Native to America, sunflower is grown primarily for use as a cooking fuel, extracted from its seeds. Sunflower seeds are also eaten raw or baked, as a snack and as flour in pastries or cereals. They are also used to make butter as an alternative to milk and peanut butter. Below we take a look at some of the health benefits of sunflower seeds.
Rich in essential nutrients
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamins, especially B vitamins and vitamins C and E. They also contain high percentages of essential minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and iron. Together, they help support our bones, tissues, and vital organs and help our body heal, among other functions.
Good for the heart
Higher levels of cholesterol, especially low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, are bad for the heart because it builds upon the walls of the arteries and can lead to a heart attack. Sunflower seeds contain a high percentage of linoleic acid, which helps reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels. The seeds also contain oleic acids, which can lower triglyceride levels, which cause similar heart problems.
Check for diabetes
People with diabetes cannot make enough insulin to deliver glucose to cells. As a result, blood sugar levels rise and cause damage to blood vessels, vital organs, and affect the heart, kidneys, nerves, and vision. Sunflower seeds not only have a low glycemic index but also contain chlorogenic acid, which controls blood sugar levels.
Acute inflammation is a temporary protective response to any injury or infection through a tumor. However, chronic inflammation is a chronic condition that damages vital cells, tissues, and organs, such as the heart. It can also cause DNA damage and tumor damage. Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E and phenolic compounds such as flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties that help reduce inflammation.
Studies in male lambs have shown that sunflower seeds can help heal wounds. The linoleic acid in the seeds helps speed up the healing process.