Among the healthiest choices for snacks on the planet are nuts and seeds. We already know how beneficial pumpkin seeds are including men’s health. Now, we’re going to explore sunflower seeds health benefits.
Sunflower is beautiful but as soon as the flower gets matured, the seeds become food. There are many ways to prepare sunflower seeds but the most common one is roasting. It’s easy to do if you have raw sunflower seeds.
Otherwise, there are many available ready to eat roasted sunflower seeds.
Nutritional Contents of Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds contain many essential vitamins and minerals. Looking at the seeds with our bare eyes, who would have thought they contain such a vast amount of nutrition.
Vitamins and minerals found in these seeds include;
- Vitamin E
- Vitamins B1, B3, B6
The Health Benefits
Looking at the nutritional contents alone, we can immediately notice it offers many health benefits. We’ll quickly explore some of its known benefits. Hopefully, you will be able to consider it as your typical snacks instead of reaching out for junk foods.
Now, let’s go over some of its health benefits.
1. Promotes Healthy Cholesterol Levels
It is rich in phytosterols, which is plant sterols relating to cholesterol molecules. In fact, its phytosterol contents have a similar physical property to human cholesterol.
Although cholesterol has been vilified for so long, it is actually essential for health. As a matter of fact, study findings1 2 support their nutritional content to promoting healthy cholesterol levels.
2. Good For Thyroid Health
Its selenium contents is a potent antioxidant, which is essential for getting rid of free radicals in the body. Moreover, study findings support that antioxidant is helpful in reducing swelling and redness in the body. In other words, it helps lower inflammation.
Additionally, one study3 finds that daily supplementation with selenium is critical in thyroid hormone metabolism. In other studies4 5, selenium has also been found helpful in repairing DNA in damaged cells.
3. Promotes Good Mood
Magnesium promotes healthy mood, which is also an appropriate energy-boosting food for better focus and concentration at work. In the past, people suffering from depression were given magnesium sulfate.
It has been successful. Of course, it is safe to use making it a valuable option. Today, magnesium is part of various homeopathic therapies for treating mental health and backed by science6, as well.
Therefore, if you feel depressed or to avoid depression, make some dietary changes such as the DASH diet, and of course, sunflower seeds as your snack.
4. Promotes Heart Health
Besides eating eggs, drinking coffee and even practicing Tai-Chi, sunflower seeds promote heart health, as well. The two primary nutritional contents in sunflower seeds for promoting heart health are folate and vitamin E.
A 33-grams of sunflower seeds or approximately a quarter of a cup contains 60% plus the daily requirement of vitamin E. It works as a potent antioxidant and proper level of Vitamin E is helpful in reducing the risk of premature death due to heart disease7.
Furthermore, vitamin E as an antioxidant neutralizes free radicals in the body, which is protective for brain health. And, of course, it protects cell membranes against swelling and redness, or inflammation making vitamin E popular in the anti-aging realm.
Of course, vitamin E has other beneficial role and protects the body from serious health risks8.
5. Rich in Magnesium
One of the health benefits of sunflower seeds we’ve mentioned earlier is it can boosts healthy mood. And, the reason is due to its magnesium contents. Experts call magnesium as a wonder mineral.
It involves hundreds of important processes in the body. Hence, cover a wide range of health benefits including heart health, the nervous system, and the body’s immune system, as well.
Magnesium extends its role on muscles and skeletal system. And, in homeopathy, magnesium has used to promote respiratory function, better heart health, and reduce PMS in women.
A quarter cup of sunflower seeds do not only contain vitamin E but also 25% plus of the daily recommended value of magnesium. This is beneficial for muscles, heart and brain health, etc.
Sunflower seeds are delicious. And, hopefully, this short list of sunflower seeds health benefits may encourage you to consider it as your regular snack. Although we have not mentioned in the list, you may have noticed that it is also an immune system boosting snack.
The next time you reach for a snack, try to look for sunflower seeds. Perhaps, the next time you prepare your snacks for work, consider bringing with you a handful of sunflower seeds.