Ever have one of those mornings when you just know you’ll be eating pizza for the rest of the day? Or made a smoothie and needed a little more sustenance? Made a salad and realized it’s kind of lame? There are some great and easy additions you can make to your food that will go a long way.
Enter these seven tiny wonders into your next meal and taste the magic.
Chia seeds are all the rage right now, and rightly so. These tiny super-foods are a great addition to your diet, as part of baked goods, smoothies and salads. You can even mix them with liquid and they expand and transform into a jam or pudding-like substance.
Like many others on this list, chia seeds are sources of fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and antioxidants. However, they also make great pre-workout fuel.
Time to top off your stir-fry. These seeds are rich in many minerals, such as copper, magnesium and zinc. Why do we care? Because just these three minerals help provide relief for rheumatoid arthritis and support vascular, respiratory and bone health, on top of other health benefits.
#SpoonTip: You can also find sesame seeds in hummus or other dips where tahini is the fundamental ingredient.
Sunflower seeds are great due in part to their nutrition, but also their versatility. You can take your time cracking them out of their shells (slower eating = less calories), buy them shelled to sprinkle on salads, or even buy sunflower seed butter which is akin to any nut butter (did someone say a SSB&J sandwich?). Oh, and they are a great source of vitamin E, selenium, magnesium and can help lower cholesterol.
Hemp hearts (also referred as shelled hemp seeds) are easy to digest, and don’t they just look so healthy? And good thing they are too; they contain protein, Omega-3s and omega-6s as well as helping with metabolism.
People often top their acai bowls or homemade granola bars with them. However, if you are not a fan of their taste, try putting a spoonful or so in your smoothie or milkshake. Boom, their taste is gone and yet the nutrients remain intact.
This super food, dare I say it, is perhaps better for you than kale. It contains Omega-3s, lignans and fiber among other benefits. Although not especially tasty by itself, you can buy ground flaxseed (perfect to add to a smoothie) or buy one of the many flax-hiding crackers, muffins or other baked good.
There are both unshelled pumpkin seeds (the small green ones aka pepitas), as well as shelled (what you find while carving pumpkins). Both are good for you, so why not eat both, right?
The shelled version has slightly higher amounts of zinc, yet also more carbohydrates (which are not always a bad thing). However, both have lots of antioxidants and antimicrobial benefits. Translation: eat pumpkin seeds when everyone around you is starting to get sick.
Okay so even though we are not all grandmas, wheat germ is not a thing of the past anymore and we should all start eating it more. Wheat germ is the seed from wheat, but it has more vitamins and minerals and fewer carbs, making it a win-win. Mix it with oatmeal or muffin mix for a boost in B1, B6, fiber and even some protein.
Hopefully now you are a bit more wise, a bit more hungry, and ready to add a bit more nutrients to your day without having to chop up any vegetables.