What is a niger seed? Niger seed, or otherwise known as nyjer or thistle seeds, is actually a bird food that resembles black rice. Despite its name, it has no reference to a country or even that offensive racial term.
In fact, it first originates in the highlands of Ethiopia, a country in eastern Africa, and it has since been introduced to its neighbouring countries such as Nigeria, Malawi, to the extend of India and Southeast Asia.
Anyway, what is actually the niger seed? And what are the health benefits of niger seeds?
What are Niger Seeds?
The niger seed is a fine tiny seed that is black in colour. It usually sprouts into a yellowish flower that has the scientific name “Guizotia abyssinica”, or simply referred to as the “niger flower.” Interestingly, despite having “thistle seeds” as its alias, however thistle seeds are actually a whole different thing.
Niger seeds are traditionally used as bird food. Often, when there are no other options available, birds will almost exclusively rely their diet on niger seeds. The niger seeds’ size is perfect for small birds that have smaller, sharp and pointy beaks, such as finches, redpolls, sparrows, siskins, dove and pigeons.
Apart from its traditional bird feeding purpose, niger seeds have also made its way towards human usage, seen from its uses in oils, spices, as well as medicines. Here we will discuss the health benefits of niger seeds in the form of oil.
Nutritional Facts of Niger Seeds
- Fats – 35%
- Protein – 18%
- Fibre – 18%
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid – 14%
- Linoleic Acid – 13%
- Sugar – 12%
- Glucose – 12%
- Stearic Acid – 11%
- Oleic Acid – 10%
- Ascorbic Acids – 9%
- Riboflavin – 9%
- Magnesium – 8%
- Niacin – 8%
- Potassium – 7%
- Calcium – 5%
- Sodium – 4%
- Carbohydrates – 3%
- Copper – 2%
- Zinc – 2%
What are the Health Benefits of Niger Seeds?
Here are all the health benefits of niger seeds:
- Prevents Common Gastrointestinal Problems
Common gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, cramps, hemorrhoids, constipation as well as stomach upsets is partly caused by processed foods as well as artificial sources of sugar. Nutrition experts recommend the regular use of niger seed oil for this matter because it will help get rid of those digestive issues above. On the other hand, it will also help to eliminate the bad bacteria inside your gut.
- A Successful Immunity Booster
It has become common knowledge that your immune system needs the help of antioxidant to drive away viruses, bacteria or diseases from infecting. Niger oil can perform this role well because it has anti-parasite properties. For improving immunity, you can have a dose of niger seed oil after meals or simply use it as a salad dressing. Consume it daily for the best results.
- Useful for Gaining Weight
Not only being overweight or obese that is life threatening, it turns out that being underweight also carries the same danger. Sometimes, it gets hard for us to gain weight due to genetics, body structure, or suffering from certain conditions.
If you think that weight gaining sounds fun because you can eat all processed and junk foods all you want, you will end up in unhealthy fats. Instead, having doses of niger seed oil can be done to obtain healthy fats. Not only it is light, but then it also absolutely fat and calorie-free.
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- An Anti-Inflammatory Agent
Just like health benefits arnica, niger seed oil can be an anti-inflammatory solution for arthritis, gout, rheumatism, or high blood pressure. It works by fighting off free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Before consuming this oil for this particular purpose, it is best for you to consult this with your doctor first.
- Triggers Sleep
Minerals such as zinc, potassium as well as magnesium are necessary for the nervous system to prevent the development of sleep issues. You can either consume or apply niger seed oil regularly into your temple to create a relaxing atmosphere so that you can fall asleep easily.
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- An Alternative for Skin Treatment
Niger seed oil also turns out to be a wonderful topical solution for cuts, scars, burns, rashes or skin irritation. The antioxidants inside the oil speeds up the healing process, soothe any inflammations, and prevent further infections.
- Treats Symptoms of Cough and Common Cold
Here is one traditional function of the niger seed oil. Cough and common cold can be cured easily by applying the oil into your chest, back or temple and massage it afterwards to get a fast relief from the condition. [AdSense-C]
- Supports a Healthy Blood Circulation and Heart Health
Regular consumption of niger seed oil also support a healthy blood circulation. On the other hand, it is also useful for the overall cardiovascular condition, thanks to the plenty reserve of linoleic acid and omega 3-acid it has. It works by constantly removing fats that stick into your arteries with the help of niger seed oil nutrients.
Daily consumption of it can guard you from atherosclerosis development in the short term as well as strokes and heart attack symptoms in the long term.
- A Successful Pain Killer
Niger seed oil also works as an analgesic, which is the medical term used to describe having the properties to relieve pain. It is indeed a safe and natural therapy to ward off headaches, backaches, or any other bodily aches.
- Speeds Up Healing
Niger seed oil also contains protein, fibre, riboflavin, vitamin C, as well as other carbohydrates that may come in handy for the healing process by healing and promoting the redevelopment of cells and tissues. When recovering from a serious injury or surgery, consumption of niger seed oil may provide this purpose well.
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Those are the health benefits of niger seed oil. Hope it works well on you!