The 3 Best Super Seeds for Smoothies
The health benefits of drinking smoothies loaded with fruits and vegetables are significant and primarily come from a desire to increase our intake of vitamins and minerals via superfoods for a healthy immune system. Not to mention, they're absolutely delicious :)
Common superfood favorites include avocados, coconuts, tree nuts, and even seeds. Seeds are highly nutritious as they are high in essential fatty acids like omega-3 and plant-based omega-6. They are also high in antioxidants. Besides being super good for you, they are also simple to work with and blend well with all smoothie ingredients. All you have to do to easily blend them into your smoothies is throw them in the container and blend, all without changing their texture or flavor.
Although there are plenty of seeds out there which you can easily add to your smoothies, chia, flax, and hemp are the 3 super seeds that are easily our must-have favorites. You can find them in most grocery stores, so you should have no trouble finding them and incorporating them into all your delicious smoothie recipes.
Healthy Seeds for Smoothies
Seeds contain all the necessary biological material for transforming into complex plants. They are a great source of fiber and also contain healthy polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and many crucial minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. When you consume seeds, you help your body obtain these healthy nutrients, as well as maintain an overall healthy diet.
One of the best things about seeds is that they provide protein and other life-enhancing nutrients. Studies show that different types of seeds can be incorporated into a diet to prevent weight gain, help lower cholesterol, and the development of heart disease. The Mediterranean diet is considered to be the best diet in the world and it contains a significant amount of seeds.
Now, you must be wondering what the difference between seeds and nuts are or are they the same thing. Unlike nuts that are the fruit of the plant and contain a single seed within them, a seed is the part of a plant that comprises an embryo of a plant. To ensure that the embryo has a good source of energy, it contains oils and nutrients that help make the seed high in monounsaturated fats, vitamins, and fiber. Therefore, adding these tiny powerhouses to your smoothies is possibly the best decision that you can make for added benefit.
When you drink smoothies that contain super seeds, you get to ensure that your body has nutrient-dense energy. Moreover, if you have been searching for plant-based protein, seeds have got you covered. Even if you are allergic to nuts, chances are that you might be able to eat seeds. Paleo and low-FODMAP dieters, omnivores, and vegans can add seeds in their smoothies as they serve as gut-friendly fuel and boost optimal cardiovascular, hormonal, and immune health. Hence, you must add them to your smoothies without thinking twice.
The Best Seeds to Put in Smoothies
OK - now you understand the overall value of seeds, which ones should you combine with your leafy greens, frozen fruit, and almond milk to make a great smoothie? Our top-3 smoothy seeds are:
Chia Seeds in Smoothies
One of the super seeds for smoothies that you need to stock up on is chia seeds. You simply cannot go wrong with chia seeds in smoothies. They are a great source of omega 3 fats and fiber along with many other nutrients. An ounce 1 (28-gram) serving of chia seeds consists of the following.
- Calories: 137
- Protein: 4.4 grams
- Fiber: 10.6 grams
- Omega-6 Fats: 1.6 grams
- Omega-3 Fats: 4.9 grams
- Monounsaturated Fat: 0.6 grams
- Vitamin B1: 15 percent of the RDI
- Manganese: 30 percent of the RDI
- Magnesium: 30 percent of the RDI
Chia seeds contain important antioxidant polyphenols. There have been a number of studies that have concluded that eating chia seeds increases ALA in the blood which is a crucial fatty acid that reduces inflammation and blood sugar levels. Our body can convert ALA into any other omega-3 fats which may be needed such as DHA and EPA. But, the conversion process is not as efficient. Both ground and whole chia seeds are used to manage high blood pressure and can effectively reduce blood sugar levels immediately upon consumption.
Moreover, chia seeds help reduce appetite as they contain healthy fats and fiber. They might also help reduce the risk of developing heart disease as the seeds reduce levels of several inflammatory chemicals. Add chia seeds in smoothies to take your healthy lifestyle to a whole new level.
Flax Seeds in Smoothies
Adding flax seeds in smoothies is also a great idea as they contain omega-3 fats and fiber. But, the omega-3 fats cannot be absorbed by humans as they are located within the fibrous outer shell of the seed. Thus, you will need to eat flaxseeds that have been ground (ground flax) if you want to boost your omega-3 levels. An ounce (28-gram) serving of flax seeds contains a multitude of nutrients as mentioned below.
- Calories: 152
- Protein: 5.2 grams
- Fiber: 7.8 grams
- Omega-6 Fats: 1.7 grams
- Omega-3 Fats: 6.5 grams
- Monounsaturated Fat: 2.1 grams
- Vitamin B1: 31 percent of the RDI
- Manganese: 35 percent of the RDI
- Magnesium: 28 percent of the RDI
In addition to the above, ground flax also consist of different polyphenols such as lignans that serve as important antioxidants. By adding ground flax to your smoothies, you get to increase your omega-3 fats and fiber intake which would help reduce cholesterol, a primary driver of heart disease.
Studies show that consuming flax seeds reduces LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 10 ml which makes them a great option for reducing blood pressure. It is advised that you eat them whole for the best results. In addition to this, eating flax seeds may also reduce markers of tumor growth and overall cancer risk. This is possible due to the lignans that are found in flaxseeds. These are phytoestrogens which are similar to estrogen, the female sex hormone.
Additionally, flax seeds have been studied for their cancer prevention properties as a function of their high lignan content, although the research is incomplete. Oncology Nutrition has an excellent article detailing what we know about the relationship between flaxseed and prostate cancer.
Beyond the health benefits, ground flax is an excellent thickening agent to add to your smoothies, making them an excellent choice for smoothie bowls.
Hemp Seeds in Smoothies
Hemp seeds are all over the news today. They are an amazing source of vegetarian protein as they contain over 30% protein and many other essential nutrients. The fact is that these are some of the only plants to serve as a complete protein source. This means that they provide all the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make themselves. Research reveals that the quality of protein found in hemp seeds tends to be much better than that offered by most plant protein sources. An ounce (28-gram) serving of hemp seeds comprises the following.
- Calories: 155
- Protein: 8.8 grams
- Fiber: 1.1 grams
- Monounsaturated Fat: 0.6 grams
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 10.6 grams
- Vitamin B1: 31 percent of the RDI
- Magnesium: 45 percent of the RDI
- Zinc: 21 percent of the RDI
Hemp seeds also provide gamma-linolenic acid which is an essential anti-inflammatory fatty acid. It is due to this reason that most people add these little seeds to their smoothies. Hemp seeds are beneficial for heart health as they increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids in your blood. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory action offered by hemp seeds also helps improve eczema symptoms. Studies show that people who experience eczema benefit from less itchiness and skin dryness after adding hemp seeds to their diet.
Smoothy Seeds Honorable Mentions
One of the most commonly consumed types of seeds is pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of omega-6 fats, monounsaturated fats, and phosphorus. An ounce (28-gram) serving of pumpkin seeds comprises the following.
- Calories: 151
- Omega-6 Fats: 6 grams
- Protein: 7 grams
- Fiber: 1.7 grams
- Monounsaturated Fat: 4 grams
- Phosphorus: 33 percent of the RDI
- Magnesium: 45 percent of the RDI
- Manganese: 42 percent of the RDI
Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols that are plant compounds that help lower blood cholesterol. They are widely consumed for their many health benefits due to their nutrients. Studies show that a higher intake of pumpkin seeds reduces the risk of breast cancer in women and bladder stones in children as it reduces the amount of calcium in your urine.
For those of you that do not know much about bladder stones, they are like kidney stones as they are formed when certain minerals end up crystalizing inside the bladder. Thus, they cause severe abdominal discomfort.
Pumpkin seeds should also be added to smoothies as they improve symptoms of urinary and prostate disorders. They have been found to have the potential to improve the quality of life for men who experience issues like overactive bladders as well as enlarged prostates.
Sunflower seeds also have to be mentioned as they are just simply amazing. They contain a good amount of Vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and protein. An ounce (28-gram) serving of sunflower seeds comprises the following.
- Calories: 164
- Protein: 5.8 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Monounsaturated Fat: 5.2 grams
- Vitamin E: 47 percent of the RDI of vitamin e
- Omega-6 Fats: 6.4 grams
- Magnesium: 23 percent of the RDI
- Manganese: 27 percent of the RDI
Sunflower seeds are commonly associated with a reduction in inflammation in older people. It has been suggested that sunflower seeds can help reduce the possibility of heart disease due to their potential anti-inflammatory properties. As increasing sunflower seeds can reduce inflammation, it is a vital ingredient in any smoothie. When you consume sunflower seeds at least five times a week, you may benefit from a reduction in CRP, which is a key chemical that causes inflammation.
Moreover, postmenopausal women who have type 2 diabetes may benefit from a reduction in blood cholesterol levels when they consume these seeds regularly. Try them in your smoothie today!
Sesame seeds can also be a great addition to your smoothie. Sesame seeds are known for their protein and fiber, as well as the many benefits they provide to our digestive health. They are widely consumed across Asia and even in Western countries as a paste. An ounce (28-gram) serving of sesame seeds comprises the following:
- Calories: 160
- Protein: 5 grams
- Fiber: 3.3 grams
- Monounsaturated Fat: 5.3 grams
- Magnesium: 25 percent of the RDI
- Manganese: 34 percent of the RDI
- Copper: 57 percent of the RDI
- Omega-6 Fats: 6 grams
Similar to flaxseeds, sesame seeds consist of a high concentration of lignans. When you consume sesame seeds, they are converted by the gut bacteria into enterolactone which is another type of lignan. Increasing your intake of enterolactone which acts like estrogen, may help decrease your risk of suffering from heart disease and breast cancer.
Another reason to add sesame seeds to your smoothies is that they have the potential to help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation which are known for worsening the symptoms of many disorders, such as arthritis. Besides this, sesame seeds reduce muscle damage and increase aerobic capacity.
Notable Non-Seeds Mentions
- Nut butter like almond butter, peanut butter, and other nut butters
- Nuts: cashew nuts, brazil nuts, other nuts
- Liquids: almond milk, hemp milk, coconut water
- Protein powders (focus on plant-based protein powder)
- Maca powder
Super Seeds in Blendtopia Smoothies
With all of the amazing benefits found in super seeds like Flaxseed, Hemp Seeds, and Chia Seeds, it should come as no surprise to you that they are an essential part of our Blendtopia smoothie kits! If you want an easy way to incorporate the best seeds into your diet, while also enjoying the great taste of a delicious smoothie, definitely check out these Blendtopia smoothies that are jam-packed with the power of the best seeds.
- Detox Smoothie: organic milled flax seeds, organic hemp seeds
- Energy Smoothie: organic milled chia seeds, organic milled flax seeds
- Glow Smoothie: organic milled flax seeds, organic hemp seeds
- Immunity Smoothie: organic chia seeds, organic ground flaxseed
- Strength Smoothie: organic milled flax seeds, organic hemp seeds
- Keto Green Smoothie: organic milled flax seeds, organic hemp seeds
- Keto Berry Smoothie: organic milled chia seeds, organic milled flax seeds
- Keto Chocolate Chai Smoothie: organic ground flaxseed
Adding super seeds to your daily smoothie recipe is a terrific source of absolutely critical vitamins and minerals. Beyond the benefits of vitamins, nutrients, extra protein, good fats, and general well-being, they taste great and can help you create a thick, creamy, super tasty smoothie. Making smoothies should be a fun adventure, try adding seeds to your green smoothies or fruit smoothies and reap the rewards!