Sunflower seeds are white and delicate, despite being enclosed in a black-and-white striped shell. You can consume the seeds raw, roasted, or add them into other dishes. They have a distinct nutty flavour and excellent nutritional content.
Sunflower seeds have become a health staple in the recent past. In addition to that, it makes it a perfect snack for weight loss because these seeds contain protein, healthy fats, and fibre. In addition, they have a range of essential minerals and vitamins. they can regulate blood pressure and improve heart health. They are energy boosters and build robust immune systems.
BENEFITS OF ADDING SUNFLOWER SEEDS INTO YOUR DIET
Sunflower seeds are high-calorie, but regulated consumption helps lose weight. That is because they are rich in essential macro and micronutrients. In addition, they include fibre to help you lose weight. Adding extra fibre to your diet is a simple alteration. This addition significantly supports weight loss. Protein is a macronutrient abundant in sunflower seeds. It acts as a great companion for weight loss.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SUNFLOWER SEEDS
The seeds contain numerous essential vitamins and minerals. For example, sunflower seeds have vitamin E (with strong anti-inflammatory qualities and a reduced risk of developing heart disease). In addition, it has folate for DNA synthesis and phosphorus for improving bone health.
They are also abundant in selenium, an antioxidant that protects against cell damage, Vitamin B6, essential for cognitive development and function. Zinc that helps in metabolism and immune function can also be found in sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are especially high in vitamin E and selenium. These function as antioxidants to protect your body’s cells against free radical damage, which plays a role in several chronic diseases.
Immunity boosting effects of sunflower seeds are due to the presence of vitamin E, zinc and selenium in them.
Vitamin E enhances immune responses and protects against several infectious diseases. It is also a powerful antioxidant and prevents free radicals from damaging healthy cells in our body.
Zinc protects our body from inflammation, allergies and invading pathogens, thus preventing infections and increasing overall immunity.
Selenium reduces inflammation and enhances immunity. It also helps to reduce oxidative stress from free radicals.
The fibre content of sunflower seeds decreases levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Niacin or vitamin B3 present in sunflower seeds reduces total cholesterol levels and risk of heart diseases.
Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid in sunflower seeds increases HDL cholesterol and reduces total serum cholesterol levels.
Sunflower seeds are rich in oleic and linoleic acid and low in saturated fats and sodium. They also contain magnesium, potassium and fibre. They help to lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. All these effects help to protect our body from occurrence of cardiovascular disorders.
Reduces risk of Cancer
Beta-sitosterol, a phytosterol present in sunflower seeds helps to prevent breast cancer. It inhibits the growth of tumour cells, decreases the size of the tumour and also prevents metastasis. Presence of strong antioxidants in sunflower seeds also reduces the risk of cancer.
Consumption of these seeds also reduces the chances of colon cancer.
Management of Diabetes
Sunflower seeds are useful in reducing blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is a chronic condition that leads to high levels of blood sugar in your body as the cells do not respond to insulin as well as they should. A few of the symptoms include increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and blurred vision.
Boosts function of Brain
Sunflower seeds contain vitamin B6. It improves mood and concentration and enhances memory. It releases serotonin and norepinephrine in our body.
Helps in Weight Loss
Sunflower seeds are rich in proteins and fibre. They make us feel full for a long time, reduce our food intake and finally reduce the number of calories consumed. This helps in reduction of weight.
Powerhouse of Energy
Sunflower seeds are a good source of thiamine ( vitamin B1). Thiamine helps to breakdown carbohydrates, proteins and fats present in our food into energy. They also help in muscle building.
Helps in Treatment of Anaemia
Sunflower seeds are a good source of iron. Consuming these seeds helps to up our iron levels; thus helping people suffering from anaemia.
Helps to Detox our Body
Sunflower seeds have potent antibacterial activity. They help in effectively removing bacteria and germs from cells.
They also help to flush out toxins from our body.
Good for our Skin
Consuming sunflower seeds keep our skin glowing. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of these seeds also prevents infections, thus keeping our skin clear.
Oleic and linoleic acids, present in sunflower seeds help in the formation of collagen and elastin, speeding up wound healing. They also prevent the formation of scars.
Helpful During Pregnancy
Sunflower seeds are loaded with Vitamine E, which is a nutrient known to be extremely beneficial for prenatal health. This means, Vitamin E helps in the development of the baby inside the womb. Therefore, sunflower seeds are an effective source of nutrition for pregnant women and their babies.
Sunflower seeds are rich in calories.
- 100 grams of these seeds give around 585 calories of energy. They have a good amount of fibre (8.5 g) and fats (51.5 g).
- Fats present are mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated; which are good fats.
- They are also rich in protein (20.77 g).
- They are loaded with vitamins like Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Folate, Choline, vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin E.
- Contain minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc etc.
- Sunflower seeds when consumed, also provide us with plant compounds like flavonoids and phenolic acids that are strong antioxidants.
Excess consumption of sunflower seeds may cause vomiting, stomach ache and constipation. People allergic to sunflower seeds may show symptoms like vomiting, rashes, breathing problem, swelling and itching around the mouth etc. Sunflower seeds are rich in calories. Consuming too much may lead to weight gain.
Though rich in nutrients, sunflower seeds are relatively high in calories. Eating the seeds in the shell is a simple way to slow your eating pace and calorie intake while snacking, as it takes time to crack open and spit out each shell.
Another reason to eat sunflower seeds in moderation is their cadmium content. This heavy metal can harm your kidneys if you’re exposed to high amounts over a long period.
Eating a large number of sunflower seeds at once has occasionally resulted in fecal impaction or stool blockages in both children and adults.
Though allergies to sunflower seeds are relatively uncommon, some cases have been reported. Reactions may include asthma, mouth swelling, itching of the mouth, hay fever, skin rashes, lesions, vomiting and anaphylaxis.
- Sunflower seeds should not be consumed more than 1 small cup ( around 30 grams ) per day.
- The WHO advises a weekly limit of 490 micrograms (mcg) of cadmium for a 154-pound (70-kg) adult.
HEALTHY DIET CAN HELP YOU..!!!!
You can incorporate these nutritious seeds into your weight-loss diet in various delicious ways.
Are you thinking of making your regular vegetable or fruit salad? Well, add in a spoonful of sunflower seeds and up your salad’s nutritional value.