Sunflower Seeds Health Benefits and How to Eat Them

Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
Please wait...

Sunflower Seeds Health Benefits

With the increasing awareness towards health, people are discovering new food sources that pack good amount of nutrients in a small quantity, like the famous sunflower seeds.

So, are sunflower seeds good for you in reality or is it all hype?

Find out in the given below sections how eating sunflower seeds can help you and what are the various health benefits of sunflower seeds.

What are Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are fruits of the sunflower. They are located in the head of the flower. As the sunflower dries, the seeds start forming. Each seed can be used to produce a sunflower plant.

health benefits of sunflower seeds

Did you know that each sunflower can produce nearly 2000 seeds?!

The fully formed seeds can then simply be scraped off. The edible part of the seed is the kernel which you get after removing the outer hull.

The seed has the shape of a tear drop and is greyish in color. Raw sunflower seeds have a mild and nutty flavor.

The outer hull/shell comes in different colors and depending upon this color the seeds are used for different purposes.

Read: Benefits of Avocado: Why Are Avocados Good for You?

Types of Sunflower Seeds

The seed having a black colored shell is generally used for oil production. Looking at the benefits of sunflower seed oil for the heart, the American Heart Association has recommended its use for everyday cooking.

The seed contained in the black and white striped shell is the one used for culinary purposes.

unshelled sunflower seeds

Raw sunflower seeds can be eaten as a snack or can be added to various food items like salads, soups, sandwiches and so on.

Generally, people eat the shelled sunflower seeds. The unshelled sunflower seeds can be eaten for their high fiber content but they need to be chewed properly before consuming. Eating a lot of unshelled sunflower seeds can cause digestive problems.

shelled sunflower seeds

 

Here is an easy way to separate the hull from the seed. Put the unshelled seeds in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crack open the shells. Remember to do this gently or you might break the seeds too in the process. Now, put the contents in a bowl of water. The shells will come floating on the top which you can skim. The shelled seeds will go to the bottom.

Sunflower Seeds Nutrition Facts

Sunflower seeds benefit the human body in many ways because they are a storehouse of various vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a balanced growth and development. You can get a boost of various nutrients by just eating a handful of these healthy seeds.

Here is a chart that shows the amount of vitamins and minerals found in a 100 grams pack of sunflower seed.

Sunflower Seeds Nutritional Values
Source: ndb.nal.usda.gov

As you can see sunflower seeds are a rich source of minerals like magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. These minerals are necessary for healthy bone and muscle development. They also help maintain balanced nerve functions.

Sunflowers seeds are also a good source of Vitamin E and folate that help in cell growth.

Read below to find out more about the various benefits of sunflower seeds.

Sunflower Seeds Health Benefits

  1. Sunflower Seed Keeps the Heart Healthy

One of the popular sunflower seeds benefits is that it promotes cardiovascular health. Sunflower seeds contain a compound called phytosterols that help reduce cholesterol levels. 100 grams of seeds contain about 270 mg of this beneficial compound.

Sunflower seeds also contain magnesium and linoleic acid that help reduce blood pressure.

A type of healthy fat called polyunsaturated fat in the seeds helps to reduce LDL levels thereby reducing the risk of a heart attack or a stroke.

Most of the benefits of sunflower seeds can only be gained if you eat them in moderation. Eating too many seeds can result in various side effects like weight gain and digestive problems.

  1. Sunflower Seeds Act as a Brain Booster

Another crucial sunflower seeds benefit is that it can help the human body fight against many neurological diseases.

Vitamin B6 found in sunflower seeds helps improve the cognitive function. Copper in the seeds helps in the proper functioning of the neurons in the brain thereby reducing the risk of neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

The magnesium in the seeds helps to calm the nerves and improve the mood and also keeps migraine attacks at bay.

Must See: Top Uses and Health Benefits of Manuka Honey: Medihoney

  1. Sunflower Seeds Acts as a Skin and Hair Specialist

Sunflower seeds benefit not only the internal organs but also outer body parts like the skin and hair.

Vitamin E in the seeds helps reduce oxidative stress on the body and improves blood circulation. This helps in making the skin look young and free from wrinkles.

The blood circulation property of Vitamin E also helps in the proper growth and development of hair. It provides the right nourishment needed for the hair to become healthier and bouncier.

are sunflower seeds good for you

  1. Sunflower Seeds Helps in Weight Loss

Sunflower seeds are a healthy snack that makes you feel full for longer time period. If you are on a diet plan and are trying to lose weight then, including sunflower seeds can help you a lot.

The vitamins and mineral content in the seeds will ensure that you do not miss out on any healthy nutrients while the fiber content will give you a feeling of fullness thereby reducing the urge to eat.

  1. Sunflower Seeds Prevent Cell Damage

One of the important sunflower seeds benefits is that it prevents cell damage caused due to oxidative stress.

Two nutrients present in the sunflower seeds helps repair damaged cells and fight oxidative stress. These are selenium and Vitamin E.

Free radicals in the body can cause various diseases and damage the cells. The nutrients present in the seed prevent the movement of these free radicals. This helps the body to fight certain diseases and remain healthy.

Also Read: 🥥 🥛 Top Uses and Health Benefits of Coconut Milk

  1. Consuming Sunflower Seeds Helps Digestion

Fiber is important to keep the digestive track in a healthy condition. The fiber present in the sunflower seeds helps improve digestion and provide relief from ailments like constipation and diarrhea.

Thiamine present in the seeds help in the proper digestion of carbohydrates thereby improving the overall digestion.

  1. Sunflower Seeds May Reduce Risk of Cancer

As previously stated selenium helps the body repair damaged cells. Research has shown that proper intake of selenium through diet may decrease the risk of cancer.

The studies related to cancer have been conducted on animals and need further analysis as no direct correlation has been observed between the intake of selenium and cancer risk. Also, high dose of selenium can cause toxicity.

  1. Eating Sunflower Seeds Helps Fight Inflammation

Vitamin E helps protect the body’s cell from damages and aids in repairing any damaged cell. It also lowers the C-reactive protein in the body that is an inflammatory marker. All this helps reduce inflammation and helps the body fight inflammatory conditions like arthritis and asthma.

How to Eat Sunflower Seeds

  1. Sunflower Seed Intake Improves Hormone Balance

Sunflower seeds contain fatty acids and an important chemical called phytoestrogen. All this helps to fight against any hormonal imbalance.

It helps to protect the body from diseases like breast cancer, thyroid problems and menopause disorders.

Check Out: Water and Hair Growth: Benefits of Drinking Water for Hair

  1. Sunflower Seeds Helps in Healing

Sunflower seeds have antifungal and antibacterial properties and can help speed up the healing process. The Vitamin E present in the seed speeds up the clotting process thereby helping to heal wounds quickly.

You can enjoy the various nutritional benefits of sunflower seeds by including it in your meal in different ways.

How to Eat Sunflower Seeds

You can eat sunflower seeds raw, roasted or sprouted.

The studies related to cancer have been conducted on animals and need further analysis as no direct correlation has been observed between the intake of selenium and cancer risk. Also, high dose of selenium can cause toxicity.

Roasted sunflower seeds can be used as a snack or can be added to salads or sandwiches. You can roast the seeds at home and season them with salt and pepper. It makes a delicious and crunchy snack.

Raw sunflower seeds can be added to cookies, granola bars and cakes and muffins. You can even add them to your breakfast cereal. You can include them in your lunch by mixing them in your vegetable dish.

How Much Sunflower Seeds to Eat?

As said previously, sunflower seeds benefits can be gained only when they are consumed in moderation. Too many sunflower seeds in your diet can create health problems like stool blockages, allergies, weight gain and kidney damages.

In order to get maximum benefits of sunflower seeds the National Sunflower association recommends the intake of 1 ounce or 28.35 g (gram) of sunflower seeds daily. By consuming just one ounce of sunflower seeds you get 76% DV of Vitamin E, 25% DV of Copper and 17% DV of Folate.

How Much Sunflower Seeds to Eat
Source: sunflowernsa.com

You May Like: Remarkable Health Benefits of Purple Cabbage (Red Cabbage)

Bottom Line – Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are nutrient dense and can benefit the human body in many ways. They help to regulate cholesterol levels, protect the body from many diseases and aid in the healing process.

You can get these benefits of sunflower seeds by including them in your daily diet in various ways. Just remember to eat only the recommended quantity. You can even measure the required quantity daily and keep it separately. This will prevent you from over snacking on sunflower seeds.

Pick only fresh sunflower seeds as with time the seeds can turn rancid and create digestive problems. Always store your seeds in an airtight container to prevent rancidity.

Sunflower seeds are one of the best nutrient sources that provide maximum benefit in a small package.

Heath Benefits of Fox NutsTop Heath Benefits of Fox Nuts (Makhanas)
benefits of eating avocado dailyBenefits of Avocado: Why Are Avocados Good for You?