The Sunflower is not only beautiful, but the seed is an important protein plant-based seed.
The sunflower seed is a flat, oval, and black seed that is considered the fruit of the sunflower.
Sunflower seeds can be consumed as a snack or can be incorporated into meals. Sunflower seeds are quite versatile. You can eat them raw and whole. The kernels can be eaten raw after hulling the outer shells. You can also roast and have them salted or plain.
Hulled, raw, or roasted sunflower seeds are commonly used in baking too.
AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS OF SUNFLOWER SEEDS
- It aids digestion
Sunflower seed is a good agent to act down on the symptoms associated with constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The enzymes present in the seeds regulate the secretion of digestive juices and eliminate unnecessary toxins from the body, making sure that your stomach and the gut keep on functioning well at all times.
- Great source of Antioxidants
These mighty seeds are also high in Vitamin E, a group of fat-soluble compounds called tocopherols and tocotrienols. Vitamin E is well known to be a powerful antioxidant, which gives it anti-aging properties, in particular improving the elasticity of the skin.
- Lowers Blood Cholesterol
Saturated fats(not good)are found in butter, margarine, lard, and shortening. When you replace saturated fats with unsaturated(good) ones, your cholesterol levels may fall and you would be healthierSunflower seeds may lower bad cholesterol (LDL) in serum. You also feel a sense of satiety when you eat them. This is because they are high in calories. Eating sunflower seeds can fill you up, so you don’t binge on high-cholesterol foods.
- Improves Heart Health
Increasing consumption of seeds such as Sunflower seeds along with whole grains, nuts, and legumes is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
It also decreases heart disease risk factors, such as “bad” cholesterols and blood pressure (Ros & Hu, 2013). This is because sunflower seeds contain a significant amount of fiber, which helps to unclog arteries and clear “bad” cholesterol from the blood.
- Helps in controlling Diabetes.
Snacking on low cholesterol and low Glycemic index foods like sunflower seeds can help you manage your diabetes.
Sunflower seeds have a low glycemic index of about 20. Eating them and pumpkin seeds can prevent your blood sugar levels from shooting up (hyperglycemia).
The unsaturated fatty acids and polyphenolic compounds in sunflower seeds also have anti-diabetic effects. By controlling your sugar levels, you indirectly protect your liver, pancreas, and other vital organs.
- Can prevent the onset of Chronic Disease
Selenium, another mineral found in high amounts in sunflower seeds, is also a powerful antioxidant.
Selenium fights oxidative stress in our body, which is an imbalance of oxidant and antioxidant levels. Preventing oxidative stress in our body prevents the onset of chronic diseases (Moylan & Reid, 2007).
- For Balancing Hormones
Sunflower seeds are also rich in 100 different kinds of enzymes that regulate hormonal balance in the body.
For women especially, the enzymes in the seeds can balance out the production of estrogen and progesterone and prove to be helpful in managing the symptoms of premenstrual syndromes.
How to select sunflower seeds.
When purchasing unshelled seeds, make sure that the shells are not broken or dirty. Additionally, they should be firm and not have a limp texture. When purchasing shelled seeds, avoid those that appear yellowish in color as they have probably gone rancid. In addition, if you are purchasing sunflower seeds from a bulk bin, smell them to ensure that they are still fresh and have not spoiled.
Since sunflower seeds have a high-fat content and are prone to rancidity, it is best to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can also be stored in the freezer since the cold temperature will not greatly affect their texture or flavor but generally, do not purchase too much quantity at a go.
How to consume sunflower seeds
You can eat sunflower seeds raw or buy dry roasted seeds with or without the shell.
Those still in the shell are commonly eaten by cracking them with your teeth, then spitting out the shell.
Sunflower can also be okay like these;
- Sprinkle on a leafy green salad.
- Stir into hot or cold cereal
- Grind the seeds and use them as a coating for fish.
HOW TO GET THESE QUALITY SUNFLOWER SEEDS
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