4 Nutritious Seeds

Chia seeds

Chia seeds contain more omega-3s than any other plant food (although as alpha-linolenic acid, which the body must convert to more usable forms). Chia also boasts more calcium than milk; abundant vitamin C, fiber, and iron; and potentially blood pressurelowering effects. The seeds have little taste but add wonderful texture, and they stay fresh without refrigeration for up to two years. The white variety, marketed as Salba, offers even more protein and good fats.
Fiber: 10 grams
Omega-3s: 5 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Calcium: 179 mg


Flaxseed was once used primarily for linseed oil; now it enjoys the spotlight as an excellent, easy-to-use source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, as well as lignans, protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin E. Look for it sold as whole seeds (dark or golden) or preground. Refrigerate or freeze up to six months. Whole seeds maintain more of the delicate fats for longer, but always grind before using; whole seeds pass through the body undigested. Flaxseed has a mildly nutty flavor, well suited to blending in other foods.
Fiber: 8 grams
Omega-3s: 6 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Calcium:79 mg

Hemp seeds

Despite its patriotic beginnings as an American farm staple (even Washington and Jefferson grew it), industrial hemp labors under a federal ban that equates it with its cousin, marijuanamaking hemp the only plant thats illegal to grow but legal to import, process, and use in the United States.
Fiber: 1 gram
Omega-3s: 3 grams
Protein: 11 grams
Calcium: 39 grams

Sesame seeds

Mineral-rich sesame seedstheyre high in calcium, copper, and magnesiumalso contain cholesterol-lowering phytosterols, fiber, and monounsaturated fats. With a delicate crunch and mildly sweet taste, theyre easy to sprinkle over cooked vegetables or add to muffin and cookie batters.
Fiber: 3 grams
Omega-3s: N/A
Protein: 5 grams
Calcium: 263 mg

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