Small but mighty, seeds are a very healthy addition to your meals and a diet-friendly snack that aids weight loss. They are packed with protein and fibre to keep you feeling full longer. Plus, they’re a great plant-based source of nutrients.
Here are the top seven super seeds to add to your weight-loss diet.
Read the condensed version of this story, and other top stories with NewsLite. 1. Sesame seeds
PHOTO: Pixabay These crunchy seeds have a nutty aroma and are often found on bagels , hamburger buns and sushi rolls . While sesame seeds are not in the limelight as much as their counterparts, they are in no way inferior.
They contain calcium, magnesium, Vitamin E and zinc, which is needed for metabolism and good blood sugar regulation. Sesame seeds also contain fiber that helps keep you full longer and regulates digestion.
Also, according to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, sesame seeds are able to increase the capacity of antioxidants and reduce oxidative stress markers among individuals. Try: Sesame chicken with soba noodles
PHOTO: BauerSyndication Sesame-coated chicken is delicious and easy to make. Serve it with a yummy bowl of soba noodles for a wholesome dinner or lunch.
Get recipe 2. Flax seeds
PHOTO: Pixabay Low in sugar and starch and packed with proteins, flax seeds can help suppress your appetite and prevent you from overeating. These antioxidant-rich seeds are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid.
ALA can improve cardiovascular health and a study published in an international journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biochimie, revealed that ALA has the potential to lower the risk of stroke .
Flax seeds also contain more lignans than any other plant foods. Lignan is a type of plant compound, which is believed to be able to fight cancer by preventing the growth of tumour cells.
A popular way to consume flax seeds is to bake them into muffins or cookies. You can also go for healthier options like sprinkling them over your salads or fruits. Try: Chocolate energy drink
PHOTO: BauerSyndication This healthy version of iced chocolate uses ground flax seeds, pitted dates, banana, chocolate or almond milk and cocoa powder. Add a pinch of sea salt for extra taste.
Get recipe 3. Sunflower seeds
PHOTO: Pixabay For those who are allergic to nuts , sunflower seeds can be a good substitute and make for a great low-carb snack.
These crunchy and nutty seeds are versatile and can be easily added into foods like yogurt and salad. They contain protein and fiber, plus B vitamins, which are all very important for burning calories and keeping you full.
Sunflower seeds are also filled with Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant to combat toxins and inflammation , so long as you eat them raw, not roasted, say nutritionists.
A study by Texas A&M University found that dogs supplemented with sunflower seeds saw improvements in their skin and hair coat, and researchers believe that humans can reap the same benefits from the consumption of sunflower seeds.
But be careful when you are picking out sunflower seeds as commercialised ones are usually heavily laden with sodium to enhance their flavours.
ALSO READ: Jialat, these 10 health foods not as healthy as you think 4. Chia seeds
PHOTO: Pixabay Did you know that chia seeds are full of fiber, omega 3 fats, magnesium, potassium, iron and are relatively low in fat? And don’t underestimate these tiny seeds, they are able to absorb up to 10 times their weight in water.
The high water content and fibre in chia seeds will also help you to feel full for longer. While chia seeds may not have much taste on their own, you can add a dash of it to your favourite fruits, smoothies, puddings (the possibilities are endless, really) to jazz up your foods and make them healthier. Try: Tofu And Chia Stir-Fry
PHOTO: BauerSyndication Add chia seeds to your next stir-fry with this wholesome tofu dish. It can be enjoyed as a light meal, or as a side dish. 5. Pumpkin seeds
PHOTO: Pixabay High in magnesium, iron and zinc, pumpkin seeds are a natural way to boost your mood, lower cholesterol and burn fat. Zinc helps the body produce the muscle forming and fat burning hormone testosterone. It also increases lean muscle mass and keeps your blood sugar steady.
Known as a rich source of magnesium, two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds contain about 25 per cent of the daily recommended dietary allowance. It is also exceptionally high in zinc to boost your body’s immune system . Pumpkin seeds are also said to be able to induce better sleep due to the presence of the amino acid tryptophan.
A study published in the journal Nutritional Neurosciencesuggests that tryptophan consumed with carbohydrate is comparable to pharmaceutical grade tryptophan, which can help you fall asleep more quickly. Try: Cauliflower, broccoli & chicken salad PHOTO: BauerSyndication This colourful dish makes healthy eating fun! It includes one tablespoon of toasted pumpkin seeds. 6. Pomegranate seeds PHOTO: Pixabay A great way to sweeten up your foods without the calories, pomegranate seeds are rich in vitamin C, potassium and fibre. It helps to trigger feelings of satiety so you don’t over-eat, making this delicious fruit good for weight management.A 2011 study by the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands showed that mice that were obese and insulin-resistant showed a “significant decrease in body fat” after being fed with pomegranate seed oil for 12 weeks.Besides this, a surprising benefit of pomegranate is that it is able to improve memory.A study published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine revealed that participants who consumed pomegranate over a period of four weeks performed better in verbal and visual memory tasks. Add pomegranate seeds to the list of brain foods you should be eating too! ALSO READ: 8 healthy foods you’d never guess have the same amount of calories as fast food Try: Easy couscous salad PHOTO: BauerSyndication The pomegranate seeds look like little red rubies in this couscous salad. […]