Most of us hear that nuts are healthy for us and can help us lose weight, but there are also many seeds that can help you lose weight just as well as, if not better than nuts. While nuts are great for you, some people find them harder to digest, and hard to portion out. Nuts are also higher per serving than seeds are.
For example, a small handful of almonds has about 15 grams of fat, while a serving of flax seeds, roughly 2 tbsp., has only 5. You also need less seeds per serving than nuts, which makes them lower density.
All nuts and seeds are great for your body, and I love both just the same, but I’d like to spotlight some special seeds that can help you lose weight if that is a concern you might have.
Most seeds are brimming with more fiber and minerals than nuts, while still having the healthy monounsaturated fats and protein that nuts are known for. Eat these seeds throughout the day, and discover one of nature’s most powerful little weight loss secrets.
1. Pumpkin Seeds
Did you know some of the best seeds that can help you lose weight are pumpkin seeds? Pumpkin seeds have more zinc than any other seed, which is important for fat burning. Zinc helps the body produce the muscle forming and fat burning hormone testosterone. It also increases lean muscle mass and keeps your blood sugar steady. Pumpkin seeds also contain iron and magnesium, both of which are important for your energy levels, and for keeping anxiety and fatigue at bay. They are also great for your digestive tract, and rich in protein to promote lean body mass and satiety. Pumpkin seeds are also one of the only seeds that promotes alkalinity in the body, neutralizing acidity. Add them to yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, salads or wherever else you like.
2. Hemp Seeds
The next seed that is wonderful for weight loss and brain function is hemp seeds. Hemp seeds have a double effect on weight loss. First, they contain almost 12 grams of protein in just 3 tbsp. and they contain omega 3 fats that help to burn fat in the body. These same fats also prevent a low mood, which might have you turning to junk food later. Hemp seeds also promote alkalinity in the body just like pumpkin seeds do, so they combat inflammation. Hemp seeds are a great source of energizing and calming magnesium, iron to keep your energy high, some zinc and lots of potassium to beat bloat. Lastly, hemp seeds are loaded with fiber, which regulates your blood sugar and promotes regularity.
3. Chia Seeds
Most of us know by now that chia seeds are great for weight loss. If you didn’t already know, chia seeds are full of fiber, omega 3 fats, magnesium, potassium, iron and are relatively low in fat actually. For 2 tbsp., there are only 5 grams of fat in chia seeds. They are mostly made of soluble fiber that gels up anything they are added to, much like a pudding. I like them in smoothies to plump them up nicely, or you can add them to almond milk and make chia pudding, or add them to your oatmeal, etc. Chia seeds help keep you fuller longer, and are said to be the most energizing seed of all. I would definitely have to agree since they keep me running for hours without going hungry.
4. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds area great weight loss seeds, but most importantly, they’re just great to eat anytime overall. They’re filled with Vitamin E, which acts as a powerful antioxidant to combat toxins and inflammation, so long as you eat them raw, not roasted. Sunflower seeds are also a rich source of magnesium. Magnesium helps keep your anxiety at bay and it prevents excess cortisol in the body. Magnesium also helps ensure a healthy nervous system and helps to energize you so you burn more calories. Sunflower seeds also contain protein and fiber, plus B vitamins, which are all very important for burning calories and keeping you full.
5. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are one of the best sources of omega 3 fats of all sources. Omega 3 fats help your body burn fat, and they regulate insulin levels in the body. Flax seeds also contain some iron, protein and lots of fiber to fill you up quickly. They are a good source of phytoestrogens, which act like natural estrogen in the body, helping your hormones to stay steady and prevent you from becoming unhinged and anxious, which causes improper hormone imbalance and leads to weight gain.
Did you know that quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain? It’s true! Quinoa is called a pseudo-grain because it is actually a seed, but cooks up like a grain, so it gets categorized as one. For this reason, I like to call it nature’s “undercover” seed! Quinoa is a rich source of all essential amino acids, fiber, protein, magnesium, zinc and even some healthy fats. It is a little higher in carbohydrates than other seeds since it contains some starch like grains do, but most of these excess carbs are used for energy, not storage, so not to worry. Quinoa is one of the best weight loss seeds you can eat, and about ¼ cup is all you need to get the benefits.
Sesame seeds are excellent for you due to their high mineral composition and protein composition. They contain calcium, magnesium, Vitamin E and zinc, which your body needs for a tip top metabolism and good blood sugar regulation. Sesame seeds also contain fiber that helps keep you full longer and regulates digestion. Add them to salads, smoothies, soups or wherever else you like. You can also use tahini, which is a buttery spread made from sesame seeds.
I always recommend eating seeds raw whenever you can to get the most nutrients. Roasting seeds can change the fat composition and lead to weight gain, not loss. Also, be sure to stick to unsalted versions of seeds, instead of those found in sugary and salty trail mixes. Add in 2 tbsp. of seeds per serving and try having at least two-three servings of seeds per day. Do you use any of these seeds in your diet? How do you use them?