Seeds are often hidden somewhere in our salads, desserts or smoothies. They are extremely rich in nutrients that have health-benefiting properties.
Sunflower seeds are one of the best seeds that are considered to be a must-have in our diet. They have a high nutritive value that does wonders for our overall health.
Here are some good reasons why we should start adding them to our favorite snacks for a serious health boost.
Boasts Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Sunflower seeds are high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which are a great anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy source of fats our bodies need.
Consumption of sunflower and other seeds five or more times per week has been associated with lower levels of inflammation, thereby reducing one’s risk of several chronic diseases, according to a study out of Columbia.
Helps Lower The Risk Of Cancer
The selenium and vitamin E in sunflower work together as an antioxidant that protects our cells from damage that may lead to cancer and other chronic diseases.
An ounce of sunflower seeds can provide about 24% of the RDA of selenium for men and 31% of the RDA for women.
A Great Food For Expecting Mothers
When it comes to pregnant women, sunflower seeds have a lot to offer. They are rich sources of vitamin E, folate, and zinc. Aside from fighting against UV damages and nourishing the skin, vitamin E also helps the fetus develop and use red blood cells and muscles. Meanwhile, folate supports the placenta and helps prevent spina bifida, while zinc helps produce insulin and enzymes.
Helps Support Our Nervous System
Being rich in magnesium, sunflower seeds can help support proper nervous system function.
Magnesium is found in neural receptors called NMDA receptors found in nerve cells. They are required for proper memory, brain development, and learning.
Helps Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease
Sunflower seeds contain healthy unsaturated fats that are important for heart health. Its vitamin E content also acts as an antioxidant that helps protect the body against the harmful effects of free radicals that increases the risk of several chronic diseases including heart diseases. Likewise, folate, a type of vitamin B which is found in the seeds, can also help lower our risk of diseases.
A study out of Harvard University revealed that increased seed consumption — sunflower seeds included — was associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, as well as CVD risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Helps Promote Healthy Digestion
Sunflower seeds are fiber-filled foods. An ounce of the seeds can provide our body with 2 grams of fiber.
Fiber plays an important role in the digestive system. It promotes healthy bowel movements, eases digestion, curbs excessive hunger pangs, and maintains normal body weight.
Can Help Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Sunflower seeds are full of complex carbohydrates that take longer for our body to digest, thereby our blood sugar does not immediately spike after a meal. This effect is beneficial for diabetics as they are managing their blood sugar.