Sunflowers are widely loved for their elegant and beautiful flowers. But, these plants offer nutritional seeds which are more beneficial than their flowers.
Sunflower seeds are tiny white seeds covered by greyish-black shells offering numerous health benefits to consumers.
They contain multiple essential nutrients that an individual requires to stay healthy and fit.
This article will cover several health benefits you may get after consuming sunflower seeds.
Benefits Of Sunflower Seeds
The following are the benefits of sunflower seeds-
May Help Lower Cholesterol
Sunflower seeds have been widely consumed for their ability to lower cholesterol.
These tiny seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that significantly lowers blood cholesterol levels.
Besides tryptophan, sunflower seeds are rich in fiber which may help lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant in sunflower seeds that may help control cholesterol levels and avoid blood clots.
Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is another vital vitamin that lowers total cholesterol levels in the blood.
Moreover, the seeds contain some pantothenic acid or Vitamin B5 that may help lower total serum cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol in the blood.
May Reduce The Risk Of Heart Diseases
Sunflower seeds could be an excellent ingredient to avoid severe heart diseases.
Primarily, hypertension or high blood pressure is a significant cause of several fatal heart diseases like heart strokes, attacks, etc.
Here, sunflower seeds could help lower blood pressure and keep it at healthy levels.
Sunflower seeds contain magnesium, an element that may help lower blood pressure.
Moreover, these seeds have a special compound that blocks the activity of an enzyme and prevents the constriction of blood vessels.
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic acid.
The human body uses linoleic acid to prepare a hormone-like compound responsible for keeping the blood vessels relaxed.
Thus, the body experiences less pressure on the blood vessels resulting in healthy blood pressure.
May Improve Your Digestion
Eating sunflower seeds may help keep the gut healthy and improve its function.
Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that helps keep the digestive system healthy.
Sufficient fiber intake improves food’s metabolism, ingestion, digestion, and absorption resulting in regular bowel movements.
Moreover, you would find fermentable fibers that allow the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut for quicker digestion.
Sunflower seeds consumption could be beneficial in treating constipation problems as they are said to be filled with fiber.
These seeds allow easy passage of stool and increase the frequency to lower constipation symptoms.
But, you should consume sunflower seeds in recommended or limited amounts to avoid intestinal gas, bloating, etc.
May Help Lose Weight
Sunflower seeds could be an excellent addition to an individual’s weight loss diet. These seeds could be consumed in breakfast or evening snacks to cut down your body weight.
Sunflower seeds contain a high amount of fiber and protein that may keep you full for longer. Thus, it may help lower an individual’s hunger and control calorie intake resulting in weight loss.
Besides reducing hunger, sunflower seeds could help boost an individual’s metabolism.
These tiny seeds contain sufficient copper and manganese that may help improve several bodily functions.
Thus, boosting an individual’s metabolism would help burn excess calories resulting in faster weight loss.
May Help Control Diabetes
Sunflower seeds are low cholesterol and low glycemic index food that may help control blood sugar levels.
Consuming these seeds in a controlled amount would prevent a rapid increase in sugar levels.
Moreover, the polyphenolic compounds and unsaturated fatty acids found in sunflower seeds have anti-diabetic effects, which would lower blood sugar levels.
Another plant compound in these seeds, chlorogenic acid, may help control diabetes.
Additionally, consuming sunflower seeds with carbohydrate-containing foods like bread may help suppress carbohydrates’ effect on blood sugar levels.
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of proteins and fibers that effectively helps suppress hunger.
Thus, it slows down the stomach-emptying process, resulting in the slow release of sugar from carbohydrates.
May Lower Inflammation
Chronic inflammation could cause several chronic diseases; thus, it should be controlled or treated effectively to avoid complications.
Here, sunflower seeds could be an excellent option to lower chronic inflammation.
C-reactive protein is an inflammatory marker whose increase may cause severe conditions like heart disease, type-2 diabetes, etc.
Thus, sunflower seeds would supply the body with sufficient vitamin E, a nutrient that helps suppress C-reactive protein levels.
Additionally, you would find flavonoids and other plant compounds like linoleic acid, triterpenes, etc. that may help lower chronic inflammation.
Applying sunflower seed oil could help lower inflammation in some conditions like arthritis.
May Help Regulate Estrogen Imbalance
Sunflower seeds could be an excellent source to regulate estrogen imbalance in the body.
These seeds contain high amounts of phytoestrogens, structurally and functionally similar to estrogen and testosterone.
Thus, consuming sunflower seeds may help regain normal estrogen levels.
Supplying the body with these phytochemicals may help boost the function of vital organs like the brain, liver, heart, etc., as they bind to estrogen receptors.
Moreover, the beneficial properties of phytoestrogens, lignans, and isoflavones may prevent several medical conditions like postmenopausal diseases, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, breast cancer, etc.
But, you should consult any dietitian or healthcare specialist before consuming sunflower seeds as the phytoestrogen benefits of these seeds require additional research.
May Improve Eyesight
Sunflower seeds could help keep the eye healthy and improve an individual’s eyesight.
Sunflower seeds contain two crucial carotenoids, i.e., lutein and zeaxanthin, which significantly improve eye health.
Moreover, these two carotenoids prevent macular degeneration, resulting in enhanced eyesight.
Zeaxanthin and lutein could prevent age-related eye disorders and lower the risk of developing cataracts.
Additionally, these pigments are responsible for giving natural color to the eyes.
Vitamin E is another crucial antioxidant that may help keep the eyes healthy and prevent several eye-related disorders.
May Keep The Skin Healthy
Sunflower seeds are a potential option to keep the skin healthy and glowing.
Sunflower seeds contain Vitamin E which may help reduce skin conditions like acne, eczema, dermatitis, etc.
Moreover, they also have iron, an essential nutrient that supports collagen production. Thus, higher collagen protein concentration results in hydrated and elastic skin.
Some other compounds, like oleic and linoleic acid, may help collagen and elastin formation, which fastens the healing process.
Additionally, sunflower seeds have antibacterial and antifungal properties that protect the skin from microbial infections and keep it fresh and glowing.
May Help Improve Mental Health
People, especially kids, should consume sunflower seeds to boost their mental health.
It is believed that the vitamin B6 content of sunflower seeds may improve mood and concentration and increase an individual’s memory.
Moreover, it releases the feel-good hormone, i.e., serotonin and norepinephrine, in the body to maintain good mental health.
Besides Vitamin B6, the beneficial seed contains magnesium, essential to lower anxiety and depression symptoms.
Magnesium naturally relieves stress and anxiety and keeps you calm. Hence, you may get good and peaceful sleep after consuming sunflower seeds.
Could Help During Pregnancy
Sunflower seeds are considered highly beneficial for prenatal health.
It is believed that the Vitamin E content of sunflower seeds may help develop the fetus inside the womb properly.
Moreover, it provides essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy for the mother and baby.
But, pregnant women should avoid directly consuming sunflower seeds to prevent themselves from any adverse reactions.
Hence, you should consult a doctor before adding these seeds to your diet.
May Reduce The Risk Of Certain Diseases
Sunflower seeds are fully-loaded with fibers; hence, they may prevent consumers from several medical conditions, including heart diseases, diabetes, certain cancers, etc.
Primarily, sunflower seeds could prevent the growth and spread of cancerous tumors.
Moreover, these seeds contain several potential antioxidants that protect the body against cancer-causing agents.
Sunflowers seeds contain plant sterol, a compound known for its natural anti-cancerous properties.
The compound could help shrink or degrade tumors in breast cancer patients, reduce malignant cell growth, and prevent metastasis.
Sunflower seeds could also reduce the risk of developing different types of colon cancer. Such a benefit could be due to the high fiber content of sunflower seeds.
Sunflower seeds are a delicious snack option with a nutty and crunchy texture.
People could easily consider consuming these seeds in their breakfast or evening snacks for multiple health benefits.
These tiny seeds are fully packed with nutrients that may help you keep healthy and strong.
But, some people may be allergic to sunflower seeds; hence, they are advised to consult doctors before consuming these seeds.