Small Sunflower Seeds Are Packed With Nutrition

Delicious nutty sunflower seeds are a popular snack which is undervalued.  They maybe small but sunflower seeds are a dense source of nutrients and full of extraordinary health benefits.  Sunflowers are beautiful flowers with an abundance of nutrition seeds.

Nutrition of Sunflower Seeds

Half a cup of husked sunflower seeds will give you the following 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 are a good source of fiber, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus, and iron.

See full details at Nutrition Data.

6 Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

  1. Prevents Heart DiseaseSunflower seeds are high in vitamin E which has been known to help in preventing of 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 got a good amount of vitamin E had a much lower risk of dying of a heart attack.
  2. Helps Prevent CancerThe high Vitamin E in sunflower seeds has been found to be effective in cancer prevention.  Studies at Harvard have showed that Vitamin E protects men from prostate cancer and a study by the Texas Woman’s University suggests that it may reduce the risk of lung cancer.
  3. Reduces Risk of DiabetesThrough 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 help prevent diabetes and sunflower seeds are one 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.
  4. Maintains Young and Healthy Skin
    Sunflower seed are abundant in Vitamin E which is vital for the care of 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.
  5. Helps Lower Cholesterol
    It was found that high-oleic-acid sunflower oil lowered 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. Depression Healed using Magnesium
    Sunflower seeds are a very good source of magnesium which has been found in research to heal depression. 

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Fun facts about Sunflower Seeds

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

Sunflower Seed History

They have found wild sunflower seeds have been found as early as 8500 BC in eastern North America. Sunflowers have been eaten by Native Americans for over 5,000 years. They grew these large flowers for the seeds to eat, utilized the sunflower seed oil, and used the flowers ceremonial use.

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

Recipes with Sunflower Seeds: 

Millet & Buckwheat with Sunflower Seeds

Buckwheat with Sunflower Seeds

Seed Topping for Salad, Rice or Vegetables

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