Seeds: What's inside counts big for your nutrition
Mayo Clinic doctors recommend eating a variety of seeds. Adding a tablespoon or two a day to your diet can bring big nutritional benefits without breaking the bank or sacrificing taste. Here, you’ll find a fab-four list of seeds and how to use them.
- Flaxseed — Ground flaxseed is best because whole flaxseed may pass through the body undigested. Add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to your hot or cold breakfast cereal or mix into a serving of yogurt. Add a teaspoon to mayonnaise or mustard when making a sandwich. Bake it into cookies, muffins, breads and other baked goods.
- Chia— Sprinkle a tablespoon or two into a bowl of hot or cold cereal or a container of yogurt. Or try chia seeds on top of a salad or mixed into a smoothie. Due to their high soluble fiber content, chia seeds readily absorb liquid and turn into a gel-like substance with a slight crunch. Combining 1/4 cup of chia with 1 cup of liquid such as almond milk or fruit juice — and letting it sit for 15 minutes — creates chia pudding. This can be topped with fruit, nuts or other items to add flavor and texture.
- Pumpkin — Pumpkin seeds can be toasted and eaten alone, or with a dash of salt and a sprinkle of grated cheese. Or they can be ground up and added to breads, spreads and other healthy snacks. Be aware that the salted kind should be enjoyed in moderation.
- Sunflower — You can buy sunflower seeds shelled or unshelled. Once unshelled, they can be eaten whole or added to salads, yogurt, trail mix or stir-fry. They also taste good in granola bars. Choose unsalted if possible. Enjoy the salted kind in moderation.
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