The prices of the nuts have soared recently due to the crisis in Afghanistan, and a lot of people are looking at alternatives for dry fruits. Roasted seeds are great substitutes!
They are underrated and unfortunately, have been ignored for way too long. But they can do wonders to our overall health. Good news is that we can eat them in small amounts to score big benefits! They are also delicious, and there is the added benefit of crunch in our meals.
The benefits are huge! They can be a great alternative to nuts because they too deliver similar nutrients, and are loaded with antioxidants and good fats.
Exotic and expensive seeds like chia seeds and hemp are not the only options. You can incorporate easily available indigenous seeds consciously in your diet daily. Go on, pick your favourite or take turns eating all of them!
Sesame To Save Your Heart
Very high in powerful antioxidants and naturally balanced in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, sesame seeds are excellent for beating heart disease.
Their high vitamin B content makes them good for our skin, and helps keep diabetes and cancer at bay too.
Plus they also have good amount of calcium and also contains linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that may help control harmful cholesterol.
They also contain two special kinds of lignins – sesamin and sesamolin – which have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering and high blood pressure prevention effect.
Sunflower for Healthy Skin & Hair
No, they are not yellow. In fact sunflower seeds are grayish-green or black and packed with polyunsaturated fat and vitamin E (an antioxidant that also protects your cells from damage, helps maintain healthy hair and skin).
This translates to lower blood cholesterol levels naturally. These also have magnesium, which is great for your bones, and folate. Sunflower seeds also help detox and cleanse your body.
Pumpkin for Boosting Immunity
They have a slight crunch, green colour, and a nutty flavour. Most people find these seeds really tasty.
Extremely rich in iron, magnesium, and zinc, these are loaded with antioxidants known as carotenoids, which enhance immunity.
It is highly concentrated in an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps lower anxiety. The are also loaded with B vitamins. So, next time, instead of popping B supplements, you should rather crunch on a tablespoon of these seeds.
Flax for Preventing Cancer
For those who are vegetarians or don’t like the taste of fish, flax seeds can be a saviour as these are loaded with the super healthy ingredient, the super fats – Omega 3’s.
Also known as alsi seeds has alpha-linolenic acid, which is the precursor to the omega-3 fatty acid family. Apparently alsi is already popular in India in some parts (remember eating alsi laddos and chutneys?).
Plus it also has cancer-thwarting compounds called lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that reduce disease-causing inflammation and has been found specially beneficial in preventing breast cancer.
A Japanese study has also found that people with significant depression also suffer from lower levels of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentanoic acids, both of which are found in flax (besides fish and walnuts).
In a nutshell, seeds are packed with mighty minerals, digestion friendly fibre, good quality vegetarian protein, lots of vitamins, mood boosters and loads of disease preventing components. So, eat them everyday!
Try These Recipes
Mix ½ cup of sunflower seeds (they are sweet and buttery) with a pinch each of salt, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon. Dry-roast in a pan over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Toss over salads and add to soups.
Mix roasted and cooled sesame seeds with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Blend in a mixer to a smooth paste.