Did you know the amazing facts and health benefits of sunflower seeds? After knowing all the health benefits, everyone will be bound to agree that it is a superfood.
The heart part of Helianthus Annuus or sunflower plant which is usually known as sunflower seed is the miraculous part of this beautiful flower native to North America. This big bright yellow flower usually had up to 12 inches head in diameter and contained up to 12000 seeds.
Sunflower seeds are botanically called cypsela. The part that remains after dehulling is its edible part, which is called the sunflower kernel.
Amount of Consumption
- One small cup or around 30 grams of sunflower seed is enough for physical and mental health. People should not consume more than this quantity in a day.
Way of Consumption to get maximum health benefits of sunflower seeds
An unsalted version of sunflower seed is the healthier version of it, because salted sunflower seed can increase sodium levels higher.
Sunflower seed can be consumed in many ways:
- Raw or roasted sunflower seed is an easy and portable healthy snack option.
- Roasted sunflower seeds can be sprinkled on top of cooked vegetables, salads, or cereals,
- Oil and butter are the most common and popular uses of sunflower seeds worldwide.
- It can also be added on top of bread and muffins.
The edible part of the Sunflower seed is white but has a tough outer shell of black-and-white striped color. It is recommended to split out the shells while eating because shells have no health benefits and are indigestible.
It can be considered a wholesome food, as it is densely packed with nutrients. Let’s check the nutrition value of each 100 grams of sunflower seed:
|Pantothenic acid||20% OF Daily Value|
|Folate||37% Of Daily Value|
Health benefits of sunflower seeds
An adequate amount of Sunflower Seed is very good for both physical health and mental health. Let’s discuss briefly:
1. Good for cardiovascular health:
Sunflower seeds contain 51.5 grams of essential fats which are mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These two are good fats. It also contains an essential compound called linoleic acid which can relax blood vessels and can help lower the cholesterol level.
We all know that high cholesterol is harmful to cardiovascular health and sometimes it can cause a heart attack or stroke.
2. Can Boost Immunity:
The most important elements for building immunity are Vitamin E, Zinc, and Selenium. All these are present in sunflower seeds.
Vitamin E helps to protect us from various illnesses and diseases and is a powerful antioxidant also.
Zinc is the foremost essential component of an immune system which can develop and maintain the immune cells.
Selenium has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help to boost the response of immune cells.
3. Good For Brain Health:
Selenium presence in sunflower seeds plays an important role in Alzheimer’s brain damage.
Sunflower seed also contains Vitamin B6 also known as Pyridoxine synthesis of many neurotransmitters in the brain. An imbalance of neurotransmitters can lead to many mental effects.
Sunflower seeds can prevent that and also can improve mood, memory & concentration.
4. Great For Females and Pregnant Females:
The benefits of sunflower seeds for females are enormous. It is the power pack or all the essential vitamins & minerals a female or woman should need. Especially in pregnancy and after pregnancy it helps a lot.
Sunflower seeds contain Zinc, Folate, and Vitamin E, which are essential for a fetus’s development and growth.
5. Skin Benefits:
Besides the many health benefits of sunflower seeds, there are some skin benefits too.
Skin is the most visible part of the body and everyone wishes for healthy fresh skin. Essential fatty acids, Zinc and Vitamin E can give that healthy glow to our skin.
Essential fatty acids called oleic and linoleic acid help prevent many skin diseases. It also helps to prevent scarring.
Sunflower seed also has antibacterial and antifungal properties which can fight against various skin infections.
6. Sunflower Seeds Benefits For Weight Loss:
As Sunflower seed is a wholesome food full of vitamins and minerals it can be used in many diet food recipes. Sunflowers seed is not very costly and can easily be found in any shop.
If you have any doubt, then just search for the term “health food store near me”! You will find that and can enjoy many healthy recipes with it.
Sunflower seeds are low in carbs: and filled with fiber, good fats, and protein which all are needed as a healthy snack for people who are trying to lose weight.
7. Benefits Of Diabetes:
Magnesium present in sunflower seeds is an essential mineral that relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure levels.
Cynarin is an alkaloid found in sunflower seeds that lower cholesterol levels. And these effects may benefit patients with hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia.
The balance of this glucose and cholesterol-lowering effect of sunflower seed is very helpful for diabetes patients.
8. Benefits In Inflammation:
Sunflower seeds have anti-inflammatory properties along with vitamin E, flavonoids, and other substances. According to experts, regular inclusion of sunflower seeds in any diet can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis or joint discomfort.
9. Benefits Of Prevent Cancer:
Plant sterol-enriched sunflower seeds are very good for preventing breast cancer and serious diseases.
Beta-sitosterol is necessary to prevent growing tumors and reduce their size, it also fights to stop the growth of cancer cells.
10. Energy Booster:
This particular health benefit of sunflower seeds can meet all age groups of people. Every 100 grams of sunflower seeds can contain 585 calories of energy which is pure complex carb (good calories) and 8.5 grams of fiber so just a handful of seeds can meet the fiber demand of the body.
Sunflower seeds are full of micronutrients such as choline, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin B6 C & E. minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, iron, sodium & zinc.
11. Benefits Of Male Fertility:
Vitamin E, folate, selenium, and some essential nutrients are very much important for male fertility and hormones which all are luckily present in Sunflower seeds. An adequate amount of sunflower seed for a man can boost sperm count and sperm motility.
12. Improves gastrointestinal health:
As sunflower seed is rich in dietary fiber, this helps to bulk up the stool. It facilitates the peristaltic movement of the intestines. Optimizes digestion and reduces constipation.
Just remember not to overeat sunflower seeds for more health benefits.
13. Treats anxiety and depression:
Along with many physical health benefits, sunflower seeds have some positive effects on mental health as well.
Tryptophan-rich proteins are found in sunflower seeds which can be able to prevent depression. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin and a substrate used by the gut microbiota to make indole derivatives.
According to studies, having low zinc levels in the blood can make you feel more anxious. Zinc has mood-regulating and anti-anxiety properties which is another mineral that is abundant in sunflower seeds.
14. Treats insomnia:
As we know sunflower seeds have tryptophan in them, which helps to have better sleep. Tryptophan converts into serotonin when it is consumed by someone and reaches his/her brain.
Better sleep is directly related to mental health to function effectively.
15. Some More Health Benefits Of Sunflower Seeds:
Sunflower seeds also have several other benefits. Such as-
- It helps to balance hormone levels.
- Assists in hair care.
- Aids growth and development of the body.
- Helps to detox our body.
- Helps in treating anemia.
Research and studies about the health benefits of sunflower seeds
- “International Journal of Research and Development in Pharmacy and Life Sciences” has published an article named “THERAPEUTIC POTENTIAL OF SUNFLOWER SEEDS: AN OVERVIEW”. This article said that “Sunflower seeds, a nutrient-dense food, have been found to have a potential role in chronic inflammatory conditions, bacterial and fungal infections, cardiovascular diseases, skin diseases, and even cancers. These benefits of sunflower seeds are attributed to the presence of phytosterols, unsaturated fatty acids, proteins, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Various studies have demonstrated the therapeutic use of sunflower seeds in multiple clinical conditions.”
- A research paper published in 2013 named “Consumption of plant seeds & cardiovascular health: epidemiologic and clinical trial evidence”. In this research, it is found that seed consumption including sunflower seed will lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
- A 2012 study on elderly females found that daily sunflower seeds eater with type 2 diabetes women have reduced their fasting blood sugar level by up to 10%.
Some Disadvantages Of Sunflower Seeds
- Despite the many health benefits of sunflower seeds, excessive consumption can cause several problems.
- It may cause vomit, constipation, indigestion, skin rashes, etc. Eating too much of it can cause obesity.
- Sunflower seeds also have traces of cadmium. This is not good for our kidneys. So, have to be careful about the quantity while taking.
According to Wikipedia, the total production of sunflower seed in 2020 was 50 million tonnes, and Russia and Ukraine were the leading contributors. Argentina, China, and Romania also produce significant volumes.
This means that a good amount of seed is produced every year and is a fairly available product. It can be found at any market, super shop, or health food store nearby.
After discussing all the health benefits of sunflower seeds, now it is proven that sunflower seeds are incredibly nutritious food with many potential gains in mental and physical health. It can be an excellent healthy addition to any diet plan, with its delicious tests and numerous health benefits