Never underestimate the power of seeds. In the words of dietitian Lori Zanini, they are "nutritional powerhouses" packed with vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. As the spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Zanini regularly recommends adding a pinch of seeds to a smoothie, salad, or dinner entrée instead of revamping your entire diet.
"If I say, 'Eat these seeds, and this new meal, and this new bar,' it's a little too much," Zanini told Prevention. "Gradually incorporating a small change into something they're already doing seems to work better for most people." According to Zanini, these are the three kinds of seeds to work into your diet ASAP.
For Fiber: Chia Seeds
With nearly 11 grams of fiber per ounce, chia seeds top Zanini's list of powerhouse seeds. "The more fiber you eat, the lower your risk of chronic diseases, and fiber also helps lower your blood sugar," she explains. You can make your own chia seed pudding or simply sprinkle them on your morning avocado toast.
For Magnesium: Flaxseed
According to Zanini, flaxseeds are a great source of magnesium, fiber, and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that helps reduce chronic inflammation. She recommends opting for ground flaxseed versus whole flaxseeds, as the body absorbs the ground-up seeds better.
For Protein: Hemp seeds
Hemp seeds are awash with amino acids, omega-3s, and magnesium. But most importantly, they're considered a "complete protein," meaning they contain all nine of the essential amino acids. For this reason, they're the ideal diet addition for vegetarians.
Which powerhouse seeds have you added to your diet? Share your recommendations below.