Seeds are the characteristic reproductive structure of flowering plants (angiosperms) and gymnosperms. They consist of a miniature undeveloped plant embryo enclosed in a protective covering and a supply of nutrients for the embryo.
Printed seed catalogues still exist, but only as an exercise in horticultural eccentricity. They feature descriptions that would be at home in a children’s-toy catalog or an automobile-dealership Web site.
They are a source of food
Seeds are an important source of food and nourishment. They contain a high proportion of fat, which is used as energy. In addition, seeds are rich in carbohydrates and proteins. They also contain a lot of plant-based vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. They are also a good source of fibre, which is essential for digestive health and can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Seeds have an extraordinary ability to wait, sometimes for a long time, until environmental conditions are suitable for growth. They have a hard shell to protect them from predators and parasites, as well as a store of food reserves in an area called the micropyle. The seed is then able to “wake up” and germinate when the soil is damp enough, and the temperature is appropriate.
Seeds are a good source of protein, healthy fats and dietary fiber, which can boost the immune system and promote cardiovascular, digestive, bone, muscle and brain health. They are also a good source of magnesium, which may help lower blood pressure and improve bone density.
They are a source of energy
Seeds contain an embryonic plant and a store of energy. They also have a food supply – the endosperm – packed with nutrients to keep it alive while it waits for the right conditions to sprout. These seeds are a source of energy for many animals, including birds and mammals. These creatures disperse the seeds and help them spread far afield. They may fall to the ground near the mother plant, or they can be carried a great distance by wind or water.
Seed plants are the dominant biological group on Earth, and they are divided into two categories, gymnosperms (naked seeds) and angiosperms, which have seeds enclosed in ovaries. Gymnosperms have a simple ovule and seed structure, while angiosperms have a more complex ovule and seed structure. However, scientists still know very little about the genetic control of seed development. New research is helping to fill in this gap. Cecilia Koornneef of the New York Botanical Garden and her colleagues are studying the genes that regulate seed development in different species.
They are a source of medicine
Seeds are a rich source of nutrients and medicine. They contain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that can provide a wide range of health benefits. They also contain important protein and dietary fiber, as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Seeds are also a good source of antioxidants and lignans, which are plant-based polyphenols with anticancer properties.
In addition, seeds are a source of dietary fibre, which is essential for digestive health and helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol. They also have a number of other medicinal properties, including emmenagogue, stimulant and diuretic actions.
A seed is the embryo of a new plant, enclosed in a protective outer covering known as a testa. It grows inside the mother plant until it reaches a specific size and then growth is halted. Seeds are the dominant source of human calories and protein. They are also a rich source of vitamin E and potassium. Some seeds are high in lignans, which act as natural estrogens and have anticancer properties.