Seeds are a part of my daily diet. They are healthy; high in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, and healthy oils (plus, they are much better for you than chips). But, be careful, they are also high in calories. An article in the 11/4/11 edition of The Arizona Republic details 7 healthy seeds, which are:

1)Pumpkin/Squash seeds. High in protein, iron, zinc, magnesium,, phosphorus, and manganese (which is good for prostate health). Watch for the salt levels-I mix unsalted with salted. Contain a lot of fat if eaten to excess.

2) Hemp seeds. Packed with protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and minerals for heart health. Great for use in baking or sprinkle on a salad.

3) Cha-Cha-Cha Chia seeds. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, fiber and minerals. Also great for blood sugar control. Some studies suggest Chia seeds can prevent signs of aging. I put a tbsp in my yogurt on most days.

4) Pomegranate seeds. Abundant in vitamins C and K, folate, antioxidants, and potassium. All help fight heart disease, prostate disease, and help control weight. I put them in salads, oatmeal, or yogurt. I have two complaints about these: 1) they are only available from October to January, and 2) they are really messy if you try to get them out of a whole pomegranate.

5) Flaxseeds. Offers fiber, thiamine, magnesium, manganese, omega-3 fatty acids which help keep a healthy digestive system. Also helps reduce cholesterol levels. Has often been cited for menopausal system relief, but some studies show side effects to using flaxseed, including allergic reactions. I don’t use this seed, although my wife does occasionally.

6) Sesame seeds.  High in calcium, manganese, copper, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium, which can help protect the liver. I use it in baking, smoothies, salads, and noodle dishes.

7) Sunflower seeds. Has high concentrations of vitamin E, antioxidants, thiamine, magnesium, copper, niacin, selenium, manganese, vitamin B6, folate, phosphorus, and fiber. I use them for a snack and on salads. Be careful, they are addictive and are high in fat, so eat in moderation. I measure out one-quarter cup for snacking.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.