We know that sunflower is beautiful flowers with astounding appearance. They please our eyes whenever we see them. It is undeniable that they look good on vases. Not just that, they have also stressed relievers for some. However, the sunflower is not only for aesthetic purposes. They are also good for the health. Well, I am not telling you to eat the flower, but the seeds of it. Well, you might have heard of the sunflower seeds already. Have you tried munching on it already? If not yet, then what are you doing, try it now! Don’t hesitate, because the health benefits of sunflower will surprise you.
We know that sunflower is an herbaceous annual growing plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Botanically, it is popular as the Helianthus annuus. Furthermore, it is innate to the regions of Middle America. Its leading producers are Argentina, USA, China, and Russia. Sunflower produces gray to white conical shaped seeds that have a smooth surface. Each of the sunflower head has hundreds of edible seeds.
The sunflower seeds are obtained from the round center of the sunflower that turns all throughout the day to be able to follow the course of the sun. Furthermore, the center of sunflower is bright yellow. It produces a gray-colored seed that is encased in a teardrop shaped shells. They often have black and white stripes. Generally, there are three kinds of sunflower seeds, the NuSun, highly oleic, and the linoleic. All of these have been categorized on the base of their own levels of polyunsaturated, saturated, and monounsaturated fats.
Primarily, sunflower seeds are consumed as a snack food in various parts of the world. They can be eaten both in de-hulled form or in full-seed form. In the de-hulled form, the kernel is the only one that is being eaten. Both the shell and the kernel have different nutritional value. In various countries, the sunflower seeds are also used in culinary preparations on various recipes. In fact, they make a very delicious and nutrient-dense snack.
Nutritional Facts of Sunflower Seeds
100 grams or one serving of dried sunflower seed kernels contain:
|Principle||Nutrient value||% Daily Value|
|Dietary fiber||8.6 grams||23%|
|Vitamin E||35.17 milligrams||234%|
|Vitamin A||50 IU||1.6%|
|Pantothenic acid||1.130 milligrams||22%|
Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds
Here are some of the health benefits of sunflower seeds:
- Helps in relieving symptoms of arthritis: there are some people who rely on the sunflower seeds because of its vitamin E content. This particular antioxidant vitamin is beneficial in reducing the symptoms of arthritis, as well as some other inflammatory illnesses.
- Helps in treating hypertension: the magnesium content of the sunflower seed is beneficial in treating hypertension.
- Help promote growth and development: even though there is just a small amount of protein in the sunflower seeds, they are still beneficial for the growth and development of the body.
- Helps in sleeping: the magnesium content of sunflower seeds is what helps in this particular health benefit. It helps in converting the tryptophan into a serotonin, which is a feel good hormone.
- Helps prevent cancer: this is one of the best health benefits of sunflower seeds. In fact, studies show that the selenium content of the sunflower seeds is beneficial in the prevention of the spread, as well as the occurrence of various types of cancer.
- Helps in controlling cholesterol levels: the phytosterol in the sunflower seeds are in high concentrations. Thus making it a good snack for cholesterol level control.
- Aids in weight loss: even though it is high in cholesterol, sunflower seed is still a good source of dietary fiber. This can be beneficial in speeding up the digestive process and then reduce the cholesterol levels in the body.
- Takes care of the skin: the high vitamin E content of the sunflower seeds are beneficial in boosting the skin and giving it an astounding glow. Moreover, it is also beneficial in rejuvenating the skin. This is by means of increasing the blood circulation and reducing the appearance of wrinkles on the skin.
Side Effects of Sunflower Seeds
Here are some of the side effects of sunflower seeds:
- High levels of sodium in sunflower seeds may lead to higher blood pressure levels.
- Excessive consumption of sunflower seeds may lead to being overweight or obesity.
- The seeds may lead to skin rashes if you consume too much or if you are allergic to it.
- Since there is a high phosphorus content in sunflower seeds, it may lead to some kidney conditions when not taken moderately.