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Edible seeds are an important mainly for the essential fatty acids (EFA’s) they contain. EFA’s are polyunsaturated fats that the human body cannot produce, so they must be obtained from our diets. There are two groups of EFA’s; they are omega 3’s and omega 6’s. The omega 3 fatty acids are alpha linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The omega 6 essential fatty acids are linoleic acid (LA), gamalinolenic acid (GLA), and arachidonic acid (AA). These EFA’s found in seeds balance and regulate energy production, blood circulation, nerve function, inflammation, hormone regulation, recovery from exercise, immune function, cell growth, and much more. These edible seeds are a must in your diet.
Here, let us look at some of the most beneficial edible seeds and their properties.
Flax seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Flax seeds are also the richest source of compounds called lignans, which act as antioxidants in the body. So if you want to bring that extra glow to your skin, flax seeds can work wonders. Flax Seeds are also high in Fiber. This fiber is probably mainly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of flax. Fiber in the diet also helps stabilize blood sugar, and, of course, promotes proper functioning of the intestines.
Cumin seeds are source of iron, a mineral that plays many vital roles in the body. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. Additionally, iron is instrumental in keeping your immune system healthy. Iron is particularly important for menstruating women, who lose iron each month during menses. Additionally, growing children and adolescents have increased needs for iron, as do women who are pregnant or lactating. Cumin is an important flavor component in Indian, Middle-Eastern and Mexican cuisine and the seeds provide several minerals, including iron, copper, zinc and phosphorus. Try adding cumin seeds to rice or lentils during cooking to perk up the flavor.
Sesame seeds that are generally seen sprinkled for decoration on bagels and hamburger buns, are also a good source of the minerals copper and manganese, and they are higher in proteins as well. Sesame seeds are an important sources of Phyto-nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids, flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber with potential anti-cancer as well as health promoting properties.
Sunflower seeds are rich in healthy fats and also contribute zinc, folate and vitamin B6 to your body. Sunflower seeds also contain choline, a nutrient that supports cellular health and nervous system function. Benefit your skin and hair by eating sunflower seeds, a source of copper. Eating an ounce of hulled sunflower seeds provides you with 512 micrograms of copper, more than half of the 900 micrograms you need daily. Your body uses copper to make melanin, a pigment protein that helps give your skin and hair their color. Melanin molecules absorb ultraviolet radiation from the sun, protecting you from tissue damage as a result of sun exposure. Copper also supports your metabolism to help your cells produce energy.
Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family. And these little seeds have a unique quality, they are such a rich source of soluble fiber that they can absorb about 10 times their weight in water. If you put chia seeds into any liquid and let it sit for a few minutes, the liquid will thicken up quite a bit. Not only does this improve the texture, it can make the food more filling, too. Chia seeds are great for thickening up shakes. Soaked chia seeds can be added to meatballs or can be used to thicken up soups. Another interesting way to use chia seeds is that you can stir some into your homemade salad dressing.
To know more about these nutritious edible seeds, click here
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