Sunflower Seeds: 8 Powerful Health Benefits You Should Know
- Sunflower seeds are rich in fats, mineral, vitamins, & plant components
- Sunflower seeds benefits include increased energy, better bone & heart health
- Sunflower seeds’ nutrition components include vitamin B, fats, and selenium
Harvested from the flower heads of sunflowers, sunflower seeds are a nutritious snack. They are crunchy and have a delicious, nutty taste! They are rich in plant components, fats, vitamins and minerals. All of this makes them a great addition to your meal. Sunflower seeds are also used to make oil. The shells of these seeds are inedible, so make sure you don’t eat any. These seeds give you energy and are one of the top immunity booster foods.
Read on to know more about the 7 sunflower seeds benefits for your health.
1. Lowers your cholesterol levels
The fiber in sunflower seeds helps in reducing your LDL or bad cholesterol levels. The vitamin B3 and niacin present in them also helps reduce your total cholesterol levels. They also contain another B vitamin, vitamin B5, which helps increase your HDL or good cholesterol.Additional Read: Best Foods and Diet to Lower Cholesterol
2. Keeps your heart healthy
One of the biggest risks to your heart health is high blood pressure. It can lead to a stroke or a heart attack. This makes maintaining and improving your heart health important. Sunflower seeds have linoleic acid that helps make a compound to block enzymes. These enzymes cause your blood vessels to constrict. The fiber, fatty acids, and vitamins of sunflower seeds also help reduce your risk of a heart condition .
3. Helps fight inflammation
Chronic inflammation increases your risk of chronic conditions. This is why it is important for you to eat foods that help you fight inflammation. Increased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) is one of the signs of acute inflammation. These increased CRP levels may also lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease . The high vitamin E content of sunflower seeds helps lower the C-reactive protein levels . Other than this, the plant components and flavonoids present in them also help.
4. Supports your immune system
Vitamin E, selenium, and zinc present in sunflower seeds make them one of the best immunity booster fruits. Vitamin E provides protection against infections and boosts your immune response. It is also an antioxidant and helps prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Selenium helps enhance your immunity and decrease oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Zinc helps prevent infections and increase immunity.
5. Raises your energy levels
The high protein level of sunflower seeds helps keep your energy levels up. Selenium and vitamin B present also help maintain your energy. Selenium helps by increasing the blood flow and delivering more oxygen. Vitamin B1 helps your body convert food into energy to keep you active throughout the day.
How to include sunflower seeds in your diet
6. Helps manage diabetes
Sunflower seeds have a plant compound, chlorogenic acid. Research suggests that chlorogenic acid may help reduce blood sugar levels . Sunflower seeds also have vitamin B, E, antioxidants and more which help control your blood sugar. These benefits make these seeds good for managing diabetes.
7. Improves your bone health
Osteoporosis is one of the conditions that affect women more than men. Women are 4X more likely to be affected by this condition . Better bone health is one of the sunflower seeds benefits for females. These seeds contain calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. These minerals improve and maintain your bone health.Additional Read: Calcium Importance for Women
8. Keeps your skin healthy
Sunflower seeds also have omega-6 fatty acids making it good for your skin. Fatty acid deficiency may affect your skin appearance and function. These fatty acids also help reduce the effects of skin aging and help prevent certain skin conditions.
Like every good thing, these seeds also have potential downsides if you have them in excess. These side effects are:
- Increasing your sugar and sodium levels because of high calorie and sodium content
- Causing stool blockage due to consumption of inedible shells
- Increasing the risk of salmonella because of high bacteria in sprouted seeds or home-grown seeds
Sunflower seeds’ nutrition value make them a great addition in your nutrition therapy. Talk to your nutritionist to see how best to have them for better health. Along with their benefits, keep the possible side effects of sunflower seeds in mind. Contact a doctor immediately if you see any signs of infection, kidney disease, or high sugar. Book teleconsultation on Bajaj Finserv Health. Using the doctor near me feature and other filters, you can find and be treated by the best specialists with convenience.
Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.
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