Seeds may be small in size, but they’re quite large in nutritional value. From fiber to protein and antioxidants, they are full of nutrients that aid in health, digestion, and even weight loss. Here are just some of the many different seeds available in grocery stores that can add tons of flavor, texture, and nutritional punch to your meals and snacks.
1.Hemp Seed – one of the few complete protein plant foods, with a whopping 10g of protein per ounce. It is also a good source of healthy, polyunsaturated fats. Can be eaten as a seed or in oil form as a topping for salads.
Nutrition Facts (per 1 oz.) (shelled) – 160 calories, 13g fat, 2g carb, 1g of fiber, 10g protein
2. Sunflower Seed – one of the more popular seeds eaten right out of the shell. Rich source of vitamin E and folate. Can also be eaten as an oil on salads or sunflower seed butter, as a low allergen alternative to peanut butter.
Nutrition Facts (per 1oz.) – 160 calories, 14g fat, 7g carbs, 3g fiber, 5g protein
3. Poppy Seed – commonly found on top of fluffy bagels, poppy seeds also go well with lemon or beets. Good source of iron, protein and fiber.
Nutrition Facts (2 tbsp.) – 90 calories, 8g fat, 4g carb, 4g fiber, 4g protein
4. Mustard Seed – a top traded spice throughout the world, and one of the key ingredients in mustard. It has a good source of protein, and antioxidant selenium.
Nutrition Facts (2 tbsp.) – 100 calories, 6g fat, 8g carb, 4g fiber, 6g protein
5. Flax Seed – rich in fiber, heart healthy omega-3’s and antioxidants, classifying it as a true “Super Food.” Buy them ground or grind it in coffee grinder before consuming for maximum nutrient absorption. Add to yogurts, salad dressings, or in bread crumbs.
Nutrition Facts (2 tbsp. ground) – 70 calories, 6g fat, 4g carb, 4g fiber, 2g protein
6. Chia Seed – excellent source of magnesium, calcium, protein and fiber. Helps alleviate constipation in many people. Use it as a crunchy yogurt or salad topping, or blend in smoothie with fresh fruit and yogurt. Mixed with liquid, chia seeds can be used as an egg replacement for vegan baking.
Nutrition Facts (1 oz.) – 137 calories, 9g fat, 12g carb, 11g fiber, 4g protein
7. Pepita – also known as pumpkin seeds, this fall seed staple has a high source of monounsaturated fats, magnesium, phosphorous, iron and zinc. They taste best just plain roasted with salt and pepper, or atop salads or soups.
Nutrition Facts (1 oz.) – 151 calories, 13g fat, 5g carb, 1g fiber, 7g protein
8. Sesame seed – a common Asian ingredient, sesame seeds are good source of iron and calcium. Can be used as a topping for chicken or fish, stirred into salads, or in the form of tahini (see below for tahini recipe) in classic hummus dip.
Nutrition Facts (2 tbsp.) – 100 calories, 8g fat, 4g carb, 2g fiber, 4g protein
Maple-Tahini Salad Dressing:
Ingredients: 1 tbsp. tahini, 2 tsp. warm water, 1 tsp. red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, .5 tsp. pure maple syrup
Directions: Stir together in bowl.
Nutrition facts: 80 calories, 7g fat, 4g carb, 1g of sugar, 3g of protein