Eat More of These Super Seeds: Chia, Hemp, and Flax

How well seeded is your diet?

It might sound like a funny question, but when it comes to your brain and body health, it’s an important one. That’s because nature packs an incredible array of brain healthy nutrients into tiny little seeds.

If you want to take advantage of all that seeds have to offer, consider eating more “super seeds.”

What Are Super Seeds?

Super seeds are basically superfoods that are seeds. They’re exceptionally nutrient dense, comprised of beneficial natural compounds, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber. They tend to have anti-inflammatory properties and vital nutrients that promote multiple important areas of health.

Nutritional science recognizes the value of super seeds. In fact, an exhaustive 2022 research review on the benefits of nuts and seeds, concluded that evidence supports the dietary recommendation of a handful of nuts and seeds daily (except for those with nut allergies, of course).

Here’s what you need to know about the health benefits of super seeds.

3 of the Best Super Seeds to Add to Your Diet!

  1. Chia for Champions

Super Seeds 2The tiny black seeds that become gelatinous when combined with liquid have been consumed by humans for millennia – dating back to 3500 B.C. Recently, health-conscious consumers have driven the demand for chia seeds, and for good reason.

Chia seeds are considered a complete protein and are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, omega-3s, protein, antioxidants, and polyphenols.

Here are just a few of chia’s many health benefits:

High in Fiber

Chia seeds have the highest fiber content among the super seeds. Two tablespoons deliver 10 grams of fiber, about 35% of the recommended daily intake for adults!

What’s more, they’re mostly soluble fiber and mucilage (its thick gluey consistency when moistened). This type of fiber is soothing to the lining of your gut and actually helps feed beneficial bacteria, as well as promotes motility.

Soluble fiber also supports healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Chia fiber, especially when the seeds are soaked before consuming, help provide satiety too.

Rich in Minerals

Chia seeds provide decent amounts of important minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and trace minerals such as iron and zinc.

Healthy Fats

One of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are loaded with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which helps to keep inflammation levels in a healthy range. Most Americans are deficient in omega-3s. One tablespoon of chia provides more than double the daily amount of ALA recommended by the National Institutes of Health.

  1. Hearty Hemp

Hemp seeds are extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant. They have a hard exterior and a soft interior. The soft insides are called hemp hearts.

These nutty-tasting marvels of nutrition are the most protein-rich super seed. And like other super seeds, they’re a great source of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, polyphenols, and antioxidants.

Here are a few of hemp seed’s health benefits:

Rich in Healthy Fats

About 30% percent of hemp seeds are made up of fat that includes a healthy balance of omega-6 (linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid or GLA) and omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) at the ideal ratio of 3:1. They promote improved heart health and healthy cholesterol level, as well as healthy blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Additionally, GLA from hemp is thought to help hormonal balance, which is especially valued by women who struggle with menstrual and menopausal symptoms.

Complete Protein

Hemp seeds are about 25% protein, making them an excellent choice for vegans and vegetarians needing a complete protein source. They also contain high concentrations of the amino acid arginine. Arginine is a known vasodilator, meaning it relaxes blood vessels and allows for healthy blood flow. This is especially beneficial for brain function.

Great Source of Fiber, Vitamins, and Minerals

Hemp seeds are a formidable source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, containing 20% and 80%, respectively. Like with chia seeds, the soluble fiber acts as a prebiotic that feeds the healthy microflora in your gut. Fiber also helps with motility and promoting balanced blood sugar levels in the body.

Hemp seeds are a rich source of vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and manganese.

  1. Faithful Flax

Flaxseed has been cultivated and relied upon for its health properties for thousands of years. Hippocrates, regarded as the father of medicine, advocated flax to ease abdominal pain.

Today, people love flaxseed for both its nutty flavor and health properties. Indeed, it’s a treasure trove of nutrients. Namely, flaxseed is packed with ALA, making it the richest plant-source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as the richest dietary source of plant lignans.

Here are a few of its top health benefits:

Rich in Healthy Fats

Healthy fats make up a whopping 40% of flaxseed’s nutritional content – of which 55% is the omega-3 ALA, which provides strong anti-inflammatory effects in the body.

Best Source of Lignans

The concentration of lignans in flaxseed is remarkably high. Some research suggests that flaxseed’s lignans have antioxidant and antiestrogenic properties, which may have a protective effect against several degenerative health issues. Flaxseed’s high lignan content may help support breast health, heart health, bone health, and hormonal balance.

Healthy Amounts of Fiber, Protein, and Nutrients

As with chia and hemp seeds, flaxseed’s mix of soluble and insoluble fiber adds support for gut and digestive health. Flaxseed also is a relatively good source of vitamins and minerals such as thiamin (vitamin B1), phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, and iron, amongst others.

Go Nuts Over Seeds

Give your health a quick boost daily by adding super seeds to your:

  • breakfast cereal or overnight oats
  • smoothie
  • baked goods
  • eggs (substitute chia seeds or flaxseed)
  • leafy green salad

Seed the day!

At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients and standardized herbal ingredients to support your energy, focus and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.

Kim Henderson
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