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Exploring the Health Benefits of Seeds

By , Managing Editor
Thursday, April 26, 2012
1.Now Foods White Chia Seed Meal

When it comes to getting the most nutrition in the smallest package, the seeds have it. Yes, those tiny trail mix components that sprout some of our favorite fruits, vegetables and herbs are at their most potent before they even hit the dirt.

As for how to add seeds to your diet, there are endless options. Seeds are available in their whole form, ground into meal or as capsules, tablets or oils. In whole form, they can be added to blended drinks after grinding, sprinkled onto salads and stirred into yogurt for added flavor and nutritional benefit. Oils can also be added to drinks, drizzled over veggies or added to sauces.

Shopping for Seeds
The birds were certainly onto something when they turned to seeds. They can promote cardiovascular and cognitive wellness while helping with digestive issues. Here's a list of the best seeds for your health:

  • Celery -- Try using celery seeds in place of salt. They add great flavor without causing excess water retention by dehydrating you. This seed is also beneficial for joint health because of its phytochemical compounds.
  • Cardamom -- Cardamom is a go-to for digestive issues, helping your body properly digest food and easing symptoms of indigestion. Part of what makes gas and bloating uncomfortable are the spasms, which can be prevented with cardamom seeds.
  • Anise -- This seed is commonly eaten after meals to prevent gas and reduce any abdominal discomfort including cramps, bloating and nausea. It tastes a lot like licorice.
  • Fennel -- Also with a licorice taste, fennel can be used for digestive health. Specifically, fennel can soothe the esophagus to ease the symptoms of heartburn while reducing stomach acid and inflammation.
  • Flax -- Hands down one of the favorites, flax seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as fiber and protein. This powerful seed can help with ailments ranging from high blood pressure to arthritis. Flax seed oil helps with both cognitive and cardiovascular health.
  • Caraway -- These seeds have been trusted since antiquity to help with digestion and other abdominal woes. They are loaded with protein, fiber and vitamins and can help with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcers. Caraway has also been shown to suppress appetite in overweight individuals.
  • Pumpkin -- The oil of pumpkins seeds has been praised for boosting memory while supporting prostate health. Pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which promote cognitive function as well as the key mineral zinc. 
  • Chia -- These tiny seeds have been praised as a superfood lately for their multitude of benefits. Rich in minerals, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, these little seeds boost energy, support digestion, keep your brain healthy and help you lose weight as a rich source of fiber, to help you feel full longer.
  • Fenugreek -- This seed is commonly used in curries to add bright flavor, but fenugreek is also great for digestion. It can be used as a natural laxative that helps promote mucus production to lubricate the intestines. Fenugreek has also been credited with lowering "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and helping regulate blood sugar.
Some of these seeds taste more nutty while others have a more herbaceous flavor. No matter which seed you choose, you will be doing your body a favor by adding seeds to your diet. And don't worry, you won't be sprouting any little green plants in your tummy.

Products you may like:

Now Foods Organic Flax Seed Meal  Now Foods Organic Flax Seed Meal 
Why you may like this product? Now's organic meal is cold- pressed to maintain its optimal nutritional profile and is a tasty way to add omega-3s to your diet. Add the meal to your morning cereal or yogurt to stay your day off right.
Barlean's Organic Chia Seed  Barlean's Organic Chia Seed 
Why you may like this product? Called the "ancient Aztec superfood," these seeds have been trusted for centuries as a quality source of nutrition. With fiber, amino acids and essential fatty acids, chia seeds make a great addition to your diet. If you are watching your weight, these seeds are a must because they are rich in fiber, which expands to keep you full.
Solaray Celery Seed  Solaray Celery Seed 
Why you may like this product? Help support your joints with celery seed. Solaray has taken whole celery seeds to create this effective joint supplement to help reduce pain and inflammation and promote comfortable movement.
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