The incredible nutritional profile and immense health benefits of sunflower seeds are responsible for its recent fame and popularity worldwide.
They are very high in selenium and vitamin E, these give sunflower seeds high antioxidant power that help eliminate free radicals from the body and reduce the risks of several chronic diseases.
Sunflower seeds are gotten from the center of sunflower the only flower that turns throughout the day to follow the movement of the sun. This flower produces black or greyish seeds that are enclosed in its black shells.
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They are three types of sunflower seeds and they are classified based on their concentration of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats.
These seeds are among foods with the highest concentration of phytosterols, these are molecules that regulate the amount of cholesterol and lipid in your bloodstream and they promote heart health.
The three types of sunflower seeds are NuSun, linoleic, and highly oleic sunflower seeds. These seeds have a mild nutty flavor and a tender texture, they are firm and to enhance the flavor of the seeds, you have to roast them.
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Sunflower seeds though tiny, yet they are highly nutritious. They have a huge list of important health benefits, the nutrients found in sunflower seeds are responsible for this, and they are also delicious and easy to add to your diet.
10 Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds
1. Prevent Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is the root cause of most chronic diseases like type II diabetes and heart disease. Sunflower seeds reduce the levels of inflammatory markers, the C-reactive protein in your body, thereby preventing inflammation.
They also contain flavonoids and other important compounds that help fight inflammation in the body and reduce your risks of chronic inflammation.
2. Prevents Muscle Cramps and Bone Loss
Sunflower seeds contain a rich amount of magnesium, this mineral help maintain healthy levels of calcium and potassium in your body, these minerals are necessary for healthy bones, blood pressure, and heart health.
They also help maintain a healthy skeletal structure and prevent bone problems like osteoporosis. Pantothetic acid is dense in sunflower seeds, this nutrient aids proper functions of your muscles.
It prevents muscle cramps, fatigue, pains, and it improves the overall health of your muscles.
3. Prevent Heart Disease
Sunflower seeds prevent heart and cardiovascular diseases by working on your blood pressure, it maintains normal blood pressure and prevents it from rising.
They reduce your risks of a stroke and heart attack by ensuring optimum health of your blood vessels. Sunflower seeds contain a compound that blocks the functions of an enzyme responsible for the constriction of your blood vessels.
These wonderful seeds make your blood vessels relax thereby preventing high blood pressure, they are dense in magnesium and this vital mineral helps your blood vessels and body to relax.
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Sunflower seeds are rich in linoleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid your body uses to make a hormone to relax your blood vessels and reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
4. Improve Skin Health
The rich content of antioxidants and vitamin E in sunflower seeds promote healthy and young skin, it maintains the youthfulness of your skin and keeps it free from free radicals and dehydration.
Sunflower seeds moisturize your skin and clear the signs of aging. They also benefit your hair and other tissues of the body.
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5. Treats Diabetes
A handful of studies have shown promising results that sunflower seeds can help treat diabetes by reducing the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream because of the rich content of chlorogenic acid.
They help reduce the effects of sugar and carbs on your body and they are rich in protein and healthy fats which help slow down digestion thereby releasing glucose slowly into your bloodstream.
6. Promote Mental Health
Sunflower seeds prevent depression by boosting the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that controls your mood. They contain tryptophan, an important amino acid which your body uses in making serotonin.
When your body releases serotonin into your bloodstream, it relieves tension, anxiety, stress; it relaxes your body and calms your brain. Sunflower seeds also contain choline, this nutrient improves cognitive functions and boosts memory.
They are also rich in magnesium which help prevent migraines, soreness, and fatigue.
7. Fight Cancer
This is one of the most impressive health benefits of sunflower seeds, this is because they are high in powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and stop the development and spread of cancer cells in your body.
They prevent oxidation and shit down the growth of tumors. The antioxidants in sunflower seeds aid the repair of DNA and prevent cell mutation. These seeds are wonderful cancer-fighting foods.
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Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, this important nutrient prevent cancer. They also contain selenium, this important mineral detoxifies your body, and it repairs DNA and eliminates damaged cells from the body.
It kills cancer and tumor cells via apoptosis.
8. Promote Healthy Cell Formation
Sunflower is a rich source of folate, this nutrient promotes the production of DNA, which is needed to form new cells. Folate is needed by pregnant women to promote healthy formation of the neural tube and to prevent birth defects.
This nutrient promotes healthy weight in babies, it promotes the healthy development of the heart, face, brain, and spinal cord. Pregnant women should consume a moderate amount of sunflower seeds.
9. Promote Healthy Thyroid Function
The thyroid gland is a very important organ in your body and it has a lot of functions like regulating your body temperature, maintaining a normal heart rate, and promoting healthy metabolism.
Problems with the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism) can cause health complications like chronic fatigue, obesity, abnormal body temperature, and so on.
Sunflower seeds are rich in selenium, an important nutrient that promotes the health of your thyroid gland.
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10. Clears Chest Congestion
Sunflower seeds are effective expectorant, they clear chest congestion and offer relief from the symptoms of chest congestion. They clear airways, especially in your lungs and they improve the health of your lungs.
They prevent lower respiratory infections and they stop the invasion of pathogens in your lungs.