Some of the Many Benefits of Sunflower Seeds...
Sunflower seeds are the small kernels produced by large sunflowers. Confectionary sunflowers, a very large headed type of flower, are a type of sunflower that produces the edible seeds seen in the grocery stores and in products containing sunflower seeds. This type of sunflower seed is usually sold in shell or as de-hulled kernels. The seeds are easily added to many foods or can be eaten alone, making an ideal snack—and the seeds are even more nutritious when sprouted!
Sunflower Seeds Help Lower Cholesterol...
Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences states that sunflower seeds are ranked at the top of the nuts and seeds list for containing phytosterols-- or cholesterol lowering-- compounds. Sunflower seeds are full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are good fats that help keep the bad cholesterol away. Sunflowers are full of fiber that may also be a contributing factor in lowering cholesterol for some people.
And help to Decrease the Risk of Cancer
Sunflower seeds have high amounts of vitamin E, selenium and copper, which have antioxidant properties. When used together these nutrients help to prevent cellular damage and protect tissue from oxidant and free radical damage, and may help prevent cancer according to Vanderbilt University Health Psychology. Sunflower seeds may also reduce the risk of certain types of cancer that can be attributed to their high phytosterol content, according to Virginia Tech. Ligans, a compound found in sunflower seeds, may protect against some cancers as well, according to the National Sunflower Association.
They are also a Mood Enhancer
Sunflower seeds may have a beneficial effect on your mood, lessening the chance of depression in some people. Sunflower seeds contain Tryptophan, which is an amino acid responsible for processing serotonin in our bodies. When serotonin is released it relieves tension, relaxes our bodies and promotes sleep. Choline, a compound found in sunflower seeds, plays a positive role in memory and cognitive function, according to the National Sunflower Association.
And Sunflower Seeds are High in Nutrition!
Sunflower seeds are a nutrient-rich food, containing vitamins E and B, and minerals that include selenium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, calcium and zinc. They are high in protein, containing 22.78 g per 3.5-oz. serving. Sunflower seeds are a good source of fiber and have 10.5 g per 3.5-oz. serving and are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats with only 160 calories per serving ounce.