Whether you sprinkle them, blend them, or snack on a handful, these three super-seeds are edible gems that could help prevent menstrual cramps, heart disease and more.
1. Pumpkin Seeds
Are menstrual symptoms cramping your style? Try adding a handful of pumpkin seeds to your afternoon snack. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, a mineral known to combat cramps. Plus, the popular salad toppers are packed with magnesium and manganese, which can boost your mood and fight water retention. In addition, studies suggest that pumpkin seed oil, which is rich in natural phytoestrogens, may lead to increased levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol and help reduce blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches and joint pain.
2. Chia Seeds
To help regulate blood sugar and boost digestive health, try sprinkling a spoonful of chia seeds on your morning yogurt. Chia seeds are high in fiber and antioxidants, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the brain and heart, and can help reduce the risks for disorders such as diabetes, stroke, inflammatory bowel disease and mental decline. Plus, the seeds slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream by creating a natural barrier within the stomach, making them a handy tool for any diabetic.
3. Hemp Seeds
Help prevent coronary heart disease by adding a spoonful of hemp seeds to your favorite smoothie. Hempseed oil contains linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, that studies have shown can be beneficial to cardiovascular health, and aliphatic alcohols, which can help lower cholesterol and reduce platelet buildup. Plus, hemp seeds are packed with vitamins A, C and E, beta carotene, and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium.