They’re tiny and seemingly unpalatable and most of us automatically scrape them into the bin and continue with our cooking or eating. However, seeds make a nutritious high-energy snack. Please note that these should be consumed in moderate quantities especially due to their high calorific density and some known side-effects (that usually only occur when these are consumed in large quantities).

Watermelon seeds


Watermelon seeds… really? Aren’t you supposed to clean those out or spit them at your friends?

Maybe, but not only.. when dried and roasted, they make a good snack. They are high in protein and fat content, contain beneficial amino acids and B vitamins. They are high in magnesium content (magnesium helps regulate blood pressure and the metabolism of carbohydrates, which has a beneficial effect on blood sugar as well) and also contain important minerals such as phosphorous, iron, potassium, sodium, copper, manganese and zinc.

Pumpkin seeds


The seeds inside the pumpkin, or squash, are also known as pepitas. These are not only flavorful when roasted, but they are also packed full of nutrition. Pumpkin seeds impart anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain phytosterols, which when found in sufficient amounts are known to combat high cholesterol levels.

Pumpkin seeds are known to contain high levels of manganese and also other minerals such as magnesium, phosphorous, tryptophan, iron, copper, protein, zinc and vitamin K.

See my post on Roasted butternut squash seeds.

Sunflower seeds


Unless you are growing large sunflowers, you’re more likely to get these from a health shop or supermarket. They are very easy to find nowadays. Sunflower seeds are packed with nutrition and can be eaten alone or easily added to salads or trail-mixes of nuts, seeds and dried fruits.¬†They are full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats ¬†(good fats) and are also high in fibre.

Sunflower seeds have high amounts of vitamin E, selenium and copper, which have antioxidant properties. These nutrients protect tissue from oxidant and free radical damage, and may prevent cancer by reducing and suppressing cellular damage from oxidants. The fact that they contain phytosterols also contributes to their anti-cancer properties. Sunflower seeds contain Tryptophan, which is an amino acid responsible for processing serotonin in our bodies. When serotonin is released in bodies it relieves tension, relaxes our bodies and promotes sleep.

Sunflower seeds are a nutrient-rich food, containing vitamins E and B, and minerals that include selenium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, calcium and zinc. They are also high in protein.

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