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6 AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS OF SUNFLOWER SEEDS

Till recent times there was not much talk about the Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds, not because there were no benefits as such, but because we were not aware of superfoods, especially sunflower seeds.

I took almost two complete days writing this post, I had gone through so many research papers that I could write a review paper on the Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds.

Well, this post is almost similar to a review paper, I have simplified it into different heads so that you would not want to just skip anything.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds botanically are cypsela and arise from the head of sunflower. These seeds have a hard pericarp and are edible only when the pericarp is removed.

After the pericarp is dehulled (removed), the sunflower seeds become the tasty kernels or heart.

Sunflower seeds are differentiated depending on the stripes on their hulls. Black seeds are suitable for oil extraction and the striped ones are suitable for eating raw or processed. These are called the confectionery sunflower seeds.

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds are superfoods and are rich in rare but essential nutrients which otherwise is not easily from food.

If you were to check top 10 list of foods rich in vitamin E, Copper, B Vitamins, Phosphorus and Selenium – Sunflower seeds would be among the first few.

Health Benefits of sunflower seeds begins with the presence of specific fatty acids – Linoleic Acid.

I know you must be thinking why I have directly come to fatty acids. While for a few decades we have been made to believe that all fatty acids are bad for the heart. Fatty foods are directly related to weight gain.

Well you need to understand that it is technically and scientifically disproven and healthy fat that is good for heart has begun being proposed for healthy lifestyle.

Even our own Ghee and coconut oil have made a comeback (from west of course)

Sunflower seeds also contain great amounts of fiber that would sooth you digestive and excretory systems.

Nutritional Facts of Sunflower Seeds

A ¼ cup serving of sunflower seeds provides (in value recommended values)

190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber

  • 82% of Vitamin E
  •  70% DV of copper
  •  43% Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  •  34% of manganese
  •  34% of selenium
  •  33% of phosphorus
  •  28% of magnesium
  •  28% of Vitamin B6
  •  20% of folate
  •  18% of Vitamin B3

 

 Here is a list of 6 Amazing Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds you are going to be amazed with.

  1. Helps You Say Bye To Heart Diseases

Presence of high amounts of cancer prevention agent Vitamin E (80% of the daily prescribed amount in just ¼ cup of seeds) reduces risk of promoting or aggravation many diseases.

Vitamin E, otherwise called gamma-tocopherol, is an effective cell fortification is found in nuts and seeds including sunflower seeds.

Specialists now realize that regular consumption of sunflower seeds would give you relief from extended hazard of coronary illness, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and even genuine neuro-degenerative issues like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s ailment.

Sunflower seeds have seen to balance cholesterol levels, decrease hypertension and thereby reduce occurrence of coronary illness (which usually arises due to cholesterol accumulation in the blood vessels)

In a recent study published in NCBI on Health Benefits of Nut Consumption it was definitely proved that nuts such as sunflower seeds consistently showed beneficial effects on hypertension, cancer, and inflammation.

Nut intake also showed cholesterol-lowering effect, beneficial effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular reactivity. Blood pressure, visceral adiposity and the metabolic syndrome also appeared to be positively influenced by nut consumption.

Thus it is clear that nuts have a beneficial impact on many cardiovascular risk factors

Presence of Vitamin E in high amounts is very beneficial for human health. Vitamin E plays a key role in building strong immunity in our body.

Vitamin E is actually a collection of 8 molecules. These molecules have different forms of tocopherol and tocotrienols. They are collectively called vitamin E.

Vitamin E is seen to have great importance especially in fighting against diseases.

  • They improve T-cell mediated immune function, which boosts the immune system.
  • enhance the body’s antibody response to vaccinations
  • Vitamin E may also be able to protect against age-related cognitive decline particularly Alzeimers and Parkinsons

2. Avoids Cancer Due to High Antioxidant Content

Before we go into how cancer is avoided let us know what induces cancerous growth. According to a paper published in Nutritional Journal  the following play a major role in increasing cancer risk.

  • Obesity,
  • nutrient sparse foods such as concentrated sugars and refined flour,
  • low fiber intake,
  • consumption of red meat, and
  • imbalance of omega 3 and omega 6 fats

However you would be glad to hear that 30–40 percent of all cancers can be prevented by lifestyle and dietary measures alone.

Diet containing vitamin E, selenium, folic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, chlorophyll, and antioxidants such as the carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin) taken regularly will help in reducing 60 to 70% of cancer risk.

How Sunflower Seeds Fight Cancer

Studies have demonstrated that vitamin E is a natural cancer fighter and ¼ cup of sunflower seeds have in them 80% of daily recommended dose.

The major function of Vitamin E in the body is to act as an antioxidant. Free radicals which have destructive effect on the cells and even DNA are quickly recognized and acted upon by Vitamin E.

This prevents mutations and tumorous growths. Specific results have been seen in prostrate, colon and lung cancers.

Selenium an antioxidant that is found to be effective against breat cancer is present in sunflower seeds. Selenium aids in DNA repair and also stops any growth in cancerous cells. It also induces self-destruction of tumors.

3. Sunflower Seeds and Thyroid Function

Thyroid imbalance is on a raise these days. In India it is estimated that 42 million people suffer from thyroid imbalance. Women are more susceptible to the different forms of thyroid disease especially hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a condition that arises from deficiency of minerals such as selenium and magnesium.

Thyroid gland as we have already seen is very important for the overall body metabolism and has serious increase in weight and hair fall and even skin texture.

Selenium and magnesium micronutrients are found to be present in thyroid gland. Selenium has found to be in the highest amount per gram of thyroid gland tissue .

recent study has suggested that selenium supplementation to patients with thyroid imbalance has reduced the antithyroid antibody levels which in turn has improved thyroid disease conditions especially hypothyroidism.

Maintaining selenium and magnesium is a prerequisite to prevent thyroid disease and thereby overall health. Supplementation with organic source of these micronutrient is more effective and patients with autoimmune diseases have benefited immunologicaly.

Thus the presence of high amounts of selenium and magnesium increases the health benefits of sunflower seeds to magnanimously.

4. Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds On Bone Structure

Magnesium is micronutrient that controls the formation of your body’s bone structure.It helps in making your bones strong and also your teeth hard.

The most important property of magnesium is that it is important for absorption and metabolism ofcalcium. Well, we all know how important calcium is for our bones, right?

  • Magnesium basically helps the thyroid gland to produce calcitonin which is a bone preserving hormone
  • Regulates the function of Parathyroid hormone – the function of which is to break the bone structure.
  • Magnesium is also necessary to convert vitamin D into its active form and if there is a deficiency of magnesium a syndrome known as vitamin D resistance occurs, which hinders the formation of new calcium crystals.
  • Magnesium also stimulates the enzyme alkaline phosphatase which helps in formation of new calcium crystals.

So with no further ado, let me tell you that magnesium is intricately involved with bone formation and maintenance of bone health. A deficiency in magnesium is going to causes osteoporosis in the long run.

Sunflower seeds are thus a boon to help you maintain magnesium at good levels in your blood and body.

5. Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds For Diabetes

Diabetes especially type two diabetes or the one which is not dependent on insulin is a widely occurring metabolic disorder in middle aged people and is mostly characterized by hyperglycemia.

Sunflower seeds have very less calories and are rich sources of minerals vitamins and essential fatty acid. The kernels are rich sources of B complex vitamins especially niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), pantothenic acid, and riboflavin.

In a study conducted on the blood glucose levels of type two diabetes patients sunflower seeds have proved to show positive and better results in regulating the Fasting blood glucose levels. It also helped in increases of HDL (good cholesterol) in the patients.

6. Enhances Skin Health

Studies have demonstrated that cancer prevention agent Vitamin E is particularly helpful for maintaining soft, well nourished, taunt and healthy skin.

Sunflower seeds contain Vitamin E and Linoleic acid that helps in keeping skin hydrated and free from sun harm.

19 thoughts on “6 AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS OF SUNFLOWER SEEDS

  1. Nina says:

    wow, sunflower seeds got so many benefits. thank you for sharing. im happy to hear about its maintenance and regulation of thyroid function

  2. Trina says:

    I love sunflower seeds and I had no idea they had all these health benefits! I’ll be eating them even more now.

  3. Blair Villanueva says:

    Thanks for sharing these awesome sunflower benefits. I have a vitamin E supplements with sunflower extracts.

  4. Elizabeth O says:

    Oh wow I had no idea sunflower seeds had all these health benefits. I will definitely be having a look for them when I shop next. This is awesome.

  5. Tonya Tardiff says:

    This is so cool! I love sunflower seeds but had no idea they had any health benefits! Now I’m going to add some to my salads!

  6. Monidipa says:

    I agree with you on this sunflower seeds have vitamin E. Vitamin E helps neutralize free radicals to protect brain health and cell membranes against redness and swelling.

  7. I knew that sunflower seeds are great for a good health and more so for our heart, as my granny used to cook in sunflower oil and used to tell me some of the benefits.

  8. Ali Ash says:

    Such great posts really need to be shared to make known to people who are or may suffer from health problems. I knew a little about sunflowers and their uses for health, but reading your article has really added value to my knowledge.

  9. I always use sunflowers seeds in my rice recipes and in salads. Sometimes also in sandwiches. I do it because I knew they are healthy and I like the taste but I hardly imagined they were so beneficial!

  10. What a very informative post.I didn’t know any of these health benefits at all. So amazing.

  11. I love eating sunflower seeds. With so many people allergic to nuts sunflower seeds are a happy solution.

  12. Iya - louisa says:

    I love sunflower seeds, especially in a salad! But I had no idea how many benefits they actually had.

  13. I’ve always known that sunflower seeds are healthy and good for you, and I really like them as a snack, but I didn’t actually know what benefits they had. So thanks for sharing! I’ll definitely eat them even more now.

  14. London Mumma says:

    well colour me happy, because I always since a kid with my grandad I eat a lot of sunflower seeds.

  15. This reminds me of my grandma who cooked sunflower seeds and would eat them even with tea. Seems she really knew about its benefits. Since it’s an anti-cancer, I’ll get back to eating such too.

  16. I knew that sunflower seeds were good for your heart. I just didn’t realize they were also good for the thyroid. I really do love them but I don’t get them too often. Will have to include them in my diet more.

  17. Koby says:

    I don’t think I’ve had sunflower seeds, but these benefits listed here are amazing and well detailed. It would be very great to try it out!

  18. Lena Juice says:

    we have so many products with sunflower seeds in Europe and after I moved to the USA I was so shocked and surprised by the lack of many products I got used to then I was a child. but instead, I can see many useless products with corn, which is not so healthy either. It’s so sad ;(

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