The unique thing about seed knäckebröd is that there are plenty of seeds when baked, which the name suggests. Seed knäckebröd can bake with varying ingredients that usually contain a lot of fibre. Various seeds are abundant in this type of crackers, such as sunflower, sesame, flax, chia, pumpkin, and more. Different types of flavouring can be used, such as salt and spices. Something distinctive about seed knäckebröd is that they are very fat-rich depending on the seed, while the content of carbohydrates is lower. Seeds belong to the edible fats alongside nuts and almonds. Seeds contain good fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that affect our bodies function and well-being in various ways. For example, it promotes the absorption of magnesium in the body.
Flaxseed is one of the most popular seeds, mainly used for its high fibre content and high B vitamins, minerals, and protein. The seed contains plenty of omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid ALA). The body converts ALA into the beneficial fatty acids EPA and DHA, usually found in fish fat. Flaxseeds also help keep the stomach in shape due to a high content of water-soluble fibres.
The peels from psyllium seeds are beneficial because they contain 85% dietary fibre. Whole psyllium seeds, just like whole flaxseeds, go unchanged through the body, which helps to keep the stomach healthy and strong. Psyllium seeds are free of carbohydrates and fat, with no nutrient absorbers, but the gel-forming water-soluble fibres are good for the function of the intestines and stomach. They contribute to a slower rise in blood sugar and more stable insulin levels. They are also said to reduce the risk of bowel cancer and have a cholesterol-lowering effect.
Pumpkin seeds, these crunchy seeds with a mild nut flavour, are rich in beneficial antioxidants and minerals, including vitamin E, zinc and magnesium. Zinc is said to have a positive impact on prostate health. The protein content of 24 % is among the highest among seeds and has a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and unsaturated fat.
Sunflower seeds are highly nutritious with a high vitamin B content, vitamin E and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. They also contain cholesterol-lowering plant sterols. Due to the high-fat content of the seeds, it means that sunflower seeds are high in calories, but since you do not eat any significant amounts of these seeds, you should instead look at the nutritional content. A vitamin with high levels in sunflower seeds is vitamin E. It is a natural antioxidant that protects fatty acids in the body from breaking down. Sunflower seeds also contain magnesium, which many people suffer from a deficiency. Lack of magnesium can cause behavioural disorders, depressions, heart problems, and muscle cramps. Sunflower seeds also contain copper, another mineral necessary for the body to function normally. The high content of fat and protein contained in sunflower seeds has made sunflower seeds a popular seed in the LCHF diet. LCHF is a diet that involves eating a smaller amount of carbohydrates and a more significant proportion of fat. Sunflower seeds are far from the most low-carbohydrate that you can eat, as it contains as much as 14% carbohydrates, but compared to other things, it is a healthier option.
Sesame seeds are one of the world's most widely used seeds. Sesame seeds are rich in omega-6, calcium, magnesium, iron, and B vitamins, as well as the substance sesamin, a type of lignan linked to a variety of health effects. It is a potent antioxidant, acts anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol, and protects against cardiovascular disease and cancer. It also seems to increase the liver's fat-burning and thus give the weight loss an extra boost. The body has the easiest to absorb the nutrients from crushed sesame seeds. However, keep in mind that, like sunflower seeds, they contain a lot of omega-6. Since sesame seeds contain less than 5% carbohydrates, they can also use as part of a carbohydrate-reduced diet without difficulty.
In recent years, chia seeds from South America have been a success among health food enthusiasts from Sweden. The popular chia seed contains 20 % omega-3, making it one of our most omega-3-rich foods. However, they have only alpha-linolenic acid, which converts into the beneficial DHA and EPA fatty acids to a fairly small extent. Chia seeds also contain a lot of water-soluble fibre and are suitable for intestinal health. The seeds can also help regulate fluid balance in the body and seem to provide increased endurance during long-distance training. Chia seeds contain several nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy. Among these are the five essential minerals zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.
Zinc is an antioxidant needed for the immune system and metabolism, among other things. The mineral helps with hormone metabolism in the thyroid gland and pituitary gland. It regulates hormones in the genitals and prostate and increases the release of testosterone and the production of sperm. Zinc is needed for the body to produce protein and cooperates with the hormone insulin for the metabolism of carbohydrates. It is necessary for the pancreas, skin, nails, hair, eyes and brain. It is also needed for the body to absorb iron and utilize vitamin A.
Iron is needed to form haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the protein in the red blood cells whose main task is to transport oxygen to the body's tissues from the lungs. It also has the task of transporting the residual product carbon dioxide from the blood to the lungs. Iron is also needed for the ability to concentrate, hair, blood PH value, cell detoxification and the production of DNA.
Magnesium is needed to form DNA and RNA and activate over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. For example, energy production, digestion and the metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrates need magnesium to function. Magnesium is vital for bone structure, bones and teeth while controlling the absorption and utilization of calcium. The mineral improves resistance, converts blood sugar into energy and protects against disease. It is a natural sedative that causes nerves and muscles to relax after contraction. Magnesium is therefore crucial for the heart to pump and the functions of the muscles, liver, and hormonal system.
Calcium strengthens the bones and teeth, is necessary for bone building, and is needed for the cells' nerves and muscles. Calcium maintains blood pressure and produces hormones such as Parathyroid Hormone (PTH). It helps to reduce the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, Alzheimer's, and type 2 diabetes. Calcium is also suitable for skin and hair, blood clotting and binds fat in the body.
Phosphorus is needed combined with both magnesium and calcium. Phosphorus binds magnesium and makes it inaccessible to the body. Together with calcium, it is essential for the skeleton's health and the body's pH balance. It is a necessary substance for the structure of cells and the nucleic acids that form the genetic code in all cells. It is required to repair and maintain all body tissues and protein synthesis. Phosphorus plays a vital role in energy production and transport and enables nutrients to pass through cell membranes or blood. Phosphorus activates enzymes and B vitamins such as B1, B2 and B3. Phosphorus needs for the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fat.
If you want to know more about the nutritional content of different seeds or other foods, go to Swedish Food Agency's Food Database, a fantastic tool for this very thing.