Open Sesame: Seeds Supply Treasure Trove of Nutrients

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Good things come in small packages. Take seeds. They are a powerhouse of nutrients, including vitamin E, folate, magnesium, copper, manganese and fiber. Moreover, seeds are one of the best vegetarian sources of protein, iron and zinc. Sesame seeds are particularly high in calcium.

Of course, seeds, like nuts, are full of fat--and, thus, calories. The key to healthful consumption is moderation. Eat several servings of seeds a week, up to 1 ounce a day. (One ounce is about 1/4 cup of ground or hulled kernels.)
Sow Your Seeds Well

* Sprinkle seeds over salads, cereals and pasta; use in stir-fries; add to trail mix and yogurt. Top home-baked breads with sesame seeds.
* Add ground seeds--like flaxseed-to smoothies and to bread, muffin and pancake batter and cookie dough.
* Toast your own pumpkin or squash seeds in the oven (place in a single layer on a shallow pan and bake 10 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F.).
* Store seeds away from heat, light and humidity to delay rancidity. Refrigerate or freeze to extend storage life.

How Seeds Stack Up Nutritionally

(Seeds are listed alphabetically. Serving size is one ounce. "Good source" denotes that one ounce provides at least 10% of the Daily Value. Vitamin E values were not available for most seeds.)

Legend for Chart:

A - Seed
B - Calories
C - Protein (grams)
D - Fat (grams)
E - Fiber (grams)
F - Good source (in order of amount present):

A
B C

D E
F

Flaxseed, ground
140 5.5

10 8

Magnesium, folate, copper, iron

Pumpkin and squash
seeds, whole, roasted

126 5

5.5 4

Magnesium, zinc, copper

Pumpkin and squash seeds,
shelled kernels, roasted

148 9

12 4

Manganese, magnesium, iron,
copper, zinc

Sesame seeds, Kernels, dried

165 7.4

15 3

Copper, manganese, calcium,
magnesium, iron, thiamin, zinc, B6

Sunflower seeds, shelled
kernels, dry roasted

165 5.5

14 3

Vitamin E, selenium, manganese,
copper, pantothenic acid, folate,
B6, niacin, zinc

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