Sunflower Seeds: Nutritional Value And Health Benefits
Published on: 16-Aug-2022
10 min read
Sunflower Seeds: Nutritional Value And Health Benefits
Sunflower seeds are tiny in size but packed with loads of nutrients. They are used in both seeds and oil. These little seeds have a mild, nutty flavour and firm but tender texture.
The health benefits of sunflower include:
- Blood pressure and diabetes control.
- Skin protection.
- Lowering cholesterol and other functions.
Table Of Contents
1. What Is Sunflower Seed?
2. The Nutritional Value Of Sunflower Seeds
3. How To Consume Sunflower Seeds?
4. Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds
5. Dietician’s Recommendation
6. The Final Say
What Is Sunflower Seed?
Sunflower is one of the vital oilseed crops grown around the world. It is a premium oil and dietary fibre source, contributing to human health. They are also known as a kennel. These seeds are tiny in shape and black and white.
Sunflower seeds contain approx 50% oil and 20% protein. In addition, American Heart Association states, “ Sunflower seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fat.”
It can be sprouted, used for garnishing, and added as an ingredient in the recipes. However, baseball players consume this as an alternative to chewing tobacco in the United States.
The Nutritional Value Of Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds contain various nutrients and play a vital role in body functions. For example, the white sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, zinc and selenium. These protect your cells from free damage, lower your risk of developing chronic disease and boost immunity.
30g of shelled, dry-roasted sunflower seeds contain:
- Calories - 163kcl
- Fat - 14g
- Protein - 5.5g
- Carbs - 6.5g
- Fibre - 3g
- Vitamin E - 23% of the RDI ( Reference Daily Intake)
- Niacin - 10% of the RDI
- Vitamin - 11% of the RDI
- Iron - 6% of the RDI
- Magnesium - 9% of the RDI
- Zinc - 10% of the RDI
How To Consume Sunflower Seeds?
A study states, “Consuming sunflower seeds has been associated with lower risks of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.”
You can consume these tiny seeds in the following ways:
- Serve on top of the salad.
- Mix with oatmeal.
- Sprinkle on mixed vegetables or stir-fries.
- Add to baked goods.
- Use sunflower oil for cooking.
- Swap the peanut butter with sunflower butter.
- Add it to the vegetarian burger.
- Mix with trail mix.
Remember, do not consume more than 30 grams per day! Exceeding the limit may result in vomiting, stomach ache and constipation. In addition, people allergic to sunflower seeds may show symptoms such as rashes, vomiting, breathing problems swelling and itching around the mouth, etc.
The seeds are also rich in calories. Therefore, over-consumption can also lead to weight gain.
Health Benefits Of Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are nature's pills. The term pill is to donate its shape as it is an excellent source of several nutrients, including linoleic acid, dietary fibre, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and trace amounts of calcium. Moreover, in sunflower seeds, tryptophan is known for its anti-depressant properties.
Apart from these, there are several health benefits of sunflower seeds. They are:
1. Reduces Inflammation
Sunflower seeds reduce the risk of diseases like high blood pressure, health diseases and diabetes. According to a study, 6000 adults eating sunflower and other seeds five times a week lowered the level of C reactive protein by 32% compared to others.
2. Immunity Booster
Sunflower seeds are potent antioxidants and prevent free radicals from damaging the healthy cells in our bodies. In addition, the seeds contain zinc, selenium and vitamins that boost immunity and reduce oxidative stress.
3. Boosts Brain Function
The seeds contain vitamin B6, which improves concentration and enhances memory. It also lowers the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
4. Treatment Of Anaemia
The seeds are a good source of iron. Consumption of these seeds will help you raise your iron level, thus helping people suffering from anaemia.
5. Helps In Weight Loss
Thiamine, present in the sunflower seeds, helps break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats in our food. A handful of sunflower seeds help build muscle and deliver more oxygen to your body.
6. Heals Wounds
Sunflower seeds have a high concentration of linoleic acid that works as a therapeutic alternative for clinical and microscopical wound healing.
7. Rich In Healthy Fat
Research shows sunflower oil has antioxidant properties and may reduce cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein. The seeds have vitamin B5 and pantothenic acid that raise the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
The seeds contain beta-sitosterol, a phytosterol that reduces the risk of breast cancer. They also reduce the risk of colon cancer, and antioxidants lower the risk of other cancers.
9. Anti-Diabetic Property
Its anti-diabetic benefits extract are studied in regular, glucose-loaded hyperglycemic. Consuming sunflower seeds for six months may reduce blood sugar levels by roughly 10%.
10. Enhances The Nutritional Value Of Food
When combined with wheat-based bread, sunflower seeds increase the quality and quantity of protein in bread.
Things to keep in mind:
- Overconsumption of sunflower seeds may cause vomiting, stomach ache and constipation.
- Arginine in sunflower seeds helps in enhancing male sexual function.
- Mix the sunflower seeds with nuts and dried fruits for a healthy, energy-loaded snack.
- The shells of sunflower seeds are salted, so if you limit salt consumption, search for unsalted sunflower seeds.
- Protein content in sunflower seeds is 21g in 100g, whereas pumpkin seeds contain 19g in 100g
The Final Say
Sunflower seeds are abundant with vitamins and minerals when consumed. They also provide healthy plant compounds like flavonoids and phenolic acids that are potent antioxidants. The phenolic compounds, flavonoids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and vitamins in sunflower seeds have significant antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, wound-healing, and cardiovascular effects.
1. How many sunflower seeds should I eat per day?
You can consume 30 grams of sunflower seeds per day. However, overconsumption may lead to constipation or vomiting, especially when consuming seeds with the shell.
2. What are sunflower seeds used for?
Studies connect the consumption of sunflower seeds to several health benefits, including lowering your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
3. What is a suitable way to store sunflower seeds?
You can keep them in an airtight or plastic container.
4. Can we eat raw sunflower seeds?
Yes, You can eat sunflower seeds raw or buy dry roasted seeds with or without the shell. They also come in flavoured varieties. Unsalted, raw kernels are the minor processed versions of the sources, but pick a seed that you enjoy.
5. Are sunflower seeds good for hair?
Yes, sunflower seeds are super beneficial when it comes to maintaining the health of your strands. They are a rich vitamin A and E source, essential for healthy hair.
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