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.
Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds
A Rich Source Of Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an essential component of your daily nutrition. It's an antioxidant
that stops the rampant spread of free radicals within your body. Because free
radicals can cause cellular damage, having a source of Vitamin E is critical.
Sunflower seeds are rich in Vitamin E and can help your circulatory system
function properly. It also allows your blood to clot more readily when your body
sustains external wounds, aiding the healing process. Other benefits include a
lower risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
Dietary Fiber For Easy Digestion
Sunflower seeds are a bountiful source of dietary fiber. A deficiency in daily
fiber consumption leads to a host of health problems. While the recommended
amount of fiber is approximately 30 grams per day, most people fail to consume
more than 15 grams per day. This can cause digestive problems which leads to
increasing toxicity within your intestines. By eating sunflower seeds, you can
take advantage of a powerful supply of the dietary fiber your body needs. Doing
so can reduce the likelihood of cancer, lower your cholesterol levels and aid
your body's elimination process.
Protein, Carbohydrates And More
One of the reasons why many athletes enjoy eating sunflower seeds is that they
provide a supply of protein and carbohydrates. Both are important for
maintaining energy levels while training or competing. The seeds can also
stimulate the liver to release glycogen into the bloodstream. Because glycogen
is a form of sugar, this provides an additional boost of quick energy.
Your body also requires a store of minerals in order to function properly.
Sunflower seeds are a heavily-laden resource of magnesium, potassium, selenium,
zinc and iron. Each of these has inherent health benefits. While magnesium
lowers your blood pressure (and thereby, reduces the chances of a heart attack),
selenium can aid in repairing cellular damage while slowing the spread of
cancerous cells. Meanwhile, iron helps to distribute oxygen to your muscles and
zinc provides your immune system with the boost it needs to defend against
Sunflower Seeds For The Brain
Most people don't realize that sunflower seeds can actually have a calming
effect on your brain. This is due to high levels of tryptophan contained within
the seeds. When you consume foods that have tryptophan, it effectively increases
your brain's production of serotonin (a neurotransmitter). High levels of
serotonin reduce tension which creates a relaxing effect.
Enjoying Sunflower Seeds For Long-Term Health
The trend toward fast foods and meals that are heavy with unhealthy ingredients
can have a lasting impact on your health. Many of these foods don't provide a
source of protein, carbohydrates and essential nutrients. A deficiency in
dietary fiber aggravates the problem. By eating sunflower seeds regularly, your
body can enjoy a rich source of the minerals, nutrients and fiber that it needs
to function properly. If you've been looking for a convenient snack that's
tasty, healthy and can provide a quick jolt of energy, consider adding sunflower
seeds to your diet.