Whether you grab them by the handful or sprinkle on salads, sunflower seeds contain a wealth of nutrients. The health benefits of sunflower seeds make them an ideal snack food.
Sunflower seeds have a mild nutty flavor and their texture is firm but tender at the same time. They are high in calories, but if you eat sunflower seeds in moderation, they offer a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals.
Growing your own sunflower plants is a fun activity and they’re, of course, readily available in supermarkets and health food shops. A tablespoon of sunflower seeds will provide your body with high amounts of Vitamin E, phytosterols, magnesium and selenium. These nutrients play vital roles in maintaining the health of the body and can alleviate and prevent the onset of many diseases.
Sunflower Seeds & Vitamin E
This tiny seed is one of the best food sources of vitamin E. Just one ounce can provide nearly 3/4th of your daily requirement.
Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant. It destroys free radicals in the body. Free radicals destroy cell membranes, leading to disease.
Vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory properties. This is useful in alleviating the symptoms of asthma and arthritis. It’s may also reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women.
Phytosterols in Sunflower Seeds
- Lower blood cholesterol. Phytosterols are extracted from plants and are classed as a good fat that lowers blood cholesterol.
- Strengthens immune response
- May decrease risk of acquiring some forms of cancer
Health Benefits of Sunflower seeds include Magnesium & Selenium
Sunflower seeds are rich with magnesium and selenium. Magnesium studies show it reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, and lowers blood pressure.
It’s also used to prevent migraine type headaches, prevent muscle spasms and to prevent muscle cramps. Magnesium is known for its sedative effects on the body, too, acting as a sleep aid.
Selenium is promotes healthy cells. Some studies have found that it may be beneficial in preventing cancer cells from forming, as well.
How To Include More Sunflower Seeds In Your Diet
- Eat a handful of sunflower seeds as a snack.
- Add a handful of sunflower seeds on your breakfast cereal.
- Sprinkle a handful of sunflower seeds on top of a salad.
- Grind up sunflower seeds and add them to a breadcrumb mix for coating meat to shallow fry.
- Add a handful of sunflower seeds to a cake mix.
If you don’t like the husks coating the sunflower seed, grind the sunflower seeds with a mortar and pestle. Add water to the ground sunflower seeds and the husks will float to the top. Skim the top with a spoon to remove the husks.
Adding sunflower seeds to your regular diet can easily help you get your recommended daily intake of all the nutrients above, plus thiamin, folate, manganese, copper, tryptophan and vitamin B6. With just a little sprinkle, you’ll reap the big health benefits of sunflower seeds!