Healthy Snacks: What Are The Best Oilseeds For Your Health?
For anyone looking for a healthy snack, nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts are a good solution because they are easy to take and snack on anywhere. Although these nuts are known to be high in fat and calories, they have many nutritional benefits. Let's find out which oilseeds are the best for your health.
A little vocabulary
Before we tell you what the best oilseeds for health are and help you choose healthy snacks to snack on when you're craving something, let's start by clarifying what exactly the definition of the word...
The word 'oilseed' derives from the Latin oleum which means 'oil'. It therefore refers to all plants grown for their fruits or seeds, from which oil can be extracted.
This generic term covers several types of plants:
- nuts or dried fruits such as walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts
- seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or chia seeds
- fruits from which oil is extracted such as olives, coconut or avocado
As you may have gathered, the oilseed family includes plants with diverse characteristics, but each one has nutritional benefits.
Among the best oilseeds for health, we must first mention the walnuts because many studies have confirmed their nutritional virtues.
Walnuts are a healthy snack because of their richness in omega 3 and their content of vitamin B9, amino acids and polyphenols. A 20g serving of walnut kernels provides 3g of protein as well as antioxidants found in the brown skin of the kernels.
Among the healthy snacks recommended by nutritionists, almonds have been very popular in recent years, and rightly so! These nuts are perhaps the best oilseeds for your health and should probably be on the top of the podium.
Indeed, almonds are rich in fiber, protein, but also in manganese, potassium, magnesium and calcium. They contain 2.5 g of fiber and 4.5 g of protein for a 20 g serving.
In addition, more than half of the fatty acids in these nuts are monounsaturated fats like those in olive oil and the antioxidants in the almond skin are thought to help prevent cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and Alzheimer's disease.
Hazelnuts are another healthy snack that can satisfy both sweet and savory lovers.
Like almonds, they are among the best oilseeds for health because they are rich in fiber and protein, with 2.3 g of fiber and 3.4 g of protein respectively for a 20-g serving.
Hazelnuts also contain vitamin E and antioxidant polyphenols. These dried fruits provide monounsaturated fatty acids in slightly higher quantities than almonds and are interesting for their vitamin B6 and B9 and potassium content.
4- Pumpkin seeds
If you prefer seeds to nuts, feel free to snack on pumpkin seeds as a healthy snack! These seeds are among the best oilseeds for your health thanks in part to their high protein content (7.1 g for a 20 g serving).
But their nutritional interest does not stop there because pumpkin seeds also contain magnesium, potassium, zinc (1.6 mg for 20 g, i.e. 15% of daily needs) and iron (1.8 mg for 20 g, i.e. 11% of daily needs).
5- Chia seeds
Of course, chia seeds can't just be snacked on as a healthy snack because they're so small and must be incorporated into recipes. But they do deserve their place in this top 5 best oilseeds for health.
Chia seeds are the lowest-fat but highest-fiber oilseeds (with nearly 7 g for a 20-g serving). Thanks to their high fiber content, they are particularly useful in cases of constipation because they can boost intestinal transit.
They are also very rich in omega 3 (3.6 g for 20 g), calcium and iron (1.5 mg for 20 g, i.e. about 10% of daily requirements).
To take advantage of their multiple nutritional virtues, simply sprinkle them on your breads and cookies or prepare a delicious chia pudding by making them swell in coconut or almond milk for example.