Ayurveda’s top three ‘super seeds’ for super health

The super seeds mentioned below may be tiny, but, they are huge in their nutritional value. Let us take a look at the multiple health benefits of these common super seeds and their ayurvedic uses, and determine how best we can incorporate them in our regular diet.

healthy seeds

Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, are a rich source of dietary fibre, Omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, helps increase good cholesterol levels (HDL) and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), apart from promoting fertility, relieving constipation, improving immunity and preventing cancer.

Flaxseeds are being used in Ayurvedic preparations for ages now, due to their therapeutic properties. Seeds and oil of the plant are used for their medicinal value. Flaxseeds are known to increase volume of urine, are beneficial in treatment of respiratory disorders, useful for colds, coughs, sore throat, and pulmonary complaints. Ayurvedic treatments suggest infusion made by soaking 30gms of powdered seeds overnight in a glass of water, and can be given with limejuice to treat tuberculosis with beneficial results.

Ayurveda also suggests that the seeds are helpful in treatment of gonorrhoea, irritation of genito-urinary organs, cystitis, nephritis, when taken in the form of tea repetitively. Ayurvedic physicians recommend hot poultice of flaxseed oil in treating eczema and other skin disorders.

However, it is to be noted here that flaxseeds are heat producing, and hence it should be used under the guidance of an Ayurvedic physician.

To include them in your diet, ground flaxseeds are the best, as they are easily digestible. You could grind them in small quantities and store in an air-tight container and consume them quickly, as they have a short shelf life. They can be added to yogurt, oatmeal, whole wheat flour, desserts or shakes.

Sesame Seeds

The sesame seeds possess nutritive, curative and preventive properties. The copper content present in them offers relief from rheumatoid arthritis, while magnesium present in the seeds improves cardiovascular health and lung functioning, prevents migraines and osteoporosis.

Sesame seeds are used in the treatment methods and therapies of Ayurveda. From an Ayurvedic perspective, the sesame seed is sweet, astringent, pungent, bitter, and has heating effect. Sesame seed oil form a fundamental part of Ayurvedic massages, due to their calming, nourishing and warming effect. A self-massage with sesame oil promotes physical strength, nourishes muscles and bones, helps better joint movement. In Ayurveda, Sesame seed oil is an inevitable ingredient for Panchakarma therapies. Further, according to Ayurvedic physicians, it helps promote sound sleep, strengthens intellect and nervous system, thereby nourishing hair and skin.

Sesame seeds can be consumed by adding to dips. They can also be added to vegetables, chicken, garlic, ginger and soy sauce or included in bread and muffins.

Sunflower Seeds

They are an excellent source of vitamin E, neutralises free radicals and prevent asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. The high magnesium content in them helps in blood pressure management, headaches and migraines, and promoting healthy teeth and bones.

The benefits of sunflower seeds are plenty including controlling cell damage, thereby preventing cancer, due to the presence of selenium. Ayurveda says, sunflower seeds help reduce inflammation, helps in cholesterol management, and improves detoxification.

Sunflower seeds are best stored in refrigerator. They can be added to salads, scrambled eggs, or in hot or cold cereals. Grinding a cup or two of sunflower seeds in a food processor with lemon juice and garlic, creates a delicious nutty spread to boost your immune system. They say, quarter cup of sunflower seeds a day, keeps heart troubles away.