We all appreciate the sunflower as a beautiful ornamental plant. However, we tend to overlook other benefits of this plant that surpass its aesthetic worth. The sunflower has more to offer humankind than just its beauty. The seeds of the sunflower are unique and possess an array of nutrients, immensely beneficial for health.
You may consume sunflower seeds as it is or lightly toast them. You can include them in various recipes of cookies and cakes. You can even spread these crunchy, nutty seeds on your salads and granola.
Just a handful of them can usher dramatic improvements in your overall health. Whichever way you decide to consume this superfood, you have much to gain from its consumption. Here are the endless benefits of these sun-loving seeds.
1. Reduce LDL Levels
LDL is the bad cholesterol that augments the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Sunflower seeds are rich in unsaturated fats that are known to reduce the levels of LDL.
Being rich in fibre; sunflower seeds help to remove bile through excretion. This process brings down the overall cholesterol level in the body.
2. Control Blood Sugar
Research highlights diets containing high amounts of nuts and seeds lower the rate of diabetes development and help in the general management of blood sugar levels.
The high content of fibre in sunflower seeds slackens the absorption of blood sugar into the blood. On the other hand, the magnesium present in the seeds improvises insulin sensitivity.
3. Enhance Skin Health
Sunflower seeds contain a high proportion of vitamin E, which we all know plays a cardinal role in skin maintenance. It prevents ageing by reflecting the harmful UV rays. This further decreases the risk of oxidative damage to skin cells that can be caused by the UV rays.
4. Usher the Feel Good Factor
Sunflower seeds are a superior source of magnesium. This mineral enhances the level of serotonin in the brain, which is a strong determinant of one’s mental state and general mood. Additionally, it also brings down the level of the stress hormone, cortisol.
If that’s not enough for you to fall in love with this superfood; sunflower seeds can also help you relax and sleep well at night. These seeds increase the level of dopamine, a neurotransmitter known to promote rest and sleep.
5. Excellent Source of Protein
Protein is a vital nutrient, required for repair and regeneration of cells. Meat and eggs can offer you this nutrient in enormous proportions. For those of you who are vegetarians, sunflower seeds would be a promising option to acquire sufficient protein content.
The seeds do not contain all the necessary amino acids; nevertheless, they help you come closer to your daily protein requirement.
6. Help Keep a Check on Your Weight
Sunflower seeds can facilitate your weight loss programmes and still keep your energy levels in order. The fibre in these seeds adds bulk in the stomach and makes you feel full for a long time. The B vitamins present in sunflower seeds promote the breakdown of macronutrients efficiently. Both these aspects in unison help in reducing and maintaining weight.
7. Help Manage Hypertension
Calcium, potassium, and magnesium are together called the ‘holy trinity’ of minerals. These minerals play essential roles in maintaining the blood pressure. Sunflower seeds are rich in all these minerals. Can you possibly ask for more in any food?
8. Promotes Hair Growth
The Vitamin E present in sunflower seeds not only does wonders for your skin but proves beneficial for your hair and nails as well. The consumption of these seeds promotes blood circulation in the scalp that results in the growth of new hair. It keeps your hair looking shiny, bouncy, and voluminous.
We are sure by now you must be in a hurry to get some sunflower seeds for yourself. Do this favour for yourself and get them home today. So next time you feel hungry, avoid the junk and opt for this superfood instead.