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Home/Blog/Super Seeds: the 10 Healthiest Seeds to Get Into Your Diet

Super Seeds: the 10 Healthiest Seeds to Get Into Your Diet

By Joe Boland

May 30, 2024

Super seeds

Seeds are often thought of as the humble beginnings of plants, but don't let their size fool you. They are nutritional titans packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fiber.

These "super seeds" are a convenient and delicious way to upgrade your diet and help improve your health.

Which seeds are the best for health? The answer is it depends on your specific health goals.

For instance, what are the best seeds for supporting healthy weight management?

Seeds high in protein and fiber can help with healthy weight management by promoting feelings of fullness. Chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds are all excellent choices.

These seeds are high in fiber, which can help you feel full longer and reduce overall calorie intake. Additionally, their healthy fat content supports a healthy metabolism and energy levels.

In general, the best super seeds are nutrient-dense, offering a range of benefits that support overall health. They're commonly found in the Mediterranean diet.

Incorporating these super seeds into your diet can lead to numerous health benefits. Whether you sprinkle them on salads, blend them into smoothies or take them as supplements, these seeds are a powerful addition to a healthy lifestyle. As always, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen.

Let's dive in and discover the super seeds you should consider eating!

1. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and antioxidants. They absorb liquid and expand in your stomach, promoting feelings of fullness and aiding in healthy weight management.

A one-ounce serving of dried chia seeds (about 28.4 grams) contains about:

  • Calories: 137

  • Carbohydrates: 11.9 g

  • Fiber: 9.8 g

  • Fat: 8.7 g

  • Protein: 4.7 g

  • Manganese: 0.8 mg (35% DV*)

  • Copper: 0.3 mg (33% DV)

  • Phosphorus: 244 mg (20% DV)

  • Calcium: 179 mg (14% DV)

  • Zinc: 1.3 mg (12% DV)

*Daily Value: Percentages are based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day.

They are great for adding thickness and nutrients to smoothies and puddings. Try our Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding, Coconut Chia Protein Pancakes or Chia Seed Smoothie Bowl.

2. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are an excellent source of lignans, which have antioxidant properties. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, aiding in overall health.

A two-tablespoon serving of whole/unground flaxseed contains about:

  • Calories: 110

  • Carbohydrates: 6 g

  • Fiber: 6 g fiber

  • Fat: 8.5 g fat

  • Protein: 4 g

  • Manganese: 0.6 mg (26% DV)

  • Thiamine/vitamin B1: 0.4 mg (22% DV)

  • Magnesium: 80 mg (20% DV)

  • Phosphorus: 132 mg (14% DV)

  • Copper: 0.2 mg (12% DV)

  • Selenium: 5 mcg (8% DV)

Flaxseeds are best consumed ground, as whole seeds can pass through the digestive system undigested.

3. Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds provide a complete protein source, containing all nine essential amino acids. They are also rich in healthy fats and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.

A three-tablespoon of hulled hemp seeds (roughly 30 grams) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 166

  • Carbohydrates: 2.6 g

  • Fiber: 1.2 g

  • Fat: 14.6 g

  • Protein: 9.5 g

  • Manganese: 2.28 mg (99% DV)

  • Copper: 0.5 mg (56% DV)

  • Magnesium: 210 mg (50% DV)

  • Phosphorus: 495 mg (40% DV)

  • Thiamin: 0.38 mg (32% DV)

  • Zinc: 3 mg (27% DV)

  • Niacin: 2.76 mg (17% DV)

  • Iron: 2.4 mg (13% DV)

  • Potassium: 360 mg (8% DV)

  • Folate: 33 mcg (8% DV)

4. Pumpkin seeds

Packed with protein, healthy fats, magnesium, zinc and antioxidants, pumpkin seeds support prostate health, a healthy response to inflammation and heart health.

A one-ounce serving of dried, hulled pumpkin seeds (about 28 grams) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 163

  • Carbohydrates: 4.2 g

  • Fiber: 1.8 g

  • Fat: 13.9 g

  • Protein: 8.5 g

  • Manganese: 0.9 mg (43% DV)

  • Magnesium: 151 mg (38% DV)

  • Phosphorus: 332 mg (33% DV)

  • Iron: 4.2 mg (23% DV)

  • Copper: 0.4 mg (20% DV)

  • Vitamin K: 14.5 mcg (18% DV)

  • Zinc: 2.1 mg (14% DV)

5. Sunflower seeds

These seeds are a great source of vitamin E, selenium, protein and healthy fats. They support skin health, a healthy response to inflammation and proper, healthy immune system function.

A one-cup serving of of dried sunflower seeds with the hull (about 46 grams) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 269

  • Carbohydrates: 9.2 g

  • Fiber: 4 g

  • Fat: 23.7 g

  • Protein: 9.6 g

  • Vitamin E: 15.3 mg (76% DV)

  • Thiamine: 0.7 mg (45% DV)

  • Manganese: 0.9 mg (45% DV)

  • Copper: 0.8 mg (41% DV)

  • Magnesium: 150 mg (37% DV)

  • Selenium: 24.4 mcg (35% DV)

  • Vitamin B6: 0.6 mg (31% DV)

  • Phosphorus: 304 mg (30% DV)

  • Folate: 104 mcg (26% DV)

  • Niacin: 3.8 mg (19% DV)

  • Ninc: 2.3 mg (15% DV)

  • Iron: 2.4 mg (13% DV)

  • Riboflavin: 0.2 mg (10% DV)

Opt for raw or dry-roasted sunflower seeds for the most health benefits.

6. Sesame seeds

Rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, healthy fats and zinc, sesame seeds support bone health and a healthy response to inflammation.

They also contain a unique antioxidant called sesamin, which may help aid heart health.

A one-tablespoon serving of dried, whole sesame seeds (approximately nine grams) contains about:

  • Calories: 51.6

  • Carbohydrates: 2.1 g

  • Fiber: 1.1 g

  • Fat: 4.5 g

  • Protein: 1.6 g

  • Copper: 0.4 mg (18% DV)

  • Manganese: 0.2 mg (11% DV)

  • Calcium: 87.8 mg (9% DV)

  • Magnesium: 31.6 mg (8% DV)

  • Iron: 1.3 mg (7% DV)

They add a nice nutty flavor to dishes.

7. Quinoa

Technically a seed, quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids and rich in fiber, iron and magnesium. It supports muscle building, proper digestion and overall health.

A one-cup serving of cooked quinoa (about 185 grams) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 222

  • Carbohydrates: 39.4 g

  • Fiber: 5.2 g

  • Fat: 3.6 g

  • Protein: 8.1 g

  • Sodium: 13 mg (0.6% DV)

  • Manganese: 1.2 mg (52% DV)

  • Copper: 0.4 mg (44% DV)

  • Magnesium: 118 mg (28% DV)

  • Phosphorus: 281 mg (22% DV)

  • Folate: 77.7 mcg (19% DV)

  • Zinc: 2 mg (18% DV)

  • Thiamine: 0.2 mg (17% DV)

  • Iron: 2.8 mg (16% DV)

  • Riboflavin: 0.2 mg (15% DV)

  • Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg (12% DV)

  • Selenium: 5.2 mcg (9% DV)

Here are a few quinoa recipes to try:

8. Poppy seeds

High in calcium, phosphorus and iron, poppy seeds support bone health and have been traditionally used for their calming effects. They also provide a good amount of manganese.

A one-tablespoon serving of poppy seeds (around 8.8 grams) contains about:

  • Calories: 46

  • Carbohydrates: 2.5 g

  • Fiber: 1.7 g

  • Fat: 3.6 g

  • Protein: 1.6 g

  • Manganese: 0.6 mg (29% DV)

  • Calcium: 126 mg (13% DV)

  • Magnesium: 30.4 mg (8% DV)

  • Phosphorus: 76.1 mg ( 8% DV)

  • Copper: 0.1 mg (7% DV)

Try this lemon poppyseed muffins recipe with a homemade lemon glaze.

9. Cumin seeds

Known for their antioxidant and healthy inflammation response-promoting properties, cumin seeds can help with proper digestion, a healthy immune system response and weight management.

These seeds are rich in iron, manganese, protein and healthy fats.

A one-tablespoon serving of whole cumin seeds (roughly six grams) contains approximately:

  • Calories:22.5

  • Carbohydrates: 2.7 g

  • Fiber: 0.6 g

  • Fat: 1.3 g

  • Protein: 1.1 g

  • Iron: 4 mg (22% DV)

  • Manganese: 0.2 mg (9%vDV)

  • Magnesium: 22 mg (5% DV)

  • Calcium: 56 mg (4% DV)

Cumin is used in this classic hummus recipe.

10. Black seeds (nigella sativa)

Black seeds are known for their properties that support a healthy immune system. They contain thymoquinone, which has antioxidant effects.

A one-teaspoon serving of nigella seeds (about 3 grams) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 24

  • Carbohydrates: 3 g

  • Fat: 2 g

  • Protein: 1 g

  • Iron: 0.7 mg (4% DV)

They're also high in polyphenols, tocopherols, essential oils, alkaloids, saponins and fatty acids. Black seeds can be used to make MCT oil.

Supplements Made from Super Seeds

Is it healthy to eat seeds every day? Yes, it can be healthy to eat seeds every day.

Super seeds are packed with essential nutrients, including healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Including a variety of seeds in your daily diet can support overall health and well-being.

However, moderation is key. Seeds are calorie-dense, so be mindful of portion sizes.

Here are a few options to consider besides individual seeds:

  • Pre-mixed blends of super seeds: These blends typically combine chia, flax and hemp seeds, and may also include other ingredients like nuts or dried fruit.

  • Ground seed powders: Ground seed powders are a great way to add a boost of nutrients to smoothies, yogurt or baked goods.

  • Seed butters: Seed butters, such as sunflower seed butter or tahini (made from sesame seeds), are a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy the benefits of seeds.

For those who find it challenging to incorporate seeds into their daily diet, supplements can be an excellent alternative. Supplements made from super seeds are a convenient way to incorporate these tiny powerhouses into your diet. Look for supplements that contain a blend of different super seeds for a wider range of nutrients.

Here are some popular super seed-based supplement options:

  • Ancient Nutrition's Plant Protein (in chocolate, vanilla and berry flavors): Features superfood seeds like pumpkin, flax, hemp, chia, sunflower, watermelon and sacha inchi. Doesn't contain the isolates, grains, legumes or processed ingredients you’ll find in most plant-based protein powders. Uses coconut-based MCTs that is easily absorbed by the body to use as clean energy. Also uses a clinically studied, organic source of ashwagandha proven to help promote healthy energy.

  • Chia seed oil: Available in liquid or capsule form, chia seed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can help support heart health.

  • Flaxseed oil: Flaxseed oil supplements provide a concentrated amount of omega-3 fatty acids and can support heart health and a healthy response to inflammation.

  • Hemp protein powder: Hemp protein powder is a great source of plant-based protein, making it ideal for vegetarians and vegans.

  • Pumpkin seed extract: This supplement can support prostate health and provide a good amount of essential minerals, like magnesium and zinc.

  • Black seed oil: Black seed oil supplements are praised for their properties that support a healthy immune system and can help promote a healthy response to inflammation and aid skin health.

By incorporating super seeds into your diet, you're taking a step toward a healthier you. With their vast array of nutrients and health benefits, these tiny powerhouses are a delicious and convenient way to upgrade your meals and snacks.

So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring the world of super seeds today!

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