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Sharp Health News

5 seeds with superpowers (infographic)

March 13, 2018

Seeds — so small yet so versatile. You can roast them from your Halloween pumpkin, layer them into a parfait or add them to your favorite salad dressing. And thanks to a bevy of heart-healthy fats, you'll be doing your body a favor.

Ursula Ridens, a registered dietitian at Sharp HealthCare's Outpatient Nutrition Counseling Program, shares the benefits of eating seeds.

5 seeds with superpowers. The basics. Seeds are the reproductive part of a plant. They add hearty texture and flavor to meals, and are: A valuable plant-based protein source. Full of heart-healthy fats. High in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. seed varieties. Not all seeds were meant to be eaten (ahem, apples and oranges). But these 5 are healthy, tasty and available at your favorite grocery store. Chia seeds. Benefits: Omega-3 fatty acids for heart health and calcium for strong bones. Try them: As an oatmeal add-in, by soaking them overnight in water or almond milk. Fun fact: Chia seeds do not need to be ground for nutrients to be absorbed by the body. Flaxseeds. Benefits: Omega-3 fatty acids and lignans for heart health. Try them: Added into recipes for muffins, pancakes and bread. Fun fact: Grind flaxseeds, or buy flaxseed meal, to optimize health benefits. Sunflower seeds. Benefits: Potassium for blood pressure management and healthy bones. Try them: As a stand-alone snack or mixed into a yogurt parfait. Fun fact: Sunflower seeds are just as tasty (and better for you) without added salt. Pumpkin seeds. Benefits: Iron to make proteins that supply oxygen to the body. Try them: Sprinkled on soup and salads or added to your favorite trail mix. Fun fact: Pepitas are hulled pumpkin seeds. Poppy seeds. Benefits: Calcium helps nerves carry messages between the brain and body. Try them: In salad dressing or crushed as a breading for chicken. Fun fact: Some artisans use poppy seeds in soap to help with exfoliation. From the expert. One of my favorite ways to use seeds is as a topping to jazz up oatmeal and salads. They can easily turn a boring meal into something special. - Ursula Ridens, RD, outpatient dietitian at Sharp HealthCare.

View the printable version of this infographic.

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