Pumpkin seeds

Seeds are the source of life—a magical dense capsule of information, nutrition and in many cases, absolute yumminess. Nuts often overshadow seeds in the handy protein-rich-healthy-fat snack category, but there are a number of reasons to skip the nuts and go with seeds instead.

While nuts do offer us a lot of great benefits (especially almonds and walnuts), they are common food allergens, can be too fatty and difficult to digest for some. Seeds, on the other hand, are rarely the cause of allergies, are much easier to digest and may be more versatile than nuts. Have you tried these super seeds?

Hemp

This may be the king of seeds due to its high content of protein, fiber and healthy omega fats. No, it’s not marijuana and you will not get high from eating them (unless you consider increased energy, mental focus, clarity and strength as intoxicating). Not the easiest to snack on by the handful, try hemp protein, hemp seed oil or sprinkling hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds) onto salads, soups or into your smoothies.

Chia

Yes, it’s also a pet. But more importantly, it’s a superfood treasured by Aztec cultures for thousands of years for its protein, antioxidants and fat content. You may have seen chia fresca drinks on the market recently; the little buggers can absorb 12 times their weight in liquid in just ten minutes making them an excellent way to stay hydrated. Also yummy sprinkled on salads, oatmeal or added to baked goods.

Pumpkin

The jack-o-lantern innards are in some ways the very best part. Loaded with protein, zinc, magnesium, potassium and copper, they’re also an iron-rich food, containing 20 percent of the recommended daily intake in just one serving. Eat ‘em by the handful or try the incredible pumpkin seed butter.

Sesame

The tiny sesame seed a la bagels and McDonald’s Big Mac buns is actually very rich in a number of nutrients including iron, calcium, vitamins B and E, and contains a unique fat called sesamin that has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Sprinkle atop most anything or replace peanut butter with sesame paste also known as tahini. Or make the incredibly delicious, rich, sesame milk.

Coconut 

Yes, coconut is biologically a seed, not a nut! It’s an incredible source of healthy fats and lauric acid (also found in breast milk), which has a number of anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Whether you drink the fresh “milk,” eat the fleshy coconut “meat” or use the cold-pressed oil, you’re getting a number of benefits of which deliciousness is certainly one.

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image: HealthAliciousNess