"The Demon Seed," "The Dragon Seed," "The Seed of Chucky." Based on those movie titles, you might think seeds were a menace to us all.
But the truth is quite the opposite. Seeds contain a bounty of nutrients that fight disease and help prevent premature aging.
Here are some seeds you might not have tried yet. (Recipes and more info for these are on www.DoctorOz.com and in Dr. Mike's "What to Eat When Cookbook.")
• Pumpkin seeds — one ounce delivers 7 grams of protein along with 18% of your recommended dietary intake for vitamin K, 33% for phosphorus, 42% for manganese, 37% for magnesium, 23% for zinc, plus 6 grams of omega-6s and 7 grams of polyunsaturated fats. They boost your nutrition and fight inflammation.
• Flaxseed (pre-ground or ground at home) delivers the most ALA omega-3 fatty acids of any plant source in the North American diet, as well as a good dose of lignans, a phytoestrogen that's linked to reduced risks of osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer. It also has soluble fiber, which boosts digestion, lowers lousy LDL cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, and lowers the risk of heart disease.
• Hempseed (pre-ground or ground at home) delivers all nine essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.
• Sunflower seeds are high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber, and are a super-source of vitamin E (almost 20 mg in 3 ounces).
• Chia seeds are supercharged with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, loaded with 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon, and contain iron, calcium, and zinc.