Sunflower Seeds Benefits: Exceptional Benefits Of Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are a common snack these days. But did you know that sunflower seeds have many benefits too? Some researches show that sunflower seeds are rich in Vitamin E with zero levels of cholesterol.
Sunflower Seed Benefits: What Are Sunflower Seeds?
Technically, sunflower seeds are the fruits of the sunflower plant. Sunflower plant is very fascinating and it moves with the movement of the sun. Sunflower seeds are obtained from the sunflower plant’s large head which is usually more than 12 inches in diameter. In a single head of a sunflower, may yield up to 2000 seeds. The crops of sunflower are of 2 types: the most commonly farmed sunflower crops are for oil and the remaining are for seeds. Sunflower seeds are found inside a shell that cannot be eaten. These shells have black and white stripes and they are also called hulls. Some researches show that sunflower seeds are rich in Vitamin E with zero levels of cholesterol. Sunflower seeds have a nutty and mild flavor. Their texture is hard but also delicate. For consumption, sunflower seeds are roasted, but you can even buy raw sunflower seeds.
Nutritional Values Of Sunflower Seeds
|Saturated fat||4.5 g|
|Polyunsaturated fat||23 g|
|Monounsaturated fat||19 g|
|Dietary fiber||9 g|
|Vitamin A||1 %|
|Vitamin D||0 %|
|Vitamin C||2 %|
|Vitamin B-6||65 %|
Sunflower Seeds Benefits: Types Of Sunflower Seeds
There are 3 types of sunflower seeds:
- Linoleic seed (most common)
- High oleic seed
- Sunflower oil seeds
Each of these types of sunflower seeds have different quantities of monosaturated, unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
For commercial use, sunflower seeds are differentiated on the basis of the pattern on their husks. If it is a solid black husk, it is a black oil sunflower seed. These seeds are used for making sunflower seed oil and the oil is extracted by pressing the seeds.
The seeds which are striped are used in foods and they may be known as confectionery sunflower seeds.
Benefits Of Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are beneficial in many ways. They are beneficial for health, skin, and hair due to the presence of essential vitamins and minerals in them.
Following are some excellent benefits of sunflower seeds:
1. Relief In Arthritis Pain
Sunflower seeds are rich in Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant vitamin. This antioxidant vitamin is believed to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and various other inflammatory conditions in the body.
2. Increasing Bone & Muscle Strength
Sunflower seeds have iron, which is responsible for the distribution of oxygen to the muscles. It also contains zinc, which makes the immune system stronger and aids in avoiding cold and cough. Sunflower seeds are also rich in magnesium which is important for the production of energy and stronger bones as approximately 2/3 of magnesium is stored in the bones. Magnesium is helpful for maintaining the physical structure of the bones and also strengthen them. The leftover magnesium is found by the body on the surface of the bones, which the body uses as and when required.
3. Management Of Hypertension
Magnesium present in sunflower seeds plays a vital role in the calcium channels of the body, which impact the blood pressure and the electrolyte balance majorly. Sunflower seeds could be used as an excellent remedy for hypertension as ¼ cup of these seeds can fulfill 30 % of the daily requirement of magnesium in the body.
4. Aids In Sleeping
Our body has a feel good hormone that calms the body and makes it ready to sleep. This hormone is known as serotonin. As sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium, they can help in converting tryptophan to serotonin.
5. Lifts Up The Mood
Magnesium can also improve the mood of people suffering from depression or anxiety. Hence, sunflower seeds are the ideal snack if you want an improvement in your mood and temperament.
6. Anticancer Properties
Sunflower seeds have phytosterols, which are considered to potentially reduce the risk of colon cancer and a decent increase in immunity. There have been studies that show that connected selenium in preventing the occurrence and spreading of cancer. It is a powerful antioxidant that can slow the oxidative stress and neutralize free radicals. There is not enough evidence to prove that sunflower seeds have anti-cancer properties. But in some studies, it is found that sunflower seeds have oleic acid, conjugated linoleic acid, and Vitamin E, which may be effective against cancer.
7. Boosts The Energy Level
Sunflower seeds are consumed by most athletes as they have a high content of protein and carbohydrates. These proteins and carbs ensure that there is the release of glycogen in the bloodstream and glycogen is a form of sugar that can increase the level of energy in the body.
8. Aids In Digestion
Health issues like constipation, piles and haemorrhoids occur in body due to the deficiency of fiber. If these digestive issues are prolonged, they can even increase the toxicity in the intestine. Sunflower seeds have a high amount of dietary fiber that aids in bowel movements and reduces the risk of digestion related issues.
9. Controlling Of Cholesterol Level
Sunflower seeds and pistachios have the highest concentration of phytosterols. These phytosterols are an amazing compound for controlling cholesterol, which was proved in a research study.
10. Aids In Weight Loss
As mentioned earlier, sunflower seeds have a high amount of dietary fiber which speeds up the process of digestion and decreases the cholesterol level. The same fibers can also make you feel full for a long time and hence you eat less. All the reasons for weight gain are reduced by sunflower seeds.
11. Improvement In Brain Health
Sunflower seeds are extremely rich in tryptophan which can calm the brain. When foods with tryptophan are consumed, the production of serotonin in the brain is increased, which is also a neurotransmitter. Sunflower seeds also contain choline which has a vital role in vision and memory functions.
12. Excellent Antioxidant For Skin
Sunflower seeds are a powerhouse of antioxidants and this was suggested by a study in the Journal Of Nutrition. The presence of Vitamin E in sunflower seeds rejuvenates the skin by increasing the circulation of blood and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. 80% of the daily requirements of the body are fulfilled by ¼ cup of sunflower seeds.
13. Beneficial For Hair Health
Hair fall is mainly due to the lack of nutrition in hair. Vitamin E in sunflower seeds is not only beneficial for skin but is also beneficial for hair. It has an antioxidant called tocotrienol, which has been proved as a powerful antioxidant that reduces hair fall. Regular consumption of sunflower seeds can stimulate the growth of hair and can also improve the texture of the hair.
Side Effects Of Excess Consumption Of Sunflower Seeds
Even though sunflower seeds are healthy for consumption, but if they are consumed more than what is required then there may be some side effects:
- Sunflower seeds are high in calories and their regular consumption may lead to an increase in calorie intake in the body. To avoid excess calorie consumption, you may eat these seeds with the shell.
- The presence of cadmium in sunflower seeds may harm your kidneys as cadmium is a heavy metal that can have a negative effect on the kidney.
- You must not eat large quantities of sunflower seeds at once as they may result in fecal impaction or stool blockages.
In conclusion, sunflower seeds are a healthy addition to various dishes. They are a crunchy and tasty snack with many health benefits but as they are dense in calories, they may lead to undesirable side effects, if consumed in excess.