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Seeds: Nutrition & health benefits

Seeds are rich sources of both calcium and proteins, as well as a host of other nutritional benefits.

Seeds are nutrition power houses. Seeds are the "eggs" that contain the nutrients needed to nourish the growth of a new plant. So their high nutrient content shouldn't come as a surprise.

A number of seeds have calcium concentrations significantly higher than that of milk (2 – 8 times more), while also offering protein concentrations that are similar or higher than meat products. Incorporating seeds into a vegan diet, helps ensure that calcium or protein intakes are more than adequately taken care of.

While seeds are high in fat content, similar to nuts, they have a high concentration of good (mono unsaturated) fats that actually help regulate blood cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure and heart disease risks.

The following seeds are high in either (or both) calcium or protein concentrations, and are good foods for people looking at reducing their consumption of meat or dairy products.

Sesame seeds

With a calcium concentration which is over 8.5 times more than milk, sesame seeds are calcium powerhouses. They also contain protein concentrations that are only slightly lower than meat products. They are also great sources of dietary fibre, minerals (copper, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc) and Vitamin B1. The nutrition content of sesame seeds helps in preventing and controlling heart diseases, arthritis, osteoporosis and certain types of cancers.

 

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are also calcium powerhouses, with a calcium concentration that is 5.5 times more than milk. They also contain protein concentrations that are only slightly lower than meat products. Chia seeds contain high levels of poly unsaturated dats, omega 3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acids, which help brain activity. Similar to walnuts, chia seeds are considered brain food. Chia seeds are also great sources for minerals (including phosphorous, magnesium and manganese) and dietary fibre.

 

Mustard seeds

Mustard seeds have more than 2x the calcium concentration of milk, while also having a protein concentration higher than meat products. They also contain high levels of minerals (including magnesium and selenium), Vitamins (A, C, K and certain B complexes) and phytonutrients (including carotenes, zeaxanthins and lutein). These properties make mustard seeds effective in helping prevent and control heart diseases, arthiritis, ageing, weight and certain types of cancers.

 

Flax seeds

Similar to mustard seeds, flax seeds have more than 2x the calcium concentration of milk, while also having a protein concentration slightly lower than meat products. Flax seeds have amongst the highest concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acids, that support brain activity, making flax seeds brain power foods. Flax seeds also have very high concentration of lingans, with strong antioxidant protection. Flax seeds are considered to be very effective in the smooth functioning of our hearts and brains, while helping prevent cancer cell growth.