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Oil Seeds : Health Benefits, Quick Recipes and Tips

Full of valuable benefits and essential nutrients, Pumpkin, Sesame, Flax and Sunflower seeds are easily available and help us in many ways.

Very few people from us knew the benefits of oil seeds. These seeds are rich in energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acid. Daily consumption of these seeds will surely keep you away from the doctor. Traditional use of these oilseeds was to extract edible oil; nevertheless, we have many other interesting benefits and options as well.


Let’s Understand the Benefits and Uses of Oil Seeds:

1. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t throw away the seeds after removing the flesh from the pumpkin. These seeds are a great source of proteins and minerals such as copper, phosphorus, iron and magnesium. These also have a large amount of vitamin K, E and B that is a good remedy for sleepless people and also help lowering depression. Consumption of these seeds also lowers cholesterol in the human body.

Pumpkin Seed Recipes:

a) Tea Time Snack – Roasted pumpkin seeds can be used as a great tea time snack.

You need 1 bowl clean pumpkin seeds,
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp pepper powder
¼ tbsp oregano
a pinch of cumin and
ginger powder


  • Roast the pumpkin seeds without any ingredients for 10 minutes.
  • Lastly, add oil and remaining ingredients.
  • Toss thoroughly and the crispy snack is ready to eat.

b) Pumpkin Seed Candy – Best Nutritional Dessert

you need one bowl clean pumpkin seeds
¼ cup jaggery
¼ cup sugar
4 tbsp butter non-salted


  • Heat medium-sized non-stick pan and roast the pumpkin seeds for 5 minutes, keep it aside.
  • Now add sugar and jaggery in a pan.
  • Bring to a boil, stir continuously till sugar and jaggery melt.
  • You can add very little water if the mixture becomes extra thick.
  • Now add roasted pumpkin seeds and 2 tbsp butter, stir for another 2 minutes.
  • Let the mixture cool for 4 minutes, meanwhile take one-inch diameter plate, apply butter on the bottom of the plate and spread mixture evenly.
  • Cut the candy in equal pieces. Enjoy sweet and healthy dessert.


Sprinkle plain roasted pumpkin seeds on any dessert just like other dry fruits as we do with almond flakes, cashew nuts or pista. You can also sprinkle these seeds on salads.

2. Sesame Seeds

It is a traditional oilseed mainly found in Asian countries such as India, China, Burma etc. and is a good source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus and vitamin B1. Consumption of these seeds prevents high blood pressure; protects the liver from oxidative damage.

Uses of sesame seeds:

Sesame Seeds Sprinkled Bread

  • It is largely used in bakery products such as bread, toasts breadsticks, pizza, pasta etc. It is also widely used in rotis such as methi paratha, kulcha, naan or in spicy puris.
  • Maharashtrian families do use it during the Sankranti festival, SouthIndian people use it in curries, vegetables and kinds of rice. You can also use it in candies, chocolates or ice-creams.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds on steamed broccoli and lemon juice, it would be a delicious salad.
  • Add roasted ground sesame seeds with vegetables such as eggplant, bitter gourd, mix vegetables it would definitely enrich the taste.


Quick Side Dish:
Blend finely 1 cup roasted sesame seeds,
1 tbsp dry chilli powder,
1 tbsp cumin seeds and salt to taste.

Serve as a side dish along with idli, dosa or with rice.

3. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower SeedsThese seeds come from the centre of the sunflower, a native of America. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of minerals, vitamins, calories and essential fatty acids. Traditionally, sunflower seeds are used for the extraction of edible oil, but now there are so many choices. Sunflower seeds are a great source of magnesium which is important to good bone health and it reduces arthritics symptoms. These seeds are full of vitamin E which directly protects your skin from ultraviolet radiation.

Uses of sunflower seeds:

  • Just like sesame seeds, sunflower seeds are also used in the bread.
  • Roasted sunflower seeds are also a good tea-time snack. Seeds are majorly used in candies, cookies or chocolates.
  • Sunflower seeds butter is a good alternate for peanut butter.
  • European countries make sunflower bread, which is black in colour.
  • Indians use the roasted powder in curries or vegetables which enriches the taste of vegetables’.

Quick Recipe: 

Add a little salt and dry chilly powder to the ground sunflower seed powder.
Add 2tbsp curd and mix it well.
This can be a mouth-watering side dish to have it with roti.

It’s a traditional Indian chutney.

Salad dressing – is also a great use of sunflower seeds.
You need 1 bowl hulled sunflower seeds
1 cup water
salt to taste
½ tbsp pepper powder
1 tbsp each dried herbs oregano, basil leaves, parsley
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tbsp garlic paste

Now put all ingredients in the grinder and blend well until it becomes a fine paste.
Creamy salad dressing is ready; it is a perfect option for people who avoid dairy products.

4. Flax Seeds

Flax Seeds
Flax seeds contain several disease-fighting compounds such as omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, fiber and lignans. They are also a good source of vitamin, iron, zinc, minerals, copper, magnesium and potassium. These seeds keep you away from heart diseases, cancer and several major diseases. Ground flax seeds are more effective than whole seeds. Traditional use of these seeds is to extract edible oil. Daily consumption of 1 to 2 tbsp flax seeds powder keeps away you from hair loss, weight loss, breast cancer, bone problems.

Uses of flax seeds:

  • As like other oil seeds flax seeds are used in the bakery products such as bread, burger, pasta, cookies or muffins. It is also used in candies, chocolates, pancakes.
  • Flax seeds are an excellent egg substitute; you can use it in pancakes or muffins. You need 1 tbsp hulled flax seeds and 3 tbsp water blend well creamy mixture is ready.
  • Sprinkle crispy flax seeds into your morning cereal, oats or over salads. You can mix it with pasta sauce, add it with soups, salad dressing or sprinkle over fruits.

Quick Recipe:

In India and particularly in Maharashtra, flax seeds chutney is used as a side dish in meal and dinner.

You need 1 bowl roasted flax seeds,
salt to taste
½ tbsp garlic
1tbsp dry chilli powder
½ tbsp cumin seeds, put all ingredients into the grinder.

Grind well until it becomes powder. Serve as a side dish with roti or rice.
Keep in the airtight tin. Use before 15 days. You can also use it in vegetables and curries.

So better late than never, start consuming the seeds from today and make the most of their benefits.

Note : Be particular with time while roasting seeds. Never roast beyond a maximum of 2 minute to avoid the seeds becoming nutrition-less. Excess consumption is also not advisable.

What do you think?

Written by Bhakti D

Bhakti is a dedicated full-time certified yoga instructor and follows yogic teachings as a way of life rather than a fitness goal. Yoga has helped her lead stress-free life for herself as well as has a calming influence on the family. After she realized the goodness of Yoga, she decided to pursue Yoga more seriously by building on Yoga related competencies. She has done a number of classrooms as well as one to one teaching sessions in Mumbai, helping her clientele achieve a happy and healthy lifestyle.

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