Small Sunflower Seeds Are Packed With Nutrition

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Small Sunflower Seeds Are Packed With Nutrition

Delicious nutty sunflower seeds are a popular snack which is undervalued.  They may be small but sunflower seeds are a dense source of nutrients and full of extraordinary health benefits.  Also, the sunflowers are beautiful flowers with an abundance of nutrition.

6 Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

  1. Lowers Cholesterol

The high-oleic-acid sunflower oil will lower both triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels according to a study at the University of Sydney, Australia. Vitamin E is one of the antioxidants found in cholesterol particles and helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol.

  1. Good for Young and Healthy Skin

They are abundant in Vitamin E which is vital for the care of the healthy skin by keeping it hydrated, and helps prevent damage created by the sun and pollution.  Studies on dogs have shown that sunflower seeds and flax seeds helped to keep their skin and fur healthy and free from signs of damage even as they aged. Researchers believe that aging humans could have the same benefits.

  1. Cancer Reduced

The high Vitamin E in sunflower seeds is effective in cancer prevention. Studies at Harvard have shown that Vitamin E protects men from prostate cancer. Also, a study by the Texas Woman’s University suggests that it may reduce the risk of lung cancer. 

  1. Reduces Risk of Diabetes

Through years of research, it has been found that a diet rich in nuts and seeds helps balance blood sugar levels reducing the chance of developing diabetes. U.S. National Library of Medicine gives a list of foods to always choose to help prevent diabetes and sunflower seeds are one of the foods.
“The world faces an epidemic of insulin resistance and diabetes. Our findings support preventing and treating these diseases by eating more fat-rich foods like walnuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans, flaxseed, fish, and other vegetable oils and spreads, in place of refined grains, starches, sugars, and animal fats.” ~ Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Tufts University.

  1. Depression Healed Magnesium

Sunflower seeds are a very good source of magnesium which has been found in research to heal depression.

6. Helps Prevent Heart Disease

Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E which is known to help in preventing heart disease. In 1986, a study with 39,910 U.S. male health professionals aged between 40 to 75 in a Harvard study found that those who had a good amount of vitamin E had a much lower risk of dying of a heart attack.

Sunflower Seed Nutrition

Half a cup of husked sunflower seeds gives you in terms of daily requirement:

  • An excellent source of vitamin E; gives over 116%.
  • A great source of vitamin B1 of 69% and Manganese 68%.
  • A good source of copper 63% and Magnesium 57%.
  • Folate (B vitamin) with over 39%.
  • Good protein of 29%.

Also, they are a good source of fiber, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus, and iron.   See full details at Nutrition Data.

sunflower seeds Trivia

  • The tallest sunflower grown was 30 feet, 1nch grown by Hans-Peter Schiffer in Germany verified on 28 August 2014 according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • It is the national flower of Russia and the state flower of Kansas, USA.
  • One of Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ paintings was bought by an anonymous buyer for $39.85 million.
  • They are one of the most consumed seeds in the world.
  • The Incas used the sunflower as an image of their sun god.

History

The sunflower seeds have been growing wild since 8,500 BC in North America.  They have been eaten by Native Americans for over 5,000 years who grew large flowers for the seeds to eat, utilized the sunflower seed oil, and used the flowers in ceremonial use.

Spanish explorers took sunflowers back to Spain; from there they were introduced to other European countries and eventually to Russia.  By the 1800s, sunflowers covered huge fields in Russia and Ukraine.

Finally in the late 1800’s sunflowers were brought back to North America and grown for their oil, seeds, for their beauty and eventually as food for birds.

Sunflower seed oil is one of the most popular oils in the world.  The leading producers are Russia, Peru, Argentina, Spain, France, China and the United States.

sunflower seeds

Buy the best sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds come either shelled or unshelled.  They are usually available in prepackaged or in bulk bins (make sure that the bins are covered and that the store has a good product turnover) as we want fresh seeds.

Unshelled seeds should not be broken or dirty and be firm and not limp.

Shelled seeds can easily go rancid so make sure they do not have a yellow color. If you are getting them from a bulk bin, smell them to find out if they are fresh.

How to Store

Sunflower seeds can easily go rancid because of their high-fat content so it is best to store them in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator. Also, it is possible to store them in the freezer since the cold temperature will not greatly affect their flavor or texture.

Beautiful sunflowers give us an array of food from sunflower sprouts and buds to an abundance of tasty sunflower seeds. The whole flower and the seeds are very nutritious. So let’s make some tasty snacks and meals with them.

Spinach Salad

Recipes with Sunflower Seeds: 

Buckwheat with Sunflower Seeds

Healthy Carrot Salad with Black Currants and Sunflower Seeds

Toasted Sunflower Seeds

Simple Nutritious Spinach Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Millet & Buckwheat with Sunflower Seeds

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You can also learn how to plan and prepare super healthy meals with my
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By | 2017-10-29T15:39:26+00:00 September 22nd, 2016|Nutrition, PowerFoods|2 Comments

About the Author:

I am the Founder and Author at Real Food For Life. Have been teaching cooking classes worldwide since 1982. Create original, healthy recipes and menus, which are gluten free and white sugar free. Also, the author of the GREEN means LEAN and Balance Your Body e-books. I turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar free, gluten free eating and cooking.

2 Comments

  1. Freya Osborne October 30, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Sunflower seed is very useful for health.Last 2-3 month I have taken Sunflower Seed and get amazing results on my body.
    Thanks for sharing a nice article about sunflower seed.

  2. Braden Bills February 13, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I’ve heard that seeds are healthy, but I’ve never known what they can do for you. It’s interesting that they can lower your cholesterol! I never would have thought they can help your skin, too. I’ll have to give it a try!

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