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All About Seeds

Updated: Feb 26


In the past ten years, we have heard a lot of positive information about Chia, Flax, and Hemp seeds. However, many edible seeds with a lot of nutritional value are classified as grains, vegetables, beans, and fruits and are often referred to as "the fruit or seeds" of plants. 

 

Seeds are defined as embryonic plants because they are produced from the plant's ovule (small ovum) following fertilization and consist of an embryo and a protective outer coating. Seeds are a plant's source of reproduction and are very diverse. Pepitas are the seeds from the pumpkin.  Chia seeds come from the mint family. Poppy, sunflower, and mustard seeds are beautiful flower plants. Hemp comes from the same plant as marijuana, but their seeds lack the high-inducing chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. Sesame seeds develop in triangular-shaped pods on plants that can reach nine feet tall, and flaxseed comes from an annual herb, which is also harvested for linen fiber.

 

Seeds fall within the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, supplying plant-based sources of essential amino acids (protein), heart-healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and dietary fiber.  They are linked to improved cardiovascular, digestive, immune, and bone health. Research suggests regular consumption of seeds may contribute to managing blood sugar and appetite as well as bone and mineral density and may help lower the risk of obesity and certain cancers.

 

Following is a breakdown of some of the most common seeds you can easily find.

 

Flax Seeds

Flax, also known as linseeds, is a superfood in today’s health world. Their Latin name is Linum usitatissimum, which means “very useful,” they are among the richest sources of plant-based omega fatty acids.  Flaxseeds are a natural anti-inflammatory packed with antioxidants that balance hormone and cortisol levels. They are considered brain boosters and can help treat depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, and ADHD. Being a low-glycemic food, they help to control diabetes and are considered a natural laxative. Additionally, they regulate cholesterol metabolism, boosting HDL and reducing LDL (bad cholesterol).

Energetics: Sweet, astringent, and warming.

Qualities: Heavy, sticky, slimy, oily, alkalizing, and Ojas building.

Vitamins: B1, B6, E, K, thiamin, folate, pantothenic, choline, and betaine.

Minerals: Manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, potassium, copper & zinc.

 

Chia Seeds

It is referred to as a superfood in the health community. Originally grown in Mexico, the seeds are highly valued for their medicinal and nutritional properties.  It is a superfood with health claims, including reducing appetite and weight, lowering triglycerides, and improving blood sugar for diabetics.

Energetics: Sweet and cooling.

Qualities: Gooey, sticky, and heavy.

Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, and C.

Minerals: calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, copper, sodium, and phosphorus.

 

Hemp Seed 

Hemp was first cultivated as textile fiber around 8000 BC in Macedonia. It played a significant role in the early textile industry of North America but was overshadowed by cotton because it was less labor-intensive. Hemp comes from the Marijuana plant but differs when ingested, having substantial health benefits with no side effects. It is a complete protein containing 20 amino acids and fiber.

Energetics: Sweet, heavy, and cold.

Qualities: Oily, Ojas building, grounding, and Tamasic.

Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B6, D, and E.

Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

 

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are the fruit of the sunflower because their size and color are easily seen by the insects and birds pollinating it. Sunflower seeds are high in healthy omega fatty acids, fats, protein, and fiber. 

According to the USDA, sunflower seeds are one of the richest sources of vitamin E.

Energetics: Sweet, astringent, and cooling.

Qualities: Ojas building, Sattvic, heavy and grounding, lubricating, and soothing.

Vitamins: A, C, E, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, and betaine.

Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.

 

Sesame Seeds

Despite their tiny size, sesame seeds contain protein, fiber, and omega fatty acids. They are the main ingredient of Tahini, which is used in hummus, and are nut-free if you have food allergies. Sesame oil is one of the most widely used products in Ayurveda for massage and is used as a base oil for medicinal oils.

Dosha Energies: Sweet, bitter, astringent, and heating.

Qualities: Oily, heavy, smooth, grounding, alkalizing, Sattvic, Rajasic, and Ojas building.

Vitamins: A, E, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and choline.

Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.

 

Quinoa

Quinoa is often mistaken as a grain, but this seed is available in three varieties. White is the most common, mildest, and fluffiest; red has a nuttier flavor and holds its shape better; and black is sweet, earthy, and denser. Quinoa is unique for being one of the only plant foods that supply complete protein, including all amino acids, and is a go-to food for vegetarians and vegans.

Energetics: Sweet, Astringent, and cooling.

Qualities: Grounding, Ojas building, and alkalizing.

Vitamins: A, B6, E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, and betaine.

Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.

 

Squash Seeds (Pumpkin, Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti & Kabocha)

Squashes are gourds and are in the Cucurbitaceae family. All squash seeds are edible and have nutritional value. Many are familiar with pumpkin seeds, but butternut, Acorn, Kabocha, and spaghetti squash are delicious. 

Energetics: Sweet, bitter, and cold.

Qualities: Alkaline, dry, and heavy.  

Vitamins: A, C, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium, calcium.

Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, and manganese.


Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds are the nutritious edible seeds from the opium poppy. They are sources of opium, heroin, morphine, and codeine, but the seeds do not contain opiates. The seeds contain omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, protein, and fiber.  

Energetics: Sweet, astringent, and cooling

Qualities: Oily, heavy, grounding, Ojas building, Tamasic, and alkalizing.

Vitamins: C, E, thiamin, niacin, B6, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, and betaine.

Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and fluoride.


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