Are seeds actually good for you?

The seeds are excellent sources of fiber. When consumed as part of a healthy diet, seeds can help lower blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. If you've ever grilled a batch of these after carving your annual jack-o'-lantern, you'll know they make an excellent snack. Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, an important mineral that improves heart health, helps the body produce energy, and powers muscles.

Eat them all year round as a soup or salad garnish, with cereal, or in a homemade nut mix. In chia seeds, for example, you'll get 2 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 78 milligrams of calcium. In addition, pumpkin seeds are a good source of amino acids, proteins and omega-3, as well as minerals such as zinc and magnesium. In addition to minerals and fiber, sesame seeds are high in selenium, an antioxidant that has been shown to lower the risk of chronic diseases.

You can use whole seeds, sprinkled in salads or whole grain dishes, or look for hemp milk to replace your usual dairy products. Sunflower seeds have a good amount of minerals, B vitamins and antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium. Like most seeds, you can add them to salads, yogurts, nut mixes, muffins, and vegetable dishes. Tahini (ground sesame seeds) is a main ingredient in hummus and can also serve as a nut-free substitute for people with food allergies.

Many, including walnuts and cashews, grow inside leathery fruits, and the nut corresponds to the peach bone (also a seed) inside a peach. In addition to salad ingredients, you can add sunflower seeds to muffins or bread recipes, in vegetable or sautéed dishes, in nut mixes, and in cereal or yogurt. Pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber, calories and fat, just one cup contains 285 calories, 12 grams of fiber and 12 grams of fat. Although it was once believed that the consumption of nuts and seeds could cause diverticulitis, the relationship has not been proven.

Patton says pumpkin seeds, also known as nuggets, are an excellent source of many minerals, including zinc. In a tablespoon of chia seeds, for example, you'll get 2 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 78 milligrams of calcium. Whether you pick them off the shelf or carve them straight out of the pumpkin, pumpkin seeds are incredibly versatile. But if you have diverticula with small, pouch-like structures that sometimes form in the muscle wall of your colon and protrude outward, you may be worried that nuts or seeds will get stuck in those small pockets, which can cause a painful infection called diverticulitis.

Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

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