Why seeds are good food

Seeds have a lot going for them.

"They're rich in healthy fats, as we many nutrients," says the U.C. Berkeley Wellness Letter. They have vitamins, minerals and fiber, plus they have a fair amount of protein.

"Some seeds, notably sunflower, are among the best sources of vitamin E," the editors note.

And there's so much you can do with seeds - add them to cakes and muffins, put them in salads and yogurts, sprinkle them on your cereal. Or just grab a handful of toasted seeds for snacks.

Just don't overdo it. Seeds are also high in calories - about 120 to 150 per ounce -which is about three tablespoons.

There's been a lot of marketing hype about flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds - so-called "super seeds." While they are nutritious, the Wellness Letter reminds us to be skeptical of unproven health claims for these seeds.

The editors say all three "are fine choices" if you like them. Chia seeds and hemp seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a type of heart-healthy omega-3 fat.

But the Wellness Letter points out: there's no proof they're more healthful than other seeds or that they can prevent specific diseases, such as cancer or heart disease.

More Info: Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds and Hemp