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Sunflower seeds – Nutrition, Benefits, & Recipes

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Nuts and Seeds

Sunflower seeds – Nutrition, Benefits, & Recipes

The seeds that are harvested from the flower head of the sunflower plant are known as sunflower seeds. The sunflower seeds are white and have a tender texture, while the kernel itself is encased in a black and white striped shell.  The super seeds can be eaten as whole sunflower seeds, but the majority of the people choose to eat them as kernel—or the “meat” of the seed. On the exterior, the kernel is a fibrous hull that can be challenging to digest.

The best part here is that sunflower seeds are low in carbs and rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and better-for-you fats. As the super sources are available all around the year, they make a healthy snack and are great additions to salads and other simple dishes. To enhance the flavor, they are roasted often, and you can also buy them raw. The plant measures more than 12 inches (30.5 cm) in diameter, and one head features at least 2000 super seeds.

Nutritional facts of sunflower seeds:

  • Calories 163
  • Total fat, which includes: 14 grams
  • Saturated fat 1.5 grams
  • Polyunsaturated fat 9.2 grams
  • Monounsaturated fat 2.7 grams
  • Protein 5 grams
  • Carbs 5 grams
  • Fiber 3 grams
  • Vitamin E 37% of the RDI
  • Niacin 10% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6 11% of the RDI
  • Folate 17% of the RDI
  • Pantothenic acid 20% of the RDI
  • Iron 6% of the RDI
  • Magnesium 9% of the RDI
  • Zinc 10% of the RDI
  • Copper 26% of the RDI
  • Manganese 30% of the RDI
  • Selenium -32% of the RDI

As per the sunflower seeds nutrition facts, it is nothing surprising to know that they are pretty high in fats, but at the same time, they are made of mostly mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which are a fantastic anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy source of fats which aligns with the needs of our bodies. As per sunflower seeds nutrition, they are a good source of fiber and protein, adding a nice nutrition boost to your favorite recipes.

The majority of the calories in sunflower seeds come from fat, as you are most likely to get at least 19 grams of fat in a single 1/4 cup serving. With the sunflower seeds nutrition facts, it can be concluded that these seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, providing about 7.4mg. Besides that, they are a fantastic source of thiamin and other nutrients in smaller quantities, including niacin, vitamin B6, and folate.

Health Benefits of sunflower seeds:

  • They help your eyes- It is one of the best sunflower seeds health benefits as these seeds are rich in vitamin E, and they tend to play a crucial role in antioxidant and is critical to eye health also. Experts have said that under sunflower seeds benefits, it supports good vision by warding off eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration.
  • Inflammation- For the majority of chronic diseases the short-term inflammation is a natural immune response, while chronic inflammation is a risk factor. If you consume the seeds at least five times a week, you are most likely to have 32% lower C-reactive protein levels. The super seeds benefits also include lower C-reactive protein levels as it is loaded with vitamin E and it is abundant in sunflower seeds.
  • Boost your heart health- Moderate unsaturated fat consumption has actually shown to improve one’s heart health, unlike saturated fat. There are a plethora of sunflower seeds’ health benefits, and one of them is a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. You can consume the seeds, like the mono- and polyunsaturated fats found in sunflower seeds can make a significant impact on your heart health.
  • Sunflower Seeds Help to Prevent and Fight Sickness- Some of the great sunflower seeds’ benefits are that sunflower seeds are a good or excellent source of nearly a dozen essential vitamins and minerals, including zinc and selenium. Additionally, under sunflower seeds benefits, we can say that zinc is an integral part of our immune system, as it helps both to develop and maintain the proper function of immune cells. Additionally, zinc plays an essential role as an antioxidant to fight off free radicals. On the flip side, selenium also plays a crucial role when it comes to fighting inflammation and infection, besides boosting immunity, to ensure our bodies are producing a proper response to any intruders in the body. Hence there are a plethora of sunflower seeds’ health benefits.
  • Sunflower seeds are a fantastic food for expecting mothers- There are several sunflower seeds’ benefits no matter you are hoping to have a baby, are pregnant or are just trying to follow a well-balanced diet. It is one of the benefits of the super seeds because they are a fantastic source of zinc and folate besides being an excellent source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is quite crucial for prenatal health, as it helps the fetus develop and use red blood cells and muscles, so it is under one of the best sunflower seeds health benefits. While zinc helps produce insulin and enzymes, the folate supports the placenta and helps prevent spina bifida.

Recipes of sunflower seeds

  • Sunflower Chive ‘Cheese’ Cucumber Bites- It is one of the best sunflower seeds recipes as it is a simple breakfast bowl made with Greek yogurt, fresh pomegranate juice, puffed quinoa cereal, toasted sunflower seeds, and honey.
  • Summer Corn Salad- You can make sunflower seeds recipes with a lot of toasted pepitas and sunflower seeds, tossed in brown sugar lemonade vinaigrette.
  • Roasted Pumpkin Salad- This salad is made with wild rice, tiny, caramelized red onions drizzled with a simple, honey-kissed, creamy sunflower seed dressing. It is one of the best sunflower seeds recipes for Fall festivities.

Hence, sunflower seeds a good source of thiamine which helps to breakdown carbohydrates, proteins, and fats present in our food into energy, and they also help you in muscle building. If you eat a handful of super seeds can give you an instant energy boost.  Thus, they help you in flushing out toxins from your body.

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