Health

Sunflower Seed: Best Health Benefits, Nutritional Facts and Side Effects

We all are fascinated with the beauty of sunflowers and follow a phenomenon called heliotropism which means the flower flows the sun’s movement, hence the name. At the same time, sunflower seeds are fruits of this flower and have a distinctive nutty taste and have nutritional value. The benefits of sunflower seeds are why they are quickly gaining a place in people’s diet as a healthy addition.

Some Basic Question about sunflower seeds

1. Does excess consumption of sunflower seeds cause any side effects?

Ans: Although sunflower seeds are packed with numerous nutrients that provide several health benefits, when taken in excess can cause the following reactions:

  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Severe acne.
  • Allergic reactions.

2. Can you reduce uric acid by consuming sunflower seeds?

Ans: Yes! Sunflower seeds have high amounts of dietary fiber, which can significantly reduce your uric acid levels. But if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, make sure to consult your physician before you start using sunflower seeds.

3. Is it safe to eat raw sunflower seeds?

Ans: There are no significant effects of consuming raw sunflower seeds, but in the worst-case scenario, the habit of chewing raw sunflower seeds might cause enamel loss by putting undue stress on your teeth.

Benefits of Sunflower Seeds:

According to many studies, sunflower seeds offer several health benefits and lower the risk of developing many health issues. It also helps boost your energy levels by supporting your immune system as it is filled with nutrients.

1. Promotes Weight Loss:

If you want to lose weight but don’t want to give up on your snacks, sunflower seeds can be an ideal choice as it is rich in nutrients. Therefore, the sunflower seeds are suitable for weight loss as long as you watch your portion sizes. In addition, sunflower seeds are an optimal choice for snacking as they are incredibly filling, full of fiber and protein (1).

2. Helps to Lower Your Blood Pressure:

If you want to include a snack that significantly impacts your blood pressure, sunflower seeds can be an ideal choice. This is because these seeds reduce the spikes in sodium levels, which cause drastic effects on our body with the help of high amounts of potassium and magnesium, thereby helping your blood pressure stay in the normal range (2). So, stay away from the risk of hypertension by including sunflower seeds in your diet.

3. Boosting Immunity:

With new viruses emerging every day, we all need a robust immune system to protect ourselves. So yet another health benefit of sunflower seeds is that it helps increase your ability to fight off viruses, by supporting your immune system as it is a source of many vital minerals and vitamins. For example, sunflower seeds have essential minerals like zinc that help your body maintain and develop immune cells, and selenium boosts immunity helping your body reduce inflammation and fights infection (3).

4. Good for Brain Health:

Sunflower seed’s nutrition impacts your overall mood and mental processing powers, and therefore it is considered a brain-boosting snack. In addition, consuming these seeds help increase cognitive function and memory as they are rich in a B vitamin called thiamine (4). So, reach for sunflower seeds instead of candy from the vending machine.

5. Improved Heart Health:

Sunflower seeds scavenge the free radicles in your blood as it contains specific proteins, vitamin C and phytochemicals like helianthin. In addition, these seeds block the angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) with the proteins like pepsin and pancreatin. The ACE is a vasoconstrictor that increases blood pressure by narrowing blood vessels (5). So, by ingesting sunflower seeds, you can check conditions like hypertension, ischemic attacks, and arrhythmia as it is an ACE inhibitor (6).

6. Lowers Cholesterol:

Sunflower seeds are rich sources of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids that influence the metabolism and accumulation process. Therefore, your cholesterol levels fall when you replace saturated fats found in butter, lard, etc., with unsaturated fats found in sunflower seeds. Thus, one of the significant benefits of eating sunflower seeds is that it helps lower bad (LDL) cholesterol in serum and feel full (7). Therefore, you can avoid binging on high-cholesterol foods by eating sunflower seeds.

7. Reduced Inflammation:

Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, linolic acid, Linolenic acid, triterpenes, and various polyphenolic compounds that give these seeds anti-inflammatory properties (8).

The anti-inflammatory properties of these seeds have a positive effect on inflammatory disorders like cirrhosis, gout, arthritis, diabetes, and memory loss, whether it is the flower, seeds, and seed oil from sunflower (9) (10).

Inflammation can also be caused by the high sugar levels in your body. Fortunately, sunflower seeds prevent sugar spikes after a meal as it contains fiber that slows down the nutrient absorption from food.

8. Beneficial for Skin:

Everyone wants to have flawless, gorgeous skin, and your body needs adequate nutrition to help you achieve it; sunflower seeds are highly beneficial to the skin as they are a rich source of nutrients.

These seeds prevent premature aging by protecting your skin from free radical damages as they are a rich vitamin E source (11).

Sunflower seeds help protect your skin from UV rays’ harmful effects and facilitate melanin production in our body with the copper present in them.

The powerful antibacterial properties of the essential fatty acids present in sunflower seeds keep your skin bacteria-free.

10. Healthy Hair Growth:

You can realize your dream of getting a luscious mane by including sunflower seeds in your diet. Zinc and vitamin E present in sunflower seeds boost the blood circulation in your scalp, promoting hair growth.

The benefits of sunflower seeds for hair include controlling extreme hair fall. In addition, these seeds supply more oxygen to your scalp and increase zinc absorption into your body as they are enriched with vitamin B or pyridoxine (12).

How to Include Sunflower Seeds in Your Diet:

Here are some ways you can include sunflower seeds in your diet and reap all the benefits.

  • You can give your scrambled eggs a crunchy texture by adding sunflower seeds to the soft preparation.
  • Roasted sunflower seeds can be a healthy snack option, or you can improve the nutritional value by adding them to your breakfast cereals.
  • Add sunflower seed powder to your cake, muffin, and bread batter to significantly improve their nutritional value.
  • You can either sprinkle sunflower seeds into pasta or healthy salads.
  • Homemade chutneys can also use a dash of sunflower seeds.
  • Use three ingredients like sunflower seeds, sea salt, and sugar to prepare sunflower seed butter for yourself.

Sunflower Seeds Nutritional Facts:

Sunflower seeds help lower the risk of developing severe health conditions as they are high in protein, rich in healthy fats and antioxidants. In addition, it is a source of vitamin E, vitamin B1 & B6, Iron, Copper, Selenium, Zinc, Potassium, Manganese.

We have presented you with the nutritional information of a one-ounce serving of unsalted, dry-roasted sunflower seeds.

  • 165 calories.
  • 14 grams total fat.
  • 1.5 grams saturated fat.
  • 3 grams monounsaturated fat.
  • 9 grams polyunsaturated fat.
  • 0 grams cholesterol.
  • 1-milligram sodium.
  • 7 grams carbs.
  • 3 grams fiber.
  • 0 grams sugar.
  • 5.5 grams protein.
  • 2.5IU vitamin A.
  • 0.5 mg of vitamin C.
  • 20 milligrams of Calcium.
  • 1 milligram of Iron.

What are the Side Effects of Sunflower Seeds?

Although sunflower seeds are highly beneficial for your body, here are some of the side effects of these seeds when taken in excess:

  • Sunflower seeds are relatively high in calories and sodium.
  • The cadmium content in sunflower seeds might harm your kidneys if taken in high amounts.
  • Sprouted sunflower seeds might be contaminated with harmful bacteria called Salmonella.
  • Fecal impaction or stool blockages in children and adults might be caused by consuming sunflower seeds in large numbers (13).
  • There are very few cases have been reported for sunflower seed. But keep an eye for allergies, fever, skin rashes, lesions, vomiting, anaphylaxis, itching of the mouth, mouth swelling, asthma which are considered allergic reactions.

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