Seed, a reproductive body found in many angiosperms (flowering plants) and gymnosperms (conifers). It contains an embryo and the food it needs to grow into a new plant.
Seeds are surrounded by a protective coat, called the testa, that protects them from physical, mechanical and temperature-related damage. The embryo and endosperm, which is food for the seed, may be inside or outside the testa.
Seeds, like nuts and legumes, offer a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. They also contain a high amount of protein and healthy fats.
They’re a source of fiber, lignans, and vitamin E, says Patton. They’re especially high in the omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cholesterol levels.
While they’re not as low in calories as many other snacks, they can help you meet your weight and health goals by containing both protein and heart-healthy fats that give you a feeling of fullness for longer.
They’re also a good source of magnesium and zinc, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke. In addition to making a delicious snack, seeds can be added to breakfast cereals, yogurt and salads. They’re also becoming a popular alternative to dairy milk, thanks to companies like Land O’ Lakes and Good Seed.
Seeds provide a variety of healthful foods, including protein, omega-3 fats, dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. They’re also a good source of antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Seeds can be eaten alone or mixed into other foods, like homemade granola and energy bars. You can also use seeds as a base for gluten-free breading and pasta dishes.
Chia, flax and hemp seeds all have high levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fat that your body can convert to the more beneficial EPA and DHA fats.
Many seeds are also high in soluble fiber, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer and keeps your digestive system working efficiently. They’re also good sources of a number of vitamins, including phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. And they’re a good source of antioxidants, especially the heart-healthy polyphenols.
The seed represents the basic unit of dispersal in plants. Throughout history, seeds have been used in a wide variety of ways to add flavor, texture and nutrition to foods.
They are also the primary source of germination and emergence. As such, they provide a vital base for farmers and ingredient processors to build upon when formulating foods and beverages.
In recent years, seed has become a more versatile and diverse ingredient than ever before. For example, a growing number of seed products are now available that can be infused with sweet or savory flavors.
A new crop of seed products are also being launched that combine nutrient rich whole grains with a variety of flavors, including chili-lime, nacho cheese, habanero and jalapeno. This provides a more versatile and nutritious option for consumers, which is a win-win for all parties involved.
Easy to Grow
Growing seed is a rewarding way to save money, fill your garden with heirloom varieties and produce delicious fresh vegetables. Start by browsing seed catalogs, or checking online sites to find the best options in your area.
Ease of germination is an important factor in success when planting seeds. Choosing the right temperature, soil and water for germination will make a big difference in seedlings’ growth.
A seed can start to grow and sprout within two to 14 days, depending on its type. To help ensure germination, place seeds on a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag and set in a warm spot.
Nasturtiums are an easy-to-grow plant that will brighten your yard or a patio. They have edible flowers and leaves, are naturally pest-resistant, and also attract bees to your vegetable garden.