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Seeds on Keto and Why You Should Eat Them

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  Published on November 13th, 2020
  Reading time: 4 minutes
  Last modified March 28th, 2023
Pumpkin seeds are keto friendly

From flax to chia and hemp, seeds are a popular and versatile snack on keto. Seeds aren’t just crunchy and delicious; they’re also packed with nutrition and deliver a range of health benefits. Seeds contain the starting materials needed to develop into complex plants, making them especially nutritious. Seeds are rich in fiber, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and various important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Let’s discuss six seeds you should have on keto!

1.   Flax Seeds

Flaxseeds or linseeds are an excellent source of fiber and omega-3 fats like alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It’s best to consume ground flaxseeds to increase your omega-3 levels because the omega-3 fats are contained within the fibrous outer shell of the seed, which isn’t easily digestible to humans. Flaxseeds provide manganese, magnesium, and thiamine (vitamin B1), along with a range of different polyphenols that act as important antioxidants in the body [1] [2] [3].

All of these factors could be the reason why flaxseeds have been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and improve heart health [4] [5] [6] [7].

Try one of these keto recipes starring flax seeds:

2.   Chia Seeds

Like flax seeds, chia seeds are also a great source of omega-3 fats and fiber, along with other nutrients. Chia seeds contain magnesium, manganese, and thiamine (vitamin B1) and important antioxidant polyphenols. Several studies have revealed that chia seeds can increase ALA in the blood — a beneficial omega-3 fatty acid that can lower inflammation. Your body converts ALA into other omega-3 fats like DHA, but many experts point out that this conversion process isn’t very efficient.

Chia seeds might help lower blood sugar and reduce appetite. Some studies also reveal that consuming chia seeds can reduce the risk factors for heart disease [8] [9] [10] [11] [12].

Did you know chia seeds also work well as a binder in baking recipes? Try one of these tasty chia seed recipes:

3.   Hemp Seeds

Many vegetarians choose hemp seeds as a source of protein. Studies show the quality of protein in hemp seeds is superior to most other plant protein sources. Hemp seeds provide zinc, magnesium, thiamine (vitamin B1), and gamma-linolenic acid — a beneficial anti-inflammatory fatty acid [13] [14].

Hemp seed oil might be advantageous for heart health and increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, which might also improve the symptoms of eczema [15] [16].

4.   Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are common in Asian cuisine. In Western countries, sesame seeds are often transformed into a paste called tahini. Sesame seeds also have a wide nutrient profile providing copper, manganese, magnesium, and more. Sesame seeds are one of the best-known dietary sources of lignans — beneficial fiber-associated compounds.

Studies show your gut bacteria might convert the sesamin from sesame seeds into another type of lignan called enterolactone that can act like the sex hormone estrogen. Experts believe enterolactone might have a protective effect against breast cancer and heart disease [17] [18] [19]. Research shows sesame seeds might lower inflammation in those with osteoarthritis and other arthritic conditions [20].

Try these keto pretzels or this Asian baked chicken with sesame seeds and flavoring.

5.   Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds don’t just conjure up nostalgic feelings of fall; they’re also rich in plenty of nutrients like phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium. Pumpkin seeds are good sources of phytosterols — plant compounds that might help lower blood cholesterol [21] [22].

Studies show those with a higher intake of pumpkin and sunflower seeds have a significantly lower risk of breast cancer. Another study in children revealed that pumpkin seeds might lower the risk of bladder stones by lowering the amount of calcium present in urine. Pumpkin seeds might also improve urinary disorders like overactive bladder [23] [24] [25].

Check out these delicious recipes featuring pumpkin seeds or flavoring:

6.   Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are rich in protein, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fats. Sunflower seeds contain fiber, manganese, and magnesium. These tasty little seeds might be linked with a reduction in inflammation in middle-aged and older people, which might help lower the risk of heart disease [26] [27].

Consuming sunflower seeds more than five times weekly has been associated with reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) — a chemical involved in inflammation. Another study showed that postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes that ate sunflower seeds experienced reduced LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol [28].

Do You Eat Tasty, Crunchy Seeds on Keto?

How do you prefer your seeds on keto? Do you prefer salty and roasted or raw and crunchy? 

Steph Green is a content writer specializing in and passionate about healthcare, wellness, and nutrition. Steph has worked with marketing agencies, written medical books for doctors like ‘Untangling the Web of Dysfunction,’ and her poetry book ‘Words that Might Mean Something.’ In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.



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