Seeds & Nuts

7 Types Of Seeds For Weight Loss And Other Health Benefits

Seeds For Weight Loss And Other Health Benefits

To your utter surprise, you may realize while going through the article on 7 types of seeds for weight loss and other health benefits, there are certain seeds that are highly nutritious for our body in all respect. You will be amazed to know its numerous health benefits as they contain healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and many important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s extremely beneficial to add these seeds (not all at a time of course) in moderation to your daily diet because these little kernels are the ones that will definitely speed up your weight loss drive giving you better metabolism and thereby that extra dose of energy.

So, let’s start our journey of discovering the innumerable health benefits of these seeds for weight loss and its usages.

1. Flax Seeds

Flax Seeds
Flax Seeds
  • The total calorie value per 100 gm of flax seeds is 534. In a 100 gm content of flax seed, the following are the quantities of the major nutrients:-

    — Total fat -> 42 gm (Saturated fat – 4 gm, Unsaturated fat – 38 gm)

    — Total protein -> 18 gm

    — Total Carbohydrate -> 29 gm (Dietary fiber – 27 gm, Sugar – 2 gm)
  • Flax seeds contain a total of 42% fat out of which 73% is unsaturated fatty acids such as omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and remaining 27% is mono-unsaturated and saturated fatty acids. It is a very good source of plant-based heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • These seeds are rich in folate, vitamin B6 and other minerals like magnesium, phosphorus and copper
  • It contains lignans, a type of phytoestrogen, that may help to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. As they have a high content of soluble fiber, it may at times be used to get relief from constipation.
  • Weight Controlling properties – Flax seeds are known for its soluble fiber content, that aids in weight loss because it reduces hunger pangs thereby decreasing food cravings.

    Usages – If you are on a weight loss diet, you should definitely include this healthy super food in your diet in any of the following forms:

    — You can soak a tablespoon of flaxseeds / linseeds in a glass of water for a few hours and then consume it. 

    — Another option to include these healthy seeds in your diet is to grind them and sprinkle over your morning cereal.

    — You can use a tablespoon of these ground seeds while baking cup cakes / muffins. 

    — It can be mixed in salads, yogurt, smoothies, cereals, and soups as whole seeds or ground seeds.

    — For a yummy and filling glass of smoothie in your breakfast or lunch as a kick start to a good weight loss journey, please refer to the healthy chocolate banana smoothie recipe for weight loss.

2. Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds
  • The total calorie value per 100 gm of chia seeds is 486. In a 100 gm content of chia seed, the following are the quantities of the major nutrients:-

    — Total fat -> 31 gm (Saturated fat – 4 gm, Unsaturated fat – 26.9 gm, Trans fat – 0.1 gm)

    — Total protein -> 17 gm (Magnesium – 83%, Calcium – 63%, Iron – 42%)

    — Total Carbohydrate -> 42 gm (Dietary fiber – 34 gm)
  • Chia seeds contain a total of 47% fat out of which 83% is unsaturated fat.
  • These seeds are rich in antioxidants.
  • These seeds are extremely low in carbohydrate content and most of the carbohydrates present in it are fiber. The high protein and fiber content in these tiny seeds make it a super food for weight management.

    Usages – If you are on a weight loss journey, you can include this healthy super food in your diet in any of the following forms:

    — You can soak a tablespoon of chia seeds in a glass of water overnight and then consume it the next day morning as a detox drink. 

    — You can sprinkle these nutty flavoured seeds over your bowl of morning cereal.

    — It can be mixed in salads, yogurt, smoothies, cereals and soups as whole seeds or ground seeds.

    — For a yummy and filling glass of smoothie in your breakfast or lunch as a kick start to a good weight loss journey, please refer to the apple oatmeal smoothie for weight loss.

3. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
  • The total calorie value per 100 gm of pumpkin seeds is 446. In a 100 gm content of pumpkin seed, the following are the quantities of the major nutrients:-

    — Total fat -> 19 gm (Saturated fat – 4 gm, Unsaturated fat – 15 gm)

    — Total protein -> 19 gm (Magnesium – 65%, Iron – 18%)

    — Total Carbohydrate -> 42 gm (Dietary fiber – 34 gm)
  • Pumpkin seeds contain a total of 29% fat out of which 75% is unsaturated fat.
  • Pumpkin seeds are full of powerful antioxidants and protect your cells from harmful free radicals that may help you to protect against diseases and reduce inflammation.
  • It has been evidenced that diets rich in pumpkin seeds have a reduced risk of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers.
  • Due to its high content of magnesium, consumption of moderate quantities of these seeds are important for good health of your blood pressure, blood sugar levels as well as heart and bone.
  • The high dietary fiber content in pumpkin seeds lowers the risk of heart diseases, type – 2 diabetes and obesity. Thus these seeds must be a part of a good weight loss diet.

    Usages – If you are on a weight loss diet, you should include this healthy seed in your regular diet in any of the following forms:

    —  You can simply roast them and snack on it. 

    — You can sprinkle these nutty flavoured seeds over your bowl of morning cereal.

    —  It can be mixed in salads, yogurt, smoothies, cereals as whole seeds or ground seeds.

4. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
  • The total calorie value per 100 gm of sunflower seeds is 584. In a 100 gm content of sunflower seed, the following are the quantities of the major nutrients:-

    — Total fat -> 51 gm (Saturated fat – 5 gm, Unsaturated fat – 42 gm)

    — Total protein -> 21 gm (Magnesium – 81%, Vitamin B6 – 65%, Iron – 29%)

    — Total Carbohydrate -> 20 gm (Dietary fiber – 9 gm, Sugar – 2.6 gm)
  • Sunflower seeds contain a total of 78% fat out of which 78% is unsaturated fat.
  • Vitamin E is not a single compound but consists of eight different compounds, all of which are fat soluble. Human body primarily uses alpha-tocopherol which operates as an antioxidant that is found in sunflower seeds. Lack of enough vitamin E in the body can lead to neurological problems like balancing problems, lack of co-ordination among different body parts, muscle weakness, eye damage etc. Moreover, vitamin E content of these seeds play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and it has good anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Phytosterols are another major component of sunflower seeds which help in lowering cholesterol levels, betterment of immunity system and even protects against certain cancers. Because of these nutritious values, phytosterols are added externally to processed oils and foods at times.
  • Magnesium present in sunflower seeds helps in metabolism of energy, new DNA creation, produces an antioxidant named glutathione and also lowers blood pressure. Magnesium shows significant importance in proper functioning of the cardiovascular system of the human body.
  • The presence of Selenium (a trace mineral fundamentally important for human health) in these tiny seeds helps to repair DNA molecules and synthesis in damaged cells, reduces the multiplication of cancer cells and induces the self-destructive sequence to deter the growth of abnormal cells. Selenium is absorbed at the active site of many proteins including glutathione peroxidase, important for prevention of cancers. 
  • Another important metal present in sunflower seeds is copper which helps in proper neural functioning. If the human body lacks in getting enough copper, it may lead to higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders. It shows its importance in proper functioning of the cardiovascular system also. Thus sunflower seeds can be considered as one of the best sources of copper for the human body.
  • Usages – This seed must be included in your diet in any of the following variations due to its immense health benefits:-

    —  Add it to your trail mix as a healthy snack.

    — Mix it in homemade granola bars as a healthy snack.

    — Garnish your green salad (for vegetarians) and tuna or chicken or turkey salad (for non-veg lovers) with a dash of these seeds for an extra nutty flavour.

    — Sprinkle over fruit or yogurt parfaits.

    — Sprinkle over sautéed vegetables.

    — Add it to your vegetable burger.

    — Add to your plate of scrambled egg to add a distinct taste to it.

    — Add to your freshly baked breads and muffins.

    — Dip a slice of an apple or a banana in sunflower seed butter as a healthy snack.

5. Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds
Sesame Seeds
  • The total calorie value per 100 gm of sesame seeds is 573. In a 100 gm content of sesame seed, the following are the quantities of the major nutrients:-

    — Total fat -> 50 gm (Saturated fat – 7 gm, Unsaturated fat – 41 gm)

    — Total protein -> 18 gm (Calcium – 97%, Magnesium – 87%, Iron – 81%, Vitamin B6 – 40%)

    — Total Carbohydrate -> 23 gm (Dietary fiber – 12 gm, Sugar – 0.3 gm)
  • Sesame seed, seed of the well-known sesame plant, is one of the oldest oil seeds known with its origin almost about 4000 years ago and is one of the highest oil producing seeds. There are widely two types of sesame seeds – white and black. The taste difference between these two types is very little. Black seeds are the shelled ones (with hulls intact) with a slightly bitter taste whereas the white ones have their hulls removed.
  • Sesame seeds have a rich nutty and a mildly sweet taste and aroma that becomes more flavourful if toasted. Basically you can use sesame seeds by either dry toasting on stove tops or baking in microwave ovens.
  • Magnesium present in these seeds help in prevention of asthma, lowers high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglycerides thereby reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetic heart disease. Magnesium is useful in reducing migraine attacks and restoring normal sleep patterns in women who are facing unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause.
  • The high calcium content of these seeds boost health of the bones (though the hull is the major source of calcium).
  • Sesame seeds are a very good plant-based source of nutrients important for your immunity system like iron, vitamin B6, zinc, selenium and vitamin E. Moreover, it may also control your thyroid hormones.
  • Sesame seeds have high dietary fiber content  which is an important factor that aids in digestion and weight loss. This fiber content helps in reducing constipation and diarrhea symptoms of your body and improves your colon health and reduces the risk of gastrointestinal disorders. Fiber also maintains good heart health as it lowers down the LDL cholesterol from arteries and blood vessels, thereby preventing heart attacks and strokes.
  • Presence of copper in sesame seeds reduces inflammation in joints, bones and muscles thereby reducing Rheumatoid Arthritis pain.
  • The presence of high levels of vitamin E, vitamin K and magnesium helps in prevention of cancer by having an anti-carcinogenic effect on the body. Sesame seeds have shown proven results in lowering the risks of various types of cancers like leukemia, pancreatic, colon, breast, lung and prostate cancers.

    Usages – The following are the various uses of these seeds:-

    — As a condiment, you can sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top of stir-fries, salads, and soups. 

    — The untoasted seeds can be used to make tahini paste, which is an ingredient used in many Middle Eastern dishes. 

    — The nutty flavor and crunch go well with many kinds of baked goods, both sweet and savory. 

    — Can blend into a powder and mixed with various smoothies.

    — Can be ground into a thin paste along with other condiments to form Tahini that is more popularly used as a spread on toasted bread or drizzle with honey for a sweet treat for a healthy snack.

    — Can be used as a dressing for salads, vegetables and noodles for a crunchy flavour.

    — Can be added while baking your breads and muffins for adding that extra nuttiness.

6. Quinoa Seeds

Quinoa Seeds
Quinoa Seeds
  • The total calorie value per 100 gm of quinoa seeds is 120. In a 100 gm content of quinoa seed, the following are the quantities of the major nutrients:-

    — Water: 72%

    — Protein: 4.4 grams

    — Carbs: 21.3 grams

    — Sugar: 0.9 grams

    — Fiber: 2.8 grams

    — Fat: 1.9 grams
  • Quinoa is a flowering plant that belongs to the amaranth family. It is an annual plant that is grown for its edible seeds.Quinoa, often described as a superfood, is a gluten-free food high in protein, fibre and other vitamins & minerals. There are different types of quinoa seeds available like White Quinoa, Red Quinoa, Black Quinoa, Quinoa flakes, Quinoa flour. Out of these, White Quinoa is most popularly used.
  • The high content of dietary fibre present in quinoa seeds help to  lower the risk of several health conditions like constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure etc. Further fibre rich diets aid in weight loss pretty much as the fibre present in your food helps you to feel fuller for a longer time period thereby reducing your overall intake of food.
  • Quinoa contains large amounts of plant antioxidants like flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol, having numerous health benefits.
  • Quinoa has a relatively low glycemic index which means that it should not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar level in the body.
  • Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Human body is unable to produce this and it has to be supplied to your body through diet only. This seed contains all the nine amino acids present in protein and is therefore a protein rich food for the vegetarians and vegans.
  • Quinoa is very high in minerals, but the phytic acid present in it prevents them from being fully absorbed by the body. So soaking or sprouting the seeds is a good option to get rid of this. Moreover, saponin, a type of plant glycosides, protects quinoa seeds against insects and other threats, which is usually eliminated by soaking, washing, or roasting before cooking. Saponins can cause indigestion in your body as well.
  • Other than these mentioned, the following vitamins are also present in quinoa seeds making it a superfood:-

    Manganese – It is essential for metabolism, growth, and bone development.

    Folate – One of the B vitamins, it is essential for cell function and tissue growth and specially important for pregnant women.

    Usages – The following are the various uses of these seeds:-

    — You can use this seed as a substitute for rice. 

    — They can be used for making a salad. 

    — Quinoa seeds are used for making porridge as a healthy breakfast aiding in weight loss. 

    — Quinoa forms the perfect base for veggie patties, along with beans and herbs.

    — Quinoa seeds can be added to stews and soups to add texture to it.

    — Quinoa flour can be used to bake desserts and you can add whole toasted or cooked quinoa to make muffins, cakes, chocolate cups etc.

7. Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek Seeds
  • The total calorie value per 100 gm of fenugreek seeds is 323. In a 100 gm content of fenugreek seed, the following are the quantities of the major nutrients:-

    — Total fat -> 6.4 gm (Saturated fat – 1.5 gm, Unsaturated fat – 3.5 gm)

    — Total protein -> 23 gm (Calcium – 14%, Iron – 186%, Potassium – 16%)

    — Total Carbohydrate -> 58 gm (Dietary fiber – 25 gm, Sugar – 0 gm)
  • Fenugreek seeds belong to the Fabaceae family (same as that of the Soy family). This seed is one of the staple spices used in Indian cooking. It has a sweet, nutty flavor almost similar to that of maple syrup and burnt sugar. However, It can be quite bitter if you have it raw but when cooked with other spices, it gives a sweetness and changes the entire flavour of the dish.The fresh and dry leaves of this plant are used as spice and as a flavouring agent in cooking. It has wide uses in Ayurveda as well for medicines and other beauty products.
  • Fenugreek seeds play a major role in weight loss because of a water-soluble component named Galactomannan present in them that reduces accumulation of fat by suppressing appetite thereby improving metabolism and hence enhancing digestion.You can have fenugreek seeds water as a detox water in morning to help you get rid of the excess fat.
  • Fenugreek seeds are quite rich in soluble fibre which helps to control blood sugar by slowing down digestion. It has been proved to improve metabolic symptoms of Type – I and Type – II diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels. This seed also reduces cholesterol levels, more specifically LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Fenugreek seeds are widely used in the beauty regime right from treatment of hair to skin. It can be used to treat conditions like extreme hair loss and its regrowth. It can be used as a very good ingredient to tighten your skin and regular use of these seeds in the form of creams and gels on face help you to get rid of unwanted wrinkles making your skin look much younger with a natural glow. 
  • Fenugreek plays an important role in production of breast milk for lactating women since ages.
  • Fenugreek seeds tackle issues like water retention and bloating in your body. The components like linolenic and linoleic acids present in fenugreek are very good anti-inflammatory ingredients. 
  • It may improve the levels of testosterone hormone in males thereby resulting in increased sperm count.
  • Because of the high content of fibre and mucilage present in these seeds, it is used as a very good laxative treating symptoms of extreme constipation.

    Usages – The following are the various uses of these seeds:-

    — Whole fenugreek seeds can be crushed coarsely and used to make herbal tea which if consumed regularly improves digestive health, regulates blood sugar and keeps a healthy heart. 

    — They can be used for making various Indian curry, sabji and dal. It forms a very important ingredient in a popular spice of Bengal named “Panchforon” which adds the ultimate flavour as a tempering in certain veggies and dal traditional to Bengal.

    — You can top up your favourite bowl of salad with a handful of these seeds in sprouted form which adds a little bitterness and crunchiness to your bowl. The sprouted seeds are packed with various vitamins like Vitamin A, B (thiamin, folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine etc.) & C and minerals like iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, copper, zinc, manganese and magnesium.

So by now I am quite sure that after going through this article on 7 types of seeds for weight loss and other health benefits, you have gained quite much knowledge about these tiny kernels. These are excellent sources of power packed nutrients consisting of a variety of vitamins, minerals and other important components aiding in weight loss, improving your digestive health, heart health, bone and muscular health and plenty of other benefits for your body. Moreover I have tried to give you a little idea about where and how you can use these super foods to include them in moderation in your daily diet.

About the author

Anindita Sarkar Kundu

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