”Never underestimate the power of small things,” says the famous quote. They must have been talking about seeds. These tiny little kernels contain a whopping number of nutrients, all of the life-giving ingredients that create entire plants, trees of fruit, vines of vegetables, stalks of grain and all of the other incredible plant life that nourishes all the animals and humans on the planet. Supporting all life on earth is a pretty big feat for such a small soldier.
In effect, you can think of seeds as nature’s very own brand of multi-vitamins. Eaten in the right amounts, these densely packed capsules contain an abundant amount of the vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fatty acids and fiber that nourish your body, keep you healthy, and help you control your weight by stabilizing your blood sugar, curbing cravings and satiating your appetite.
Incorporated into a women’s weight loss program involving a healthy diet and exercise, these 5 seeds can help you slim down without feeling hungry or deprived. Reap the pure weight loss benefits of these slimming seeds by adding 1 to 2 teaspoons into salads, yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, pesto, stir-fries and other dishes. Or start your day off right with this Super-Seed Power Breakfast.
5 Slimming Super Seeds to Add to Your Women’s Weight Loss Plan
1.) Chia Seeds. “Chia,” which means strength, is said to have been used by ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures as a potent energy booster. Loaded with protein, fiber, anti-oxidants, omega-3s, calcium and other vitamins and minerals, these small black and white seeds can pump up the power of the people of modern times as well. Chia seeds are rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, prevents the absorption of fat and helps to satiate your appetite. These seeds are also known for their beauty enhancing properties. Loaded with anti-aging amino acids, antioxidants and omega-3 oils, they can help improve the look and feel of your hair and skin, while their tryptophan content can help you get your beauty sleep.
2.) Pumpkin Seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a convenient, nutty snack that have long been known for their health benefits. Research has shown that pumpkin seeds help to improve insulin regulation, to prevent diabetic complications, and to have anti-inflammatory effects, all of which are associated with obesity. Rich in magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, anti-oxidants and fiber, pumpkin seeds provide benefits for your heart, bones and liver, and they also aide with mood balance and proper bowel function. The natural phytoestrogens that pumpkin seeds contain help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and their high zinc content is important for strong immunity, healing, eye and skin health and sexual function.
3.) Flax Seeds. One tablespoon of whole flax seeds contains 8 grams of fiber, which swells in the stomach and helps to decreases your hunger while improving digestion and bowel function. They boast omega-3 fatty acids that raise your good HDL cholesterol levels while lowering inflammation and your risk of heart disease. Flax seeds can also be a women’s best friend, shown to decrease breast cancer risk, menstrual problems and hot flashes during menopause. Keep in mind that, in order for your body to absorb the nutrients from flax, the seeds must be freshly ground up right before you eat them (a coffee grinder does a good job).
4.) Hemp Seeds. Like flax seeds and chia seeds, hemp seeds have a good omega-3 and fiber content, which helps to control your weight, improves digestion and has beneficial effects on your heart and cardiovascular system. Hemp also contains a beneficial form of omega-6, called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA helps to decrease inflammation, which is associated with muscle pain, arthritis, asthma, eczema and skin problems, food allergies, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. An added bonus is hemp’s impressive amino acid profile, which are the components that make up protein. These amino acids are involved in fat burning, muscle building, improved immunity, as well as healthy looking skin, hair and nails.
5.) Quinoa. Surprised? This trendy “grain” is actually not a grain at all, it’s a seed. And this ancient seed is gaining a lot of modern attention. The United Nations declared 2013 to be the “International Year of Quinoa,” for its high nutritive value and the potential role it could play in securing people around the world with an affordable, sustainable, and highly nutritious source of food. This super-seed is one of the only plant sources of complete protein that we know of. This easily digestible protein, alongside quinoa’s high fiber content and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, may be able to explain why animal studies showed that animals fed quinoa on a daily basis had lower incidences of obesity and other inflammation-related problems. Quinoa-fed animals also showed lowered cholesterol levels, higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, and improved digestion. Quinoa is also unique because it contains a combination of heart healthy fatty acids along with an abundant array of antioxidants. This means that, unlike many other sources of unsaturated healthy fats, the process of cooking quinoa does not destroy the health benefits that these fatty acids provide, such as heart health and anti-inflammatory benefits. Quinoa also retains good levels of manganese, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, folate and zinc. The best part is that quinoa is highly versatile. It can easily be swapped in to any recipe that calls for rice, couscous, or other grains, it can be used in soups or stews, and can even be ground up and used as a flour to make pastas and baked goods that are both nutritious and delicious. Check out this easy recipe for Quinoa Breakfast Squares.
Seeds make a great snack and a fantastic, crunchy topping on a variety of dishes. Keep them whole and in the fridge up until the time you use them, and portion out 1 to 2 teaspoons for use.
Don’t miss out on the weight loss properties and health benefits of super seeds any longer by checking out new and delicious ways to continually incorporate them into your diet every day.