Looking to establish a healthy diet that includes more plant-based protein, healthy fats, and fiber? Add seeds!  Seeds are tiny plant embryos that contain the food and nutrients needed to start the growth of a plant. This makes seeds a great source of a variety of nutrients like heart-healthy fats, protein, fiber and a number of essential vitamins and minerals.  Flax, chia, and hemp seeds are plant-based sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fats which may lower the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation in the body.  Check out this guide to seeds to learn about their individual benefits and how to incorporate them into your diet.

Seeds Serving/Calories Nutrition Benefits How to use
Chia 2 Tablespoons,

120 calories

4 grams protein, 8 grams fiber, rich source of calcium, rich source of omega-3 fat Add to recipes for baked goods or mixed into smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt. Chia seeds can also can be made into a pudding!


Flax 2 Tablespoons,

110 calories

4 grams protein and 6 grams fiber. Rich in omega-3 fat and many vitamins and minerals Consume ground. Add to recipes for baked goods, add to cereals, smoothies or toss into whole grain side dishes such as quinoa or rice pilaf.


Hemp 2 Tablespoons,

110 calories

6 grams protein, 2 grams fiber, rich in omega-3 fat, along with vitamin E, zinc and other minerals


Sprinkle into yogurt or cottage cheese, add to smoothies, or add to salads or stir fry dishes.


2 Tablespoons,

20 calories

Rich source of potassium, source of Vitamin C and fiber Sprinkle into yogurt and cottage cheese or add to a salad.


Pumpkin 2 Tablespoon,

80 calories

4 grams protein and 2 grams fiber, healthy fat, vitamin E and minerals including iron, zinc, copper and magnesium Eat alone, toss into a nut mix or use as a garnish on salads. Pumpkin seeds can also be incorporated into your favorite granola.


Sesame 2 Tablespoons

100 calories

4 grams protein and 2 grams fiber.  Good source of vitamin E, a number of minerals and an excellent source of plant sterols (with cholesterol lowering potential)


Use in breading, sprinkle on salads or sprinkle on avocado toast.
Sunflower 2 Tablespoons,

80 calories

4 grams protein, 2 grams fiber.  Good source of vitamin E, selenium Eat as a snack or add to steel cut oats, yogurt, tuna salad or sprinkle on garden salad or cooked vegetables. Try this seed granola recipe that includes many different seeds.

Reference: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list

If you already eat seeds on a regular basis, great!  If you are new to the idea of eating seeds, try using the tips and recipe links provided.  Add a dose of seeds to your diet today.

In good health,