Seeds and grains are among the essential foods that should be consumed in daily basis. It is easy to add grains to daily diet because some grains like rice and wheat are considered as staple foods. The real challenge is when you should add seeds to your regular diet because most people consider seeds as snack or something to add to the salad’s dressing without knowing the prominent role of seeds for body metabolism.
What Are Seeds and Grains?
Well, as mentioned above grains are more familiar than seeds because grains like rice and wheat were well-known as staple foods. However, there are more grains than just rice and wheat, even rice is still divided into several types of rice. Some example of seeds are like poppy seeds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds while the example of grains are like oats, quinoa, farro, barley, white rice, amaranth and so on. Those seeds and grain are just some of well-known seeds and grains people could easily find in the nearby market. However, there are some seeds and grains such as black oil sunflower seeds or black gram dal are types of seeds and grains that only could be found in specific places or countries.
Nutritional Values of Seeds and Grains
When it comes to the nutritional values found in seeds and grains, the best way to describe it is seeds and grains are the easiest access to the best nutrients especially fiber, omega-3 fatty acid, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other organic compounds were easily found in seeds and grains. The list of health benefits of seeds and grains below will tell you more about why it is very essential and important to add seeds and grains to the daily diet.
- Poppy Seeds
Do you know that just a tiny spoon of poppy seeds, you could fulfill your daily intake of some essential minerals up to 4%? It means, poppy seeds may optimize the production of RBCs, promote healthy bone and oral organs. Moreover, poppy seeds are also great source of fiber and omega 3 fatty acid.
- Pine Nuts
Nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin E, vitamin B complex (thiamin, riboflavin and niacin), minerals (copper, manganese, iron and phosphorus) are the reasons why pine nuts are among the high recommended seeds to be added to regular diet.
- Sesame Seeds
Those who have cholesterol problem may add sesame seeds to their daily diet to help managing the level of cholesterol. The health benefits of sesame seeds to lower cholesterol level has been proven scientifically through a study published in 2015 by Nutrition Research. One more thing, the nutty flavor of sesame seeds makes this type of seeds excellent substitute for those who are allergic to nuts.
- Sunflower Seeds
One of the main health benefits of sunflower seeds are this type of seeds are excellent source of healthy fats. Not only that, sunflower seeds are also the richest source of vitamin E which is good for cell regeneration.
- Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds could be added to cereal or mixed it as smoothies. Hemp seeds are excellent sources of certain minerals such as zinc, iron and magnesium. Moreover, hemp seeds are also natural source of omega-3 fatty acids. The European Journal of Nutrition has stated that hemp seeds are great to reduce hypertension.
- Flax Seeds
Aside from the main health benefits of flax seeds for skin and hair, these seeds are also great for brain. It is because flax seeds are excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids; type of healthy fats that are great for brain and nervous system. Some studies also stated about the possibility of flax seeds to fight the development of cancerous cells due to its amazing amount of antioxidants.
- Pomegranate Seeds
The unique thing about fruit like pomegranate is instead of the meat, the seeds contain more nutrients. A half cup of pomegranate seeds are enough to fulfill your daily intake of fiber up to 3.5 grams, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Pumpkin Seeds
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommended pumpkin seeds as healthy snacks to replace the unhealthy salted snacks like potato chips. Pumpkin seeds contain healthy fats, protein, potassium and magnesium that are essential for metabolism.
- Wild Rice
Wild rice is not grain but seeds because it is obtained from a grass seed. Moreover, compared to other type of grains, wild rice contains 30 times higher of antioxidants. Wild rice is also excellent source of fiber and vitamin B complex, especially folate. That is why wild rice is highly recommended to be consumed during pregnancy.
- Chia Seeds
Those who are currently in weight loss program must have been familiar with chia seeds. These seeds are not only excellent source of iron and calcium but also where you should go for plant-based protein which is excellent to lose weight without losing your muscle tone and strength.
Amaranths are commonly mistaken as seeds but amaranths are actually grains or at least pseudo-grains because though it is not really grains but the nutrients are similar to whole-grains. Amaranth is gluten-free, high in protein and fiber, so it is perfect option of staple foods for vegetarians.
The list of health benefits of quinoa for breakfast is probably endless because it is one of the healthiest grains on earth which is not only healthy but also super tasty. Quinoa is an excellent source of plant-based protein that is great to boost energy and stamina. Just like any other seeds and grain, quinoa is also excellent source of fiber.
There are a lot of options of healthy breakfast but oats are the easiest and the tastiest option. Oats are excellent source of fiber and antioxidants. It is also excellent energy booster due to its healthy amount of carbohydrate, which is why oats are best to be consumed for breakfast.
When it comes to the type of grains that are rich of fiber and protein, farro is the best option in this matter. Not only that, farro is also type of foods you should eat for valuable amount of minerals like iron and magnesium.
One of the health benefits of barley seeds are great source of fiber. It is a common knowledge that the health benefits of fiber is to promote healthy digestive system and one of the super foods highly recommended to be consumed in daily basis.
Bulgur is one of the types of grains that could be easily prepared as short as 30 minutes. According to some scientific studies, bulgur is great to reduce the symptoms of high blood pressure and prevent conditions like heart attack and stroke because bulgur is high in fiber, vitamin B complex and manganese.
Those are just the 18 seeds and grains that could be easily found in the nearby market. However, if you are living in India you could add more list of seeds and grains you could find your country such as black gram dal, ragi and so on. In short, health benefits of seeds and grains are endless because the choice of seeds and grains are also endless.