Seeds may be the tiniest superfoods on the planet. They can be sprinkled, crushed, or pureed into tasty spreads to deliver tons of health benefits.

“Seeds… are little bundles of energy, protein and nutrients,” says Debbie Petitpain, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Most are excellent sources of fiber, something Americans get way too little of.”

Registered dietitian Kristen Smith, MS, RDN, LD, concurs: “Seeds are an easy way to include a heart-healthy, plant-based protein source in your diet.”

“Their unsaturated fats are health-promoting and essential — plus, seeds add interest to any meal with their earthy flavors and crunchy textures,” says Petitpain.

In a nutshell (no pun intended), these tiny goodies are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, and tons of flavor.

We’re sold. Here are 8 seeds to start incorporating into your diet, plus ideas for how you can add them to your daily eats and treats.

“Chia is high in fiber (almost 10 grams per ounce), which can promote regularity (aka avoid constipation) and lower cholesterol,” says Petitpain. “Chia’s also a great plant source of the omega-3 essential fatty acids and the mineral calcium.”

Make sure to drink plenty of water with chia since the seeds absorb liquid and may increase constipation if you’re even just mildly dehydrated.

How to add them:

Whisk ¼ cup of chia seeds into 1 cup of nondairy milk and flavor it with vanilla extract, maple syrup, or jam. Let it sit overnight to thicken, and then enjoy a calcium-rich, plant-based breakfast pudding.

“Pepitas offer a protein-rich addition to a snack or meal, with more than 8 grams of protein per ounce. Pepitas are also a wonderful source of heart-healthy fats, magnesium, and phosphorus,” says Smith.

How to add them:

Pepitas are a delicious topping for soups and salads. “Many people also enjoy roasting pepitas as a snack option,” says Smith.

Flax is a great source of potassium (250 milligrams per ounce), which helps lower blood pressure,” says Petitpain. “It’s also high in essential fatty acids, but to ‘unlock’ these fats, you must grind whole flax seeds in a coffee or spice grinder or buy flax meal.”

How to add them:

Whole flax seeds, which are available in golden and brown varieties, make a beautiful coating for homemade breads, according to Smith. But to truly maximize the nutrition, use ground flax seeds in the bread itself.

Flax seeds can even be used as an egg replacement: To replace one egg, whisk 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons water and let it sit for a few minutes before adding it to the dough mixture.

“Hemp seed is rich in several nutrients, including iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese,” says Smith. “Hemp seed contains a combination of healthful fats, both omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids may help in the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and osteoarthritis.”

How to add them:

The delicate, nutty flavor of hemp seeds makes them a welcome addition to almost anything — salads, oatmeal, and yogurt are a given. You can also try them on sautéed kale or roasted cauliflower, suggests Petitpain.

She also says not to worry about the THC factor. While eating too many poppy seeds can lead to a failed drug test due to the seeds’ natural opiates, a 2001 study found that eating hemp seeds doesn’t effect THC levels measured by a federal drug test.

According to Petitpain, “The kernels of these seeds provide a high dose of protein (8 grams per ounce) and zinc.”

How to add them:

Munch on a handful of roasted seeds for a savory, portable snack.

“Sesame seeds are a great source of iron, a mineral that many people, especially menstruating females, could use more of,” advises Petitpain.

How to add them:

Sesame seed butter (aka tahini) is one of the most popular ways to eat these seeds. Traditional hummus and baba ghanoush use tahini as a base. Tahini is also a great dip for breads and vegetables, though its rich and bitter flavor can be too intense for some.

Petitpain’s suggestion: To lighten it up, mix equal parts tahini, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil. Season to taste with garlic, salt, and pepper and use as a drizzle for roasted broccoli or Brussels sprouts or in place of mayo on a sandwich.

Sunflower seed kernels are a great source of the B vitamin folate, which is particularly important for pregnant women and folks with heart disease. They are also rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant,” Petitpain says.

How to add them:

Skip the peanut butter and get yourself a jar of sunflower seed butter instead!

“Sunflower seed butter, which comes in creamy and crunchy, tastes delicious on an apple or a banana for a high-energy snack. It’s also good as part of a sandwich in a packed lunch for places that have a ‘no peanut’ policy,” says Petitpain.

You can also sprinkle hulled sunflower seeds on top of a salad or pasta dish for an added crunch, suggests Smith.

Like bigger seeds, the seeds of common spices offer a giant dose of minerals, unsaturated fats, and protein relative to their size,” says Petitpain.

How to add them:

“Caraway, anise, fennel, cumin, celery, poppy, coriander, mustard, and fenugreek are just a few seeds you can add to your culinary repertoire to reap some additional nutrition and to pack a flavorful punch,” says Petitpain.