Beautiful yellow sunflowers are a great sight to watch. Sunflower oil is widely used for cooking and is healthy as well (only in moderate amount). Similarly, the seeds of sunflower plants contain good amount of beneficial nutrients. These are dark brown to black in color. The seeds of sunflower are edible and that they have health benefits. The oil of sunflower comes from sunflower seeds.
Studies suggest that the foods that we get from plants such as fruits, vegetables, oil crops and whole grains have many substances which are useful and that have beneficial effects on human health. Research supports that some of these foods, as part of an overall healthful diet, have the potential to delay the onset of many age-related diseases. Sunflower seeds are such plant foods which when consumed have multiple health functions to serve.
Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, fats called unsaturated fatty acids, proteins, Vitamin B1, minerals such as copper, manganese, selenium, magnesium etc.
1. Reduces risk of cardio vascular disease - These super seed is rich in vitamin E and phenols which are powerful antioxidants. Thus they helps in reducing oxidation of bad cholesterol which leads to blockage of blood vessels which provide blood to the heart for its proper functioning. Thus it reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and thus the risk of heart attack lowers.
2. Reduces risk of high bad cholesterol - Sunflower seeds contain powerful nutrients called phytoesterols. These are known to reduce the bad cholesterol levels in the body.
3. Help Prevent Cancer - The high amount of antioxidants and trace minerals present in sunflower seeds especially vitamin E help in reducing oxidative stress in the body thus lowering the risk of certain cancers. Oxidative stress means there are free oxygen radicals which are created in the body due some environmental factors which cause cell damage. Thus antioxidants neutralize these free radicals owing to reduction of cellular damage. Selenium in it aids DNA repair and slow the growth of tumor cells. Thus it may help prevent the recurrence of cancer.
4. Brain Function - Antioxidants also help in maintaining brain health by protecting the brain cells. Studies suggest vitamin E may have role to play in delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. More research in this field is required though.
5. Thyroid Function - Selenium helps in maintaining thyroid hormone metabolism and thus is good for maintaining thyroid health.
6. Lowers inflammation - As mentioned earlier, these seeds contain high amount of antioxidants which also help lower inflammation i.e. redness and swelling inside the body which is a major cause of various diseases and disorders.
7. Good source of Magnesium - These small but power packed seeds are a good source of magnesium as well. Magnesium is required to carry out various functions in the body. The deficiency of which may lead to cardiovascular issues, problems in immune function, nervous system. Also it is required for maintaining functions of bones and muscles.
So enjoy these crunchy seeds flooded with nutrients and get healthy!! For quantities to be consumed through diet consult your nutritionist today…