Edible Seeds

Prepared red quinoa, a type of edible seed.

Plants consist of six major parts, with seeds being the dominate source of protein and calories for humans. Cereal is the most used seed as a food source globally, and is followed by legumes and nuts. When you eat edible seeds, you are getting protein, minerals, fiber, and vitamins that your body needs on a daily basis. They make a great snack food because it is very easy to grab a handful of edible seeds like pumpkin or sesame seeds to nibble on while taking a walk or hike, watching television, and even for your child’s lunchbox.

When you mention edible seeds to some people, they have the image in their mind of bird seed so they refuse to even consider eating them. If you are not eating edible seeds, you are missing out on many important vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function. There is also a compound in the plants that can help lower your cholesterol. To get all the great benefits from edible seeds, you only need to eat around two tablespoons a day.

You will also find two types of essential fatty acids in edible seeds which are omega-6 and omega-3. These two can help regulate and balance your:

  • Energy production
  • Nerve function
  • Inflammation
  • Blood circulation
  • Recovery from exercise
  • Hormone regulation
  • Cell growth
  • Immune function

Uses for Edible Seeds

Chia and flax seeds are two the of most popular edible seeds because they have little to no flavor and can be incorporated into a variety of products such as adding them to fruit smoothies, cookies, and bread. Poppy seeds are a good source of fiber and protein. Pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, they are often treated like nuts because they have a more distinctive flavor. You can stir these seeds into baked goods such as cookie dough, and in snack mixes like granola. If you are not sure if you will like any particular edible seed in cookies, bread, etc., bake a small batch to try it first.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are high in iron, zinc, a great source of magnesium, and protein. Magnesium is the mineral that will help build bone strength, reduce stress, and stabilize your blood pressure. They are high in anti-inflammatory agents and can help ease joint inflammation that is associated with arthritis. Pumpkin seeds are very versatile in which you can eat them toasted, grind them and put them in bread, pancakes, etc., or even eat them raw. If you want to roast pumpkin seeds, make sure that you rub them gently to get rid of the pulp and then soak them overnight in salt water. After taking them out of the salt water, let them dry until you are ready to roast them. To roast, them set your oven to two hundred seventy five degrees and put the seeds in a pan, pouring a little oil over them. Make sure that you stir them every five minutes and in thirty minutes, they are done.

Sunflower seeds

These are a very popular snack food and can easily be purchased in grocery stores, truck stops, and convenience stores. Sometimes, bird watchers use sunflower seeds to lure birds closer to get a better look at the birds or take pictures of them. They are delicious to eat and are full of vitamin E. You can get them in the shell, which you have to remove before getting to the seed, or you can purchase them with no shell. They are also loaded with the minerals manganese and magnesium. Eating them can help ward off sun damage from the UV rays and protects your cells from free radicals along with keeping you focused and alert.

Sesame seeds

These seeds are often sprinkled on finished dishes like salads, Asian stir fry, and bagels. They have a distinctive flavor, especially the oil, and when using them in dishes they can either make or break the dish. If you use too many sesame seeds you could overpower the smell and taste of the dish while not using enough can make achieving certain a flavor impossible. Sesame seeds are rich in magnesium, zinc, iron, and calcium. Eating sesame seeds can help to reduce the swelling and pain that people with rheumatoid arthritis experience. They can also help to prevent migraine headaches.

Poppy seeds

Poppy seeds have been used as a culinary spice since the middle ages and today it is used in gravies, confectioneries, and bagels. When added to food, they give a distinct taste and flavor. Poppy seeds are an excellent source of a variety of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc. They provide you with a good source of carbohydrates, which provides you with energy. The fatty acids aid in digestion and help to break down the food in your stomach. You can use them for baking, cooking, eat them raw or roasted, in salad dressings, or sprinkled on salads.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds have been eaten for thousands of years and are a bit like flax seeds. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds contain eighteen percent of your daily calcium needs, and eleven grams of fiber, half the amount you need each day. They have no flavor, so you can add them to anything without changing the flavor of the food. Because of all the nutrients in chia seeds, they are often said to be one of the easiest and the best super foods to eat. Including chia seeds in your diet can help you maintain your weight, benefit your heart, and help to combat diabetes. Make sure that you store chia seed whole in glass or plastic containers with secure lids in a dark, cool place.

Flax seeds

Flax seeds are native to India and are rich in antioxidants. They are found in many types of processed foods. In addition to the seeds, you can also find flax seed oil. Flax seeds are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids. The nutrients found in flax seeds are easily absorbed by your body. They are low in sodium and cholesterol, but are also a good source of copper, magnesium, and phosphorus. One of the main reasons to include flax seed in your diet is that they will help to reduce prostate problems, male infertility, and impotence. Eating flax seeds can reduce your chances of developing skin cancer, endometrial cancer, and colon cancer. They can also be incorporated in a vegetarian diet.

Papaya seeds

In Hawaii, papaya seeds are ground up and used in salad dressings like you would use pepper. Papaya seeds are thought to have a wide range of medicinal uses from easing the pain of arthritis to having anti-bacterial and anti-cancerous properties. Some people do not like to eat the seeds because they have a peppery taste that is bold while some like to grind the seeds to use in desserts or bread.

Pomegranate seeds

Pomegranate seeds are rich in nutrients like potassium, vitamins B complex, K, and C, calcium, iron, protein, and folic acid. Eating the seed can help to strengthen your immune system and can help protect your body from different diseases and infections. Eating pomegranate seeds can trigger the production of good cholesterol and reduce the bad cholesterol levels. The seeds are a rich source of phytochemicals, which can help to prevent cancer by curbing the development and growth of unhealthy cells that can be cancerous in nature.

Watermelon seeds

When most people think of watermelon seeds they do not think of them as something to eat, but instead think of them as something to spit out. Actually, after they have been dried and roasted they make a great snack food. These seeds are very high in protein with one cup roasted watermelon seeds providing you with sixty-one percent of the daily recommended amount of protein. The seeds are also loaded with many of the B vitamins such as vitamin B6. The most abundant mineral in watermelon seeds is magnesium along with a good source of saturated fat. The only downside is if you eat a cup of watermelon seeds, you will be eating over six hundred calories. To roast watermelon seeds, you use only the black seeds. Put them in a colander and rinse them to get off all of the pulp. Lay them out to dry completely, inside or outside in the sun. When they are dry, put them in a frying pan and cook them on medium, turning them until they are roasted. Add a cup of water in which a tablespoon of salt has been dissolved and stir until water evaporates. Allow them to cool completely and then open the shells and enjoy.

Cantaloupe seeds

For centuries, people in China and the Middle East have been eating toasted cantaloupe seeds as a snack. There are many health benefits that you can get from eating cantaloupe seeds. When eating cantaloupe seeds, you get protein, carbohydrates, and fats. They are high in fiber and are beneficial to intestinal health and have the ability to purge your body of excess congestion and phlegm. They are rich in vitamins C and A. Whether you eat the cantaloupe or the seeds, you get the same nutritional values. The proteins you get from cantaloupe seeds help maintain healthy nails and hair and help to build hormones and enzymes that your body needs.

Acorn squash seeds

Acorn squash is considered a winter squash and are dark green on the outside with a vivid orange yellow flesh. Roasted acorn squash seeds are a healthy snack and give you a satisfying crunch. They are a good source of unsaturated fat and protein, and can be used as a replacement for some of the carbohydrates in your diet. By eating these seeds, you will be able to increase the amount of fiber you get daily and several key minerals such as zinc, potassium, and iron. There are trace amounts of vitamins A and C, niacin, and folate. To roast acorn squash seeds, you need to make sure that you rinse them very well to get rid of any pulp. Dry them and then scatter them on a baking sheet that has been greased. Drizzle oil over the seeds and toss them to coat them with oil. Sprinkle them with sea salt along with your favorite dried herbs like thyme or rosemary. You need to roast them in an oven set at three hundred seventy five degrees for about ten to fifteen minutes or until they turn a golden brown. When cooled, store them in an air tight container.

Lotus seeds

The seeds from the lotus flower can either be eaten raw or cooked. In Chinese medicine, they are valued for their healing and nutritional properties. Eating lotus seeds will give you a great source of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and protein. They are low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat. Lotus seeds do contain anti-aging properties and today many cosmetic companies are trying to find ways to use the seeds in anti-aging blends. Lotus seeds contain a natural flavonoid that helps to prevent inflammation and can help repair aging gum tissues.

Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds are a plant protein that give you all the essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own. These essential amino acids help to create protein and build muscle. Your immune system gets a boost from the fatty acids along with being a vegetarian source of omega-3. Omega-3 can help fight off heart disease, and help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It has a slight nutty flavor and can be sprinkled into cereal, smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt. When you eat hemp seeds you do not need to worry about failing any drug tests because the seeds may look like marijuana, but they come from a different species.

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