From tossing them into your homemade granola bar or into your morning cereal, to sprinkling toasted sunflower seeds into your salad bowl or even using them in your baked goods, sunflower seeds can be your go-to item! Sunflower seeds have a very high nutritive value, loaded with benefits and a distinct nutty taste. Trust me, I’ve tried them and they are yum!
Sunflower seeds are harvested from the plant’s large flower heads. These seeds can be categorized into two types, the ones you can eat and the ones you can make oil with. These seeds are encased in a black and white shell (which are inedible) and these black shells are also known as hulls. The seeds which are encased within the solid black and white shells are the ones used for extracting sunflower oil. The other seeds can be roasted and flavoured or can even be eaten raw.
Check out the benefits and ways to use sunflower seeds below:
1. They are rich in Vitamin E:
Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E which is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is rich in antioxidants which can help combat free radical damage. Free radicals are a type of unstable molecule that can build up in the cells and cause damage to other healthy cells, increasing the risk for getting multiple illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc.
2. Can help in weight loss:
Sunflower seeds are high in calories, yes, but consuming a moderate amount of these seeds can help you stay satiated for a longer time as it is rich in dietary fibre and can aid digestion and can curb excessive hunger pangs, by promoting a feeling of fullness in the stomach.
3. Helps to reduce inflammation:
Sunflower seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, as it contains plant compounds like flavonoids which can help reduce inflammation. Flavonoids are substances that help to regulate cellular activity and fight off the free radicals that can cause oxidative stress to your body. Inflammation is a normal immune system response, but chronic inflammation is a risk factor which can lead to other chronic diseases.
4. Acts as a detoxifier:
Sunflower seeds have high magnesium content and this nutrient has the ability to impel out bacteria and germs from the cells. It can also help in flushing out toxins from the body and act as a natural detoxifier.
5. Can help reduce cholesterol:
Sunflower seeds can help decrease the levels of LDL (low-density lipoproteins) or “bad cholesterol” in the blood and can increase the levels of HDL (high-density lipoproteins) or “good cholesterol” as it contains vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid. READ MORE – Pumpkin Seeds for hair growth, weight loss, good sleep and more
6. Can protect heart health:
Sunflower seeds are rich in healthy fats. Some of the major risk factors of heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Sunflower seeds contain a compound which can block an enzyme that cause blood vessels to constrict and can help relax the blood vessels, in turn lowering blood pressure.
7. Can be helpful in lowering diabetes:
Sunflower seeds have shown to be beneficial in reducing the blood sugar levels in patients suffering with type 2 diabetes mellitus. This blood sugar-reducing property in sunflower seeds could be partially due to the plant compound chlorogenic acid (CGA) present in sunflower seeds which lowers the blood glucose concentrations.
8. Can help boost brain functioning:
Sunflower seeds contain vitamin B6, which help to create neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) like serotonin and norepinephrine (helps to break down fat and increase blood sugar levels to provide more energy to the body) which also helps regulate energy use in the brain. It can improve your mood (as serotonin is the key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feeling of well-being and happiness, which can impact the whole body) and can help enhance concentration and memory.
9. Helps in the treatment of anemia:
Sunflower seeds are a good source of iron. Anemia is caused due to the insufficiency of iron (Iron-deficiency anemic (IDA)). Anemia is a condition in which the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry enough oxygen to the tissues. It can make you feel tired and weak. Without enough iron, the body cannot produce enough of red blood cells.
10. Can be beneficial for the skin and bones:
Sunflower seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids which is essential for maintaining healthy skin. The deficiency of fatty acids can affect the skin and its appearance. Including sources of essential fatty acids can help prevent skin conditions like dermatitis and can also reduce the effects of aging on the skin. Sunflower seeds also contain essential minerals like zinc (beneficial for skin health), magnesium, calcium and phosphorous (essential for maintain healthy bones). READ MORE – BLACK SEEDS HAIR THICKENING MASK