They might not seem like the most delicious choice at first sight, but seeds are little powerhouses of nutrition. Jam packed with all the best parts of plants, like protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals and healthy, unsaturated fats, they also taste good and are an easy addition to your diet. Here are some of the healthiest seeds:
Packed with nutrients, a cup of pumpkin seeds contains 588 mg of potassium, compared to a banana which has 422 mg. The same amount of seeds contains almost your entire daily requirement of zinc and over half your daily magnesium, together with protein, fibre and vitamin E. Eat them as a snack, sprinkle them over salads, pasta dishes or soups. You can even roast your own pumpkin seeds. Rinse them under running water, toss them in olive oil and bake in a medium oven for 25 minutes, stirring two or three times.
100g of these super seeds contains 446 calories – but look at all the nutrients you get as well!
You’re most likely to find these tiny, black gems on top of bread rolls and cakes, but they are more than just decorations. Poppy seeds contain calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, niacin and folate – but they have a dark secret! As they come from poppies, the seeds contain trace amounts of morphine and codeine. You’d need to eat something like a bucketful of these seeds before you began to feel the effects, but apparently it only takes one poppy seed bagel for these opiates to show up in urine drug tests!
100g of poppy seeds contains 525 calories, or 46 calories in a tablespoonful.
Out of all the common nuts and seeds, these super seeds contain the highest amount of phytosterols. These are compounds that are believe to reduce cholesterol levels on the blood. Sesame seeds are high in copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium and surprisingly fibre, and very low in sodium. As well as being delicious sprinkled on salads, tahini is the amazingly versatile sesame paste made from toasted seeds that are ground up and mixed with olive oil.
100g of sesame seeds contains 573 calories; 1 tablespoon of tahini contains 85 calories.