Sunflower seeds are the gift of the beautiful sunflower that has rays of petals emanating from its bright yellow, seed-studded center. The flower produces grayish-green or black seeds encased in tear-dropped shaped gray or black shells that oftentimes feature black and white stripes. Since these seeds have a very high oil content, they are one of the main sources of polyunsaturated oil.
Enjoy a handful of mild nutty tasting sunflower seeds with their firm but tender texture to take care of your hunger and get a wealth of nutrition at the same time. Sunflower seeds are available at your local market throughout the year
Nutritional Value of Sunflower Seeds:
A ¼ cup serving of sunflower seeds provides (in value recommended values): 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber
- 82% of Vitamin E
- 70% DV of copper
- 43% Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- 34% of manganese
- 34% of selenium
- 33% of phosphorus
- 28% of magnesium
- 28% of Vitamin B6
- 20% of folate
- 18% of Vitamin B3
Now Let’s check out the healthy Benefits of Sunflower seeds:-
Sunflower seeds can take great care of our bones. Thanks to their high calcium and magnesium content that is essential for maintaining the physical structure of bones, making them strong and keeping the joints healthy. It has also been discovered that the copper present in raw sunflower seeds is crucial for activating the enzymes, which increase the strength and flexibility of our bones as well as joints by cross-linking elastin and collagen (two active components of connective tissue).
IMPROVES SKIN HEALTH
Regular consumption of sunflower seeds will add a glow to the skin. It combats the UV rays and keeps the skin youthful and beautiful. Copper in sunflower seeds is required to produce melanin, the pigment that gives the skin its color.
The nutrients present in sunflower seeds prevents scarring and appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. The essential fatty acids like palmitic, oleic and linoleic acid encourage the formation of collagen and elastin, making the skin soft and smooth. The fatty acids have anti-bacterial properties which protect your skin from bacteria, thus lowering the occurrence of acne.
Consumption of sunflower seeds is closely linked to our mental health and that too in a positive manner. They contain an essential amino acid called tryptophan, which helps us get rid of stress, tension, and anxiety by facilitating the release of a neurotransmitter named ‘serotonin’ in our body. It promotes brain relaxation, lowers depression and makes our mood better.
PREVENTS CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
Sunflower seeds can also prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that people who consume a good amount of vitamin E are at a much lower risk of dying due to the heart attack. Sunflower seeds reduce the levels of cholesterol in the blood. Vitamin E also prevents the free radicals from oxidizing the cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol adheres to the blood vessels and initiates the process of atherosclerosis, which can block the arteries, leading to heart attack and stroke.
STIMULATES HAIR GROWTH
Our dream of getting healthy luscious mane can be true with the proper use of sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds can promote the growth of our hair dramatically, thanks to its zinc and vitamin E content. Both of these components are capable of boosting blood circulation throughout our scalp, thereby stimulating the follicles to a large extent.
The seeds are enriched with vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, which increases zinc absorption in our body and supplies much more oxygen to our scalp. These cause lesser hair fall and give us relief from acute hair loss.The essential fatty acids, especially omega-6 fatty acid, make sunflower seeds a good natural hair moisturizer.
It restores the lost moisture of hair strands, prevents them from turning dry and reduces split ends, thereby promoting healthy hair.
Sunflower seeds have a high content of vitamin E, selenium, and copper that have antioxidant properties. As per research, these antioxidants prevent cellular damage that often leads to cancer. These nutrients prevent cancer by reducing and suppressing cellular damage from oxidants and protecting tissue from oxidant-free radical damage. Sunflower seeds can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer due to their high phytosterol content. They also contain a compound called lignans, which also protects against certain types of cancer. These naturally occurring compounds can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, thus preventing colon, prostate and breast cancer.
Sunflower seeds are known to soothe nerves and ease stress and migraine. Magnesium in sunflower seeds counterbalances calcium, thereby regulating nerve and muscle tone. It prevents calcium from rushing into the nerve cell and activating it. This helps to keep the nerve relaxed. A deficiency in magnesium causes the nerve cells to become overactive, sending too many messages and causing excessive contraction.
LOWERS CHOLESTEROL AND BALANCE HORMONES
Phytosterols are found in the highest concentrations in sunflower seeds and pistachios. They are proven to be a great cholesterol-controlling compound. A handful of these seeds every day can help protect your heart by lowering cholesterol and plaque deposition in the arteries and blood vessels.
Research has linked sunflower seeds to better functioning of the thyroid gland. This gland controls many of the hormonal activities in the body.
RICH IN HEALTHY FATS AND PROTEIN
Sunflower seeds contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, termed “good” fats because they help raise HDL, or the good type of cholesterol while lowering LDL, or unhealthy, cholesterol. The National Sunflower Association states that approximately 90 percent of the fat in sunflower seeds is unsaturated, or healthy, fats. The seeds also contain protein, which helps build and maintain muscle and tissue in the body. An ounce of sunflower seeds contains 12 percent of the daily value of protein, says the National Sunflower Association.
IMPROVE MOOD AND AID SLEEP
Magnesium has been linked to an improvement in mood and temperament. This is one of the minerals present in a moderate concentration within the seeds. If you regularly suffer from anxiety or depression, this might be the snack for you. In terms of improving sleep, magnesium can help the body convert tryptophan into serotonin. It is a “feel good” hormone that can help relax the body and prepare it for sleep.