When determining the best foods for a healthy lifestyle, experts agree that you should focus on nutritional density over calories. Seeds and nuts are highly regarded by nutritionists because they pack a ton of essential minerals, proteins, fiber, and healthy fats into small portions. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of specific seeds and nuts.
Flax seeds contain lignans and omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation. If you’re looking for a more natural solution for aches and pains post-workout, try blending flax seeds into a smoothie or recovery shake. Flax seeds score the highest of any seed on the ANDI scale (a ranking system based on nutrient density), which makes them a great choice for those looking to add nutrients into their diet.
Chia seeds are powerful little seeds full of bone-enhancing calcium, fiber, protein, and many other nutritional necessities. Chia seeds can easily be added to salads, homemade snack bars, and yogurt. Best of all, almost all the carbs in chia seeds are fiber, which isn’t absorbed by the body.
Pistachios provide the body with essential B vitamins and are thought to help lower cholesterol. Pistachios are a particularly tasty snack, and many companies package them in snack-size portions to take on the go. If you are trying to control your weight, pistachios are a smart snack choice because they give you tons of nutrients and are also very filling, which helps satisfy hunger between larger meals.
Sesame seeds are great for improving bone health, reducing inflammation, and help reduce migraine headaches, PMS, and arthritis symptoms. Sesame seeds taste great when added to batter for homemade breads and muffins or sprinkled over your favorite salad.
Pecans pack a similar punch to others in this list with anti-inflammatory qualities, tons of fiber, and help with weight control. But these nuts also aid in bone and teeth health, and research suggests they even reduce the risk of breast cancer. Whether they’re in a loaf of bread or a snack bag, pecans are equally delicious and nutritious.
It’s easy to add seeds and nuts into your favorite foods for an extra punch of essential nutrients in your diet. Seeds are easy to find, and many groceries stores stock seeds in self-serve containers so you always have the right amount on hand. How do you incorporate seeds and nuts into your diet?