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Sunflower seeds

sunflower seeds

The sunflower is one of my favorite flowers, and its plentiful seeds are packed with health benefits that can help you from head to toe. They’re easily available all year round, and just a scant handful of them can mean dramatic improvement in the way you feel.

Sweet, nutty sunflower seeds are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Sunflower kernels are actually employed in the extraction of edible oil at commercial scale all over the world. Besides being eaten as popular snacks, they are also used in the kitchen to prepare variety of recipes.

Sunflower seeds are about 6 mm to 10 mm in length and feature conical shape with smooth surface. Their black outer coat (hull) encloses single, gray-white edible-kernel inside. Each sunflower head may contain several hundreds of edible oil seeds.

Health benefits of sunflower seeds

  1.  They are high in energy; 100 g seeds hold about 584 calories. Nonetheless, they are one of the incredible sources of health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins.
  2.  The seeds are rich in  fatty acids. They helps lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good-cholesterol” in the blood.
  3. They are also a very good source of proteins with fine quality amino acids such as tryptophan that are essential for growth, especially in children.
  4. They have anti-oxidants, which help remove harmful oxidant molecules from the body. They, also, help reduce blood sugar levels by limiting glycogen breakdown in the liver.
  5. The seeds are indeed a very rich source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  6. Sunflower kernels are one of the finest sources of B-complex group of vitamins. They are very good sources of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), pantothenic acid, and riboflavin.
  7. Sunflowers are incredible sources of folic acid.  Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis. When given in anticipant mothers during the peri-conceptional period, it may prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
  8. Niacin and pyridoxine are other B-complex vitamins found abundantly in the sunflower seeds.Niacin helps reduce LDL-cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, it enhances GABA activity inside the brain, which in turn helps reduce anxiety and neurosis.
  9. The seeds are incredibly rich sources of many essential minerals. Calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper are especially concentrated in sunflower seeds. Many of these minerals play a vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme secretion, hormone production, as well as in the regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.

Just a hand full of sunflower kernels a day provides much of the recommended level of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein.



42 thoughts on “Sunflower seeds

  1. I should have eaten more of them. People who ate them made such messes when they cracked the shell that I decided it was too much hassle. Little did I know what I was missing. I guess I’d better find the shelled ones or accept the mess.

  2. Oh yes… a healthy little seed! 🙂 I recall my first introduction to them in Hungary about twenty years ago (gosh that makes me sound very old)! when there were fields and fields of yellow flowers, all heads facing the sun and when the sun goes in… they all drop their heads! One of the small wonders of nature 🙂

  3. I am a big fan of sunflower seeds! do you have any recommendations on the best ways to eat them? normally I just put them on a salad, but I’d love some new ideas 🙂

    1. Hi, you would like to know how else to enjoy sunflower seeds? Checkout Mariposaoro, look at the recipe using tags, sunflower seeds, and pot roast. There is a chicken and sunflower seed pot roast. Also check out Pepita Seasoning!

  4. With all of these healthy benefits, its no wonder baseball players are in such good health… generally speaking, that is! Thanks for this information 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on Mommy Emu and commented:
    I love Sunflower seeds since I was a child when my mum use to roast them and give them to use as snacks. I still roast them to this day and add them to yogurt to give a bit of a crunch.

  6. So good in a trail mix. I make my own with pecans, dried fruits and chocolate chips. We called it gorp at summer camp…now I call it my bird food. Perfect for a day when I’m on my feet and don’t have time for a sit-down lunch. Gives you lots of energy! Great pictures.

  7. Seeds should soak 12 hrs before they’re enjoyed. And light roasting is best. The floaties – which you see in the soak water – are duds. I toss them or lift and dry to use for child craft. =)

  8. Very interesting read. My youngest boy got his hands on a bag of sunflower seeds the other day and ate happily. Maybe I should give them to him as a snack. Never really though of that. 🙂

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