36 Revolutionary Healthy Benefits of Sun -Flower Seeds

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Sunflower seeds come from, of course, sunflowers! The yellow flowers produce small edible seeds which are gray or greenly colored and are found naturally in dark green, gray, or black shells called “husks”.

The sunflower is an herbaceous annual plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. The botanical name of this plant is Helianthus annuus. The plant is native to the Middle American region and its leading producers are Russia, China, the USA and Argentina. The beautiful sunflower produces gray to white conical shaped seeds with a smooth surface. Each sunflower head contains hundreds of edible oil seeds.

You know that munching on some sunflower seeds, also known as ‘surajmukhi ke beej‘ in Hindi can offer incredible health benefits? Sunflower seeds are actually considered good for health because of its nutritional value. These sweet and nutty sunflower seeds are increasingly gaining popularity as snacks as they are so filling. Their mild nutty taste makes them a filling as well as nutritious food. These seeds are highly nutritious comprising of calories, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Sunflower Seed : Nutritional Fact

These crunchy seeds are an excellent source of health benefiting nutrients like vitamin A, E and B1 and 6, folate and niacin. A 100 grams serving contains around 35.17 grams of vitamin E. They contain good amounts of copper, zink, manganese, selenium, magnesium and phosphorus and potassium, folate and niacin. It comes packed with essential fatty acids like polyunsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid and oleic acid. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of protein and amino acids that are essential for kid’s growth.

Calories:

100 grams of this high-energy food provides 584 calories. Hence, the seeds should be enjoyed in moderation due to its high caloric content.

Healthy Benefit of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System.  A handful of sunflower seeds will take care of your hunger, while also enhancing your health by supplying significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium and many other minerals.

1.Source of Antioxidants

Sunflower seeds are rich in antioxidants such as selenium and vitamin E. These antioxidants prevent or limit oxidative damage to your cells, thus protecting you from chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. The antioxidants found in sunflower seeds are utilized for DNA repair and work to slow the growth of mutated cancer cells and for detoxing the body of harmful, damaged cells.

2.Rich in Healthy fat

The sunflower seeds have an extremely high oil content, making them one of the main sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Both these fats are excellent for the overall health.

3. Reduces Risk for Heart Disease

The high supply of antioxidant Vitamin E (80% of your daily recommended value in every ¼ cup of seeds) helps to reduce body-wide dangerous inflammation from leading to various diseases. Vitamin E, also known as gamma-tocopherol, is a powerful antioxidant that is found in nuts and seeds including sunflower seeds.

Researchers now know that high levels of inflammation are correlated with an increased risk for heart disease, but also for stroke, cancer, diabetes, and even serious neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Frequently consuming sunflowers seeds has been shown to help balance cholesterol levels, to reduce hypertension, to lower high blood pressure, and to protect against heart disease- all which are possible once inflammation levels are under control.

4. Anti Cancer Properties

Sunflower seeds enhance the immune response, thereby decreasing the risk of certain cancers. The vitamin E and high fiber content in sunflower seeds reduce the possibility of colon cancer. Selenium in sunflower seeds induces DNA repair and synthesis of damaged cells, inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells. It also induces the self-destruct sequence to eliminate the abnormal cells.

Sunflower seeds contain a good amount of selenium proven to fight cancer. Selenium boosts DNA repair and prevents multiplying of cancer cells. This mineral provides protection against cancers of skin, bladder, colon, and prostate. Sunflower oil is also rich in carotenoids which help in controlling cell damage and thus averts the risk of developing cancer of the lung, uterus, and skin .

5.Supports  Digestion

Due to their high content of dietary fiber, raw seeds of sunflower can aid in digesting food and even cure constipation. selenium richness is another reason that sunflower seeds can make a good snack.

6. Inhibits Diabetes

A diet rich in all types of nuts and seeds has been shown to reduce hyperglycemia and to help balance blood sugar levels. This decreases the chance of developing metabolic syndrome including diabetes or insulin resistance. We know from looking at the diet of populations who traditionally have eaten a high amount of seeds that the compounds found in seeds help to combat diseases related to uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

Sunflower seeds can decrease the severity and frequency of hot flashes in women going through their menopause, thereby reducing the development of diabetic complications.

7. Support Thyroid  Function through Selenium

the United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health now estimates that around 27 million Americans suffer from thyroid disease, with women and older people being even more susceptible. One of the leading causes of thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, is a deficiency in the mineral selenium, which sunflower seeds are luckily an excellent source of.

The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating body temperature, heart rate, the production of protein, and controlling the rate of your metabolism, just to name a few functions; therefore a thyroid disorder can show up in many different symptoms (weight gain, fatigue, abnormal body temperatures, etc.) and can be hard to properly diagnose without a blood or urine test.

One of the keys to controlling thyroid disorders naturally- without the use of pharmaceutical drugs- is to include more selenium and iodine in your diet, among other beneficial changes that can be made.

8.Anti Inflammatory Benefit

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, Vitamin E in sunflower seeds is the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. This vitamin travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing structures and molecules like cell membranes, brain cells, and cholesterol. Thus, vitamin E exhibits significant anti-inflammatory effects, resulting in the reduction of diseases caused by free radicals and inflammation such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

9. Sunflower Seeds’ Phytosterds Lower Choleserol

Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancer.

Health benefits of sunflower seeds also include improved cholesterol levels. Sunflower seeds are high in cholesterol lowering compounds like phytosterols and the good, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help to lower the bad cholesterol in the body.

10. Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

vitamin E plays an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.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 heart attack.

Sunflower seeds enhance the immune response, thereby decreasing the risk of certain cancers. The vitamin E and high fiber content in sunflower seeds reduce the possibility of colon cancer. Selenium in sunflower seeds induces DNA repair and synthesis of damaged cells, inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells. It also induces the self-destruct sequence to eliminate the abnormal cells.

Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin C, which helps in preventing cardiovascular disease. Being an antioxidant, vitamin E prevents free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol. On oxidation, cholesterol sticks to the blood vessel walls and causes atherosclerosis, leading to blocked arteries, heart attack or stroke. A quarter cup of sunflower seeds provides over ninety percent of the daily value of vitamin E.

11.Stress Buster

Sunflower seeds contain copious amounts of magnesium that soothes the nerves, and eases stress and migraines, thereby relaxing your mind.  The seeds also contain tryptophan and choline that help in combating anxiety and depression. Choline improves brain function and boosts memory.

12. Thiamine for Energy

The seeds of sunflower contain thiamin (vitamin B1). It stimulates cell catalysts or enzymes for chemical reactions, and is required by the body to derive energy from food.
Sunflowers are also a good source of copper that helps in production of energy at the cellular level.

13. Prevent Free Radical Damage

Sunflower seeds are packed with vitamin E (tocopherol). It is a fat-soluble antioxidant that neutralizes cancer-causing free radicals and prevents them from damaging brain cells, cell membranes, and cholesterol. It also helps to maintain blood circulation and production of red blood cells (RBCs).

14. Helpful in Prevent Arthritis

Switch to sunflower oil to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Sunflower oil has shown conclusive results to cure and prevent rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Helpful in Prevent Osteoporosis

Magnesium plays many important roles within the body: it helps to balance the calcium/potassium ratio within cells and it is  responsible for keeping the skeletal structure healthy and helps to prevent conditions related to loss in bone mineral density like osteoporosis.

Sunflower seed sprouts are the best vegetarian source of protein. Protein helps in repairing the muscle tissue and aids in various enzymatic functions of the body. Protein is also essential for bone development and thus, prevents osteoporosis. This helps in the proper development of bone matrix and also supports bone strength, all your life. Sunflower seeds can be a good alternative to meat, beef or pork proteins for strict vegetarians

16.Prevent Asthma

Sunflower oil helps to prevent asthma and related symptoms like blocked nose, cold and cough. Sunflower seeds are a good source of magnesium. Numerous studies have demonstrated that magnesium helps reduce the severity of asthma.

17. Beneficial for Nervous Health

One of the more peculiar health benefits of sunflower seeds is how they can help calm nerves and anxiety, and help reduce the pain associated with migraines. Again, this is thanks to the magnesium content of the seeds. Magnesium deficiency is linked to anxiety and nervousness, and a quarter-cup offers 28% of the daily recommended values of magnesium. Magnesium in sunflower seeds keeps our nerves relaxed by preventing calcium from rushing into the nerve cells and activating them, thereby relaxing our blood vessels and muscles too. Too little magnesium results in too much calcium gaining entrance to the nerve cells, causing it to send too many messages and leading to too much contraction.

18. Improve Mental Health

The magnesium content in sunflower seeds can help improve overall mental health. Over a hundred years ago, magnesium sulfate was given to patients who were suffering from depression, and today it is an essential element in treating patients homeopathically to promote good mental health.

Sunflower seeds have a positive effect on your mood by lessening the chances of depression. They contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps produce serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. When serotonin is released in our bodies, it relieves tension, calms the brain and promotes relaxation. Choline, a compound found in sunflower seeds helps in improving memory and cognitive function. Magnesium helps diminish the frequency of migraine attacks, lowers blood pressure and prevents heart attack, soreness, and fatigue. Sunflower seeds also have high amounts of potassium which helps to counterbalance the effect of sodium in your blood and lowers blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of developing hypertension.

19. Healthy Mood Booster

Health benefits of sunflower seeds also include an improved mood. As well as being a tasty snack, sunflower seeds can make you feel happier too! They contain a compound called tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps the body produce serotonin. It is serotonin, that relieves tension and calms you and it can help to ward off depression.

20. Sunflower seeds are good for Bones

Sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium which is also necessary for strong bones besides calcium. Most of the magnesium in the body is present in our bones and helps lend bones their physical structure while the rest is located on the surface of the bones where it is stored for the body to be used according to requirement. These seeds also contain copper which is vital for the function of enzymes involved in cross-linking collagen and elastin, thus providing strength and flexibility in bones and joints. Vitamin E is effective in reducing arthritis symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

21. Delicious Nutty Flavor

Sunflower seeds that have been shelled (removed from their husks) are said to have a mild nutty taste compared to other nuts, and a medium to firm texture. They are easy to incorporate into other recipes, since they’re taste is not overwhelming and their small size makes them ideal for adding them to things like veggie burgers or other ground mixes. You can also add them to yogurt, rice, pasta, sandwiches or mix it into the bread dough. Include Sunflower seeds in your daily diet of granola, salads and stir-fries.

22. Promotes Cell Formation

Sunflower is a good source of folic acid (folates). The vitamin is essential for the production of new DNA, which is needed for the formation of new cells. Folates constitute an important part of the diet of pregnant women as it promotes healthy neural tube formation, adequate birth weight and proper development of the face, heart, spine and brain of the babies. Hence, sunflower seeds, sprouts, and oil are considered highly beneficial for pregnant women.

23. Control High Blood Pressure

Frequently consuming sunflowers seeds has been shown to help balance cholesterol levels, to reduce hypertension, to lower high blood pressure, and to protect against heart disease- all which are possible once inflammation levels are under control.Sunflower seeds and sprouts can give a boost to your antioxidant capacity since they have rich amounts of vitamin E. This vitamin works in tandem with vitamin C and selenium to reduce high blood pressure.

24. Sunflower Seed’s Potassium for Fluid Balance

Sunflower seeds are extremely rich in potassium. They help to meet the daily requirement of potassium i.e. 4,700 mg of potassium per day easily. Potassium is also useful to balance the effects of sodium in fluid balance and in lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of hypertension.

Magnesium in sunflower benefits your nerves by preventing calcium from entering the nerve cells and activating them. They act as nerves, blood vessels, and muscle relaxant. Adding sunflower seeds to your daily diet can get rid of migraine headaches, soreness, high blood pressure, muscle tension, and fatigue. They can also be useful in lowering the frequency of migraines and heart attacks.

Sunflower seeds also contain tryptophan (amino acid) that produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter, which is responsible for relieving tension, calming the brain and promoting relaxation.

25. Helpful in Cataract

Carotenoids-rich sunflower oil helps in the prevention of cataracts. The oil is also a good source of vitamin A which promotes eye health. Try to include other vitamin A rich foods too.

26. Lowers Risk of Infection in Infants and Adults

In infants, sunflower oil is highly recommended because it can protect the babies from infections, particularly when they are born premature and are highly susceptible to infections. Preterm babies are at a higher risk of infection due to their under-developed organs and skin which act a protective barrier.  This same benefit is extended to adults who use the oil as well, although the effects are not quite as dramatic or obvious.

27. Healthy Immune System

Zinc is another essential nutrient required by the body. Sunflower oil contains good amounts of zinc, and it helps maintain a healthy immune system. Zinc is also helpful in the healing of wounds and to maintain the sense of smell and taste.Vitamin E in sunflowers is also helpful in improving the immune system. Sunflower oil protects the skin by strengthening the membrane barriers, thereby making it harder for bacteria and viruses to enter the body.

Sunflower Seeds : Skin Benefits

Adequate nutrition is a prerequisite for healthy skin. As stated earlier, sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, which protects your skin from oxidative (cell) damage and supports healthy skin growth. Some of its skin benefits are as follows.

28. Sunflower Seeds can help fight the Sign of Ageing

Health benefits of sunflower seeds also include anti-ageing. The Vitamin E and beta carotene found in sunflower seeds are both effective at keeping your skin looking young and fresh. The beta-carotene makes your skin less sensitive to the sun and the Vitamin E helps protect your skin against free radical damage and it also helps prevent scarring and the onset of wrinkles.  The seeds also contain beta-carotene which makes your skin less sensitive to the sun. The various other antioxidants in sunflower seeds protect your skin from environmental damage, thus preventing signs of aging.

29. Improve 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 colour. The essential fatty acids like palmitic, oleic and linoleic acid encourage the formation of collagen and elastic, making the skin soft and smooth.The essential fatty acids like palmitic, oleic and linoleic acid encourage the formation of collagen and elastic, making the skin soft and smooth.

30. Great Moisturizer

Sunflower seed oil acts as a great moisturizer, helping your skin to retain most of that moisture and providing a strong barrier. Its moisturizing qualities can be attributed to the presence of linoleic acid.

31. Sunflower Seeds help to fight Acne and other Skin Problems

Another one of health benefits of sunflower seeds is that the seeds can also help fight acne. The same fatty acids that create collagen and elastin also have antibacterial properties. Eating sunflower seeds can improve the appearance of acne or it can be applied topically in the form of sunflower seed oil.

32. Sunflower Seeds help Skin Protection and Maintenance

Sunflower seeds also contain copper which is vital for maintaining healthy skin. Copper is utilized by our body to produce melanin, the pigment which is responsible for giving your skin its colour. The minute particles of this protein pigment protect your skin from damage by ultraviolet radiation.

Eating sunflower seeds can help to keep your skin supple. They are an excellent source of essential fatty acids that boost the production of elastin and collagen, which makes your skin smooth and soft. Antioxidants like vitamin E neutralize free radicals, keeping them from destroying or damaging healthy cells. You can see an increased reduction in scars, quicker wound healing, and a healthier natural glow to your skin. This is why sunflower oil is commonly used in cosmetic applications.

Sunflower Seeds : Hair Benefits

 

Sunflower seeds contain vital vitamins and minerals which are needed for healthy hair such as protein, selenium, vitamin E and B vitamins.

33. Sunflower Seeds can help in Prevent Hair Thinning and Hair Loss

Sunflower seeds also contain vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) which is not only crucial for the absorption of zinc but also has some hair loss preventing properties. These properties can be attributed to the ability of vitamin B6 to boost oxygen supply to the scalp, which promotes the healthy growth of new hair and can reduce hair loss.

34.Sunflower Seeds help to keep Moisturizes Hair

Sunflower seed oil is an inexpensive natural moisturizer for hair. It contains omega 6 fatty acids which help prevent thinning hair.

35. Sunflower Seeds prevent Graying of Hair

Sunflowers are a good source of copper. This mineral is responsible for imparting color to your hair, and its deficiency is one of the leading causes of graying of hair. The rich presence of copper in sunflowers helps in maintaining the color and luster of hair.

36. Sunflower Seeds’ Intake Precaution

Although the fatty acids in sunflower oil are important and essential in our diet, sunflower oil does have a higher omega-6 content than most other vegetable oils. There has been some concern about this, particularly for people who already have problems with obesity or cholesterol. If sunflower oil is eaten in excess, without intentionally boosting your omega-3 intake, then it can result in an imbalance of fatty acids in the body, which is dangerous. As long as you monitor how your body is responding and how you feel, then sunflower oil can be a hugely beneficial addition to your diet.

Depth Nutritional Value

 Sunflower Seeds includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Note: Sunflower seeds have a very high oil content, so unfortunately it is common for them to be used as the base for processed polyunsaturated oils. While sunflower seeds themselves are very healthy, oils made using sunflower seeds can be unfavorable because their polyunsaturated fats do not hold up well to high-heat cooking.sunflower seeds destroys their antioxidants and alter the chemical nature of the fat, creating dangerous free radicals.

So remember that you want to eat raw or toasted sunflower seeds often, but its best to leave behind oils made with them.

 

 

 

 

 

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