sesame seeds can provide you a lot of health benefits.
Including various seeds in your plant-based diet can help to improve your general health by increasing nutrient availability. They can also help to lower the risk of a wide range of health conditions. Hence, make sure to include different seeds in your daily diet for promoting health.