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Flax, Chia, Hemp, and More – Get Your Glow On With Seeds: Nutritional Benefits and My Favorite Ways to Eat Them

Seeds are like mini nutritional powerhouses. They pack a huge punch of antioxidants, fiber, protein, and healthy fats. They’re also easy to eat on the run and can be tossed into a various meals throughout the day. Like nuts, seeds have a higher (healthy) fat content, and are prone to rancidity, so it’s best to store them in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer. I store mine in jars (re-use your old nut butter or jam jars!)

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

From L to R: Ground flaxseed, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, chia, and sesame.

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

Here are some of my favorite seeds as well as some of the ways I love to incorporate them into my diet. I eat seeds everyday, though I am conscious of balance – while they do have a hefty dose of nutrition, they’re also higher in fat. Although it’s healthy fat, it’s always good to be mindful of portion size. That said, try adding a variety of these seeds into your diet!

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

Chia Seeds: These little black seeds thicken into a gel when mixed with a liquid (hello chocolate “pudding” or “frosting” recipes ;) so I like to add them to yogurt and smoothies or throw them on toast or salads for a boost of fiber, omega-3, calcium, iron, and potassium.

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

Once mixed with the yogurt (see the little nubby seeds above), the chia seeds thicken and I add cocoa powder and stevia – I call it a “healthy chocolate frosting”!

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

Here are the seeds whole — they almost look like poppy seeds.

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

Here they are mixed with yogurt again. You can get the recipe under the Snacks category on the Recipe page.

Flaxseeds: Particularly high in fiber, lignans, and omega-3, these little seeds need to be ground to get the whole nutritional benefit. I buy whole flaxseeds and grind them in my Vitamix, but you can also find flaxseed meal (the seeds already ground up) at most grocery stores. Ground flaxseed is great in baked goods (I use them in all of my pancake recipes), and in oatmeal, smoothies, you name it!

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

Here I’ve topped some yogurt and fruit with ground flaxseed to help me stay fuller longer.

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

I love topping pancakes (these are chocolate, yum!) with nut/seed/or coconut butter, flax seed, fruit,                    and cacao nibs.

Hemp Seeds: particularly high in protein, hemp seeds have a nice balance of fat, fiber, and protein. They also contain all essential amino acids! They’re awesome in smoothies and give an earthy, nutty taste.

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

The hemp seeds are the little white seeds in the middle.

Pumpkin Seeds (aka Pepitas): Pumpkin seeds have a unique array of antioxidants, are a good source of many minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and iron. They’re not just for fall, enjoy them year-round in trail mix, salads, yogurt, cereals, and more.

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

Pumpkin seeds aren’t just for Halloween season! I love tossing them in with fruit and yogurt,                               or throwing them on my salads for an extra bit of crunch.

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

Sunflower Seeds: Sprinkle these seeds into your salads or onto cold or hot cereal. Sunflower seed butter is one of my favorites and is a great alternative for those who can’t have nuts. Sunflower seed flour is also a nice nut-free flour alternative. Sunflower seeds have tons of vitamin E and are a very good source of copper and vitamin B1. They also have lots of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6, folate, and niacin.

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

I love to split medjool dates in half and spread sunflower seed down the middle for a healthy treat.

Sesame Seeds: Tahini, or sesame seed paste, makes a lovely spread that can be used as is (I like to top medjool dates with a dollop of tahini, YUM), in place of a nut butter, in dips and hummus, or in salad dressings. Sesame seeds are also a delicious way to add a bit of a nutty crunch to stir fries, or in crackers (have you tried Mary’s Gone Crackers?) They’re an excellent source of copper, a very good source of manganese, and a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, molybdenum, vitamin B1, selenium, and dietary fiber.

Sesame seeds are a must in stir-fries!

Sesame seeds are a must in stir-fries!

What’s your favorite seed? How do you like to eat them?

Get Your Glow On With Seeds: The Benefits and Uses

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Comments

  1. Great, comprehensive post! I love toasted pumpkin seeds on salads, soups, etc, and I also love making homemade sunflower-almond butter. As for chia… Oh my gosh. Love it. It’s magical! I tried using chia in my cherry berry breakfast crumble recipe and found that I needed a lot more than 1 Tbsp. I ended up adding 2 additional Tbsp to the juices when it was done baking. That thickened it up nicely. :)
    Brianne recently posted…Cherry-Berry Breakfast CrumbleMy Profile

  2. Holy crap, thank you very much for posting this! It is going to help when I research Hemp Seed at the market! Very Mind Blowing!

  3. Such a great post!! I love all the different seeds, but I think my most commonly used is sunflower seeds and chia seeds! I love sun butter as well as chia pudding :)

  4. Great post, Alex! I’ve gotten super into seeds since attending a raw food retreat last month. In fact, I’m still eating raw! Summer is such a great time, with all the fresh bounty. And no standing behind a hot stove. Raw food experts recommend soaking most nuts and seeds (to remove enzyme inhibitors). I never understood all that before, but now I do. Feeling great! By the way, hemp seeds are delish on salads. Big hugs, Madame Wonderful.

    • Thanks, Jo! So glad eating raw is making you feel so great. I’m loving all of the summer produce as well. By the way, what is your preferred method of soaking? I’ve been wanting to try it.

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  1. […] + Flax, Chia, Hemp, And More – Get Your Glow On With Seeds […]

  2. […] guys know I’m a huge fan of chia, flax, hemp, and other seeds, so you can imagine I was pretty excited to receive these variety packs! What I love about these […]

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