October 12th, 2012

A Guide to Edible Seeds

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Groovy Green Livin A Guide to Edible seeds

Edible seeds have been making their way into my smoothies, soups and chili over the past few weeks. The assortment of edible seeds that lines my kitchen cabinets continues to grow as I learn more and more about the incredible health benefits associated with these seeds. Having a Blendtec certainly helps since I’m able to ground up the seeds in a way that I wasn’t able to with my regular blender. Here’s the low down on the edible seeds in my cabinets.

Chia seeds

Groovy Green Livin Chia Seeds

Chia seeds happen to be my new favorite edible seeds. Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family.

  • Chia seeds are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids-even more so than flax seeds and salmon.
  • They are rich in antioxidants
  • One serving size includes 18 percent of recommended daily calcium and four grams of protein
  • They’re low in cholesterol and sodium.
  • There’s been talk that chia seeds aid in weight loss, but the evidence in inconclusive.
  • Chia seeds are packed with fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, iron,  niacin, and zinc.
Flax seeds
Groovy Green Livin flax seeds
Flax seeds pack a big nutritional punch.  They have a crunchy and chewy texture and a slight nutty flavor.
  • They are chock full of nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals and essential vitamins.
  • They are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber.
  • High in B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese.
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are a key force against inflammation in our bodies.
Sesame seeds
Groovy Green Livin sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are thought to be one of the first condiments as well as one of the first plants to be used for edible oil.

  • High in omega-6 fatty acids, flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants, vitamins and dietary fiber.
  • Sesame seeds are especially rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acid oleic acid. Oleic acid helps to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” in the blood.
  • Good source of protein.
  • 100 g of sesame contains 97 mcg of folic acid.
  • They are filled with potent anti-cancer and health promoting properties.
Pumpkin seeds
Groovy Green Livin pumpkin seeds
This time of year pumpkin seeds can be found everywhere. Don’t toss those seeds. Roast or toast those seeds with a little salt or spice and you’ll have a delicious snack. Pumpkin seeds are known for their many health benefits.
  • Pumpkin seeds are a great source of anti-oxidant vitamin E.
  • They are also know for being a valued as a source of the mineral zinc.
  • They are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other health promoting antioxidants.
  • Pumpkin seeds have a high dose of essential minerals like copper, manganese,potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
Edible seed tip: buy organic when you can.
What other types of edible seeds do you use?

photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin ccphoto credit: little blue hen via photopin ccphoto credit: HealthAliciousNess via photopin cc, photo credit: katherine.a via photopin ccphoto credit: justgrimes via photopin cc

20 Responses to “A Guide to Edible Seeds”

  1. I would add hemp seeds to this list. Have you tried them? Great to eat on their own or mixed with food.
    Micaela @MindfulMomma recently posted..Get Your Zen On with Yuzen Box {Giveaway!}My Profile

  2. Ooh, I love this list. I am totally on a chia seed kick lately!
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies recently posted..What I Ate This Week | Green Tomatoes Meet Guacamole!My Profile

  3. I add sunflower seeds to my trail mix, but I admit that I know nothing of their nutritional benefits! I just know they taste good. 🙂

  4. I love pumpkin seeds (actually, everything about carving pumpkins makes me happy). I’ve been curious about popping seeds like amaranth and millet. I am a fan of popcorn, so other popped seeds could be an easy way for me to get more diversity into my diet.
    Jennifer @noteasy2begreen recently posted..Breaking up with eco-perfectionismMy Profile

  5. Love seeds. Besides those in your post and in the comments, I can’t think of any more, but these are all delicious and nutritious!
    Brenna @ Almost All The Truth recently posted..The Train is Part of the JourneyMy Profile

  6. I have pigweed growing in my garden bed. It is a wild edible plant. “These seeds may be eaten raw, cooked as hot cereal or mush, ground into flour, popped like popcorn, or any number of ways (Kindscher 1987: 19). Amaranth seeds are high in protein (15 to 16 %), high in fiber content (~8%), and contain nutritionally significant levels of Vitamins A and C (Mallory 2007: 57). The greens are rich in iron, calcium, niacin, and vitamins A and C (Hodgson 2001: 78).”
    http://www.aihd.ku.edu/foods/Pigweed.html

  7. Squash seeds of any kind are as wonderful as punkin seeds…also poppy seeds, grape seeds, apple seeds, citrus fruit seeds

  8. Thanks Jeannie-so many seeds!

  9. I have been using them more and more Brenna. Chia are my fav right now!

  10. I love pumpkins to Jennifer. Interesting question about popping-I’m not sure. Seems as though popping other seeds should be an option. We’ll have to look into that.

  11. Hi Andrea! I love sunflower seeds. They are great for you-they are very high in vitamin E. I should add those to the list!

  12. Me too Kiersten. I love them in everything!

  13. I haven’t tried hemp seeds Micaela. I’ll have to add them to the list. Thanks!

  14. Sunflower seeds are great too and you can roast them just like you roast pumpkin seeds. Can add a bit of chilli pepper powder if you want to give them a kick.

  15. Great idea for spicing up your sunflower seeds. Thanks Mickey!

  16. Buckwheat! (um, not the character.) How many love kasha? I use buckwheat as a gluten free flour. Also quiona is a seed. @Kandis, I grow amaranth. Amazing flower and seeds.
    Anna@Green Talk recently posted..Crockpot No Sugar Applesauce: No Additives. Just Good TastingMy Profile

  17. Love the site! Chia seeds are a great way to stay hydrated and provide a natural energy boost at the same time. They absorb up to 12x their weight in water so if you soak them for at least 10 minutes before eating they’ll plump up and slowly release their water into your system. They also have enough low fat calories to provide a pick-me up and are great to eat before exercising. Thanks again for sharing.
    Chris recently posted..Weight Loss and Chia SeedsMy Profile

  18. Thanks for the additional info Chris!

  19. I am really inspired together with your writing abilities as smartly as with the format for your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you modify it yourself? Anyway stay up the excellent high quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  20. […] seeds have slowly made there way onto my growing list of edible seeds. Most of these edible seeds have made their way into my smoothies (my Blendtec has been getting an […]

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Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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