Sunflower seeds Nutritional Value & Health Benefits

sunflower seedsThese seeds are fruit of the sunflower and are primarily eaten as snacks. The nutty tasting and tender textured seeds offer ample health benefits. Apart from being rich in vitamin E it also has good amounts of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, B6, folic acid and minerals like manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium and phosphorus. The seeds have high oil content and serve as one of the significant sources of polyunsaturated oil.

Sunflower seeds Health benefits

  • Detoxification and anti-carcinogenic benefits: Selenium present in sunflower helps in detoxification of our body by inhibiting neurotoxic effects of heavy metal toxins like mercury and cadmium. Selenium also has anti-carcinogenic effects on the body by stimulating production and repairing of DNA in damaged cells and initiating apoptosis of cancer cells.
  • Nerve and muscle relaxant: The magnesium content of sunflower seeds is beneficial for relaxing our nerves and muscles thereby relieving muscle spasms, migraine headaches, hypertension, cramps, tension and fatigue. Magnesium prevents calcium from rushing into nerve cells and thereby inhibits unnecessary activation and contraction of nerves.
  • Helps to cure Restless Leg Syndrome naturally .
  • Controls cholesterol levels: Phytosterols present in the seeds lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels and thereby reduce risks of heart attack and stroke.
  • Skin care: Being an excellent source of vitamin E the sunflower seeds protect the skin from damage caused by oxygen free radicals in the body thereby inhibiting signs of aging. It also protects the skin from Sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiations. The essential fatty acids present in the seeds help the skin to maintain its elasticity and look soft and smooth. They also reduce chances of getting acne. Copper present in the seeds is needed by the body to produce melanin that gives color to our skin and hair.
  • Promotes bone health: High quantities of magnesium present in sunflower seeds help to strengthen our bones. Moreover copper ensures proper functioning of enzymes that cross-link collagen and elastin and make our bones and joints stronger and flexible. Vitamin E present in the seeds lower arthritis inflammation.
  • Good for our cardiovascular system: Vitamin E present in the seeds protects our heart and blood vessels from damage caused by oxidative stress thereby safeguarding us from cardiovascular disease. Moreover folate reduces levels of plasma homocysteine which are very harmful for our heart.
  • Uplifts mood: The magnesium in sunflower seeds eases depression and promotes mental health. Tryptophan and choline in the seeds are beneficial for controlling stress, anxiety and improve our memory.
  • High zinc content of sunflower seeds make them beneficial for increasing male fertility.
  • Sprouted sunflower seed serves as a good source of vegetarian protein that is needed for tissue building and repairing as well as for facilitating functioning of enzymes in the body.
  • Since they are good sources of iron and folic acid their regular consumption helps to prevent anemia.

Caution: Although the seeds boost our immunity and offer many health benefits but when huge amounts are eaten at a time it causes stomach problems. Diverticulosis patients are recommended to avoid these seeds as it may cause intestinal blockage and bleeding.

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