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Benefits Of Sunflower Seeds

Published 6/27/13

If you are looking for a healthy and natural snack to munch on, a handful of sunflower seeds might be the way to go. Sunflower seeds, coming from the round center of sunflowers, have been consumed for many years as they provide great health benefits. These benefits include reducing the risks of certain cancers, bone health, and other general health as they are packed full of nutrition.

Sunflower Seeds Health Benefits

Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, which is the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals throughout the body that would otherwise harm fat-containing structures and molecules. The damage these free radicals do to the fat-containing causes significant inflammation, which is a common symptom of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. So essnetially, sunflower seeds offer a great anti-inflammatory effect that can reduce the risks and/or symptoms of the diseases mentioned above.

Vitamin E also plays a large role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E is one of the main anti-oxidants found in cholesterol particles, which help with the prevention of free radicals from corroding cholesterol resulting in atherosclerosis. IWhen cholesterol corrodes, it can lead to blocked arteries, heart attack, or stroke. Vitamin E can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, which in turn reduces the risks associated with cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin E is also great for the skin as it protects the skin from harmful UV rays. It allow the rays to hit the cells but prevents the rays from doing any permanent damage to the cells.

Decrease Risk of Cancer: Sunflower seeds contain a large amount of selenium and studies show that there is a link between low selenium level and cancer cases. Selenium has bshown an ability to repair damaged DNA and damaged cells. These repairs result in decreased risks of cancers, specifically colon, bladder, and prostate cancers. Eating just ¼ cups of sunflower seeds is said to provide you with over 30% of your daily requirement of selenium. 

Strong Bones and Muscles: Magnesium and Copper is important for healthy muscles and strong bones and sunflower seeds contain high levels of both of these minerals. Magnesium is important for the structure of the bone while copper plays an important role of enhancing the abilities of the enzymes that are involved in the cross-linking of collagen and elastin, both which allow muscles and joint sto be flexible.

Good for Muscles, Nerves and Blood Vessels: Magnesium also plays a vital role in the health of the muscles, nerves and blood vessels. Magnesium works almost like a counterbalance with calcium, it prevents the rushing of calcium into the nerve cells and activating the nerves. When our bodies don’t get enough magnesium, it allows for calcium to rush into the body's cells and over-stimulate the cells. When the body's cells are over-stimulated, the cells exhaust themselves as they contact excessively. This can result in high blood pressure, migraines, asthma, and muscle spasms.

Sunflower Seeds Nutrition

One serving of sunflower seeds, roughly 35-grams worth, is packed with nutrition. This one serving can account for up to 60% DV of vitamin E, 35% DV of vitamin B1, 35% DV of manganese, 30% DV of copper, 27% DV of magnesium, 23% DV of vitamin B6, and 23% DV of phosphorus while only containing 10% DV of your daily caloric intake. 

Sunflower seeds are one of the more healthy and natural snacks one can consume. It’s rich in minerals, natural oils and Vitamin E, which all have great health benefits for our body. It is best to eat sunflower seeds in their raw, un-processed state. When sunflower seeds are processed, they are exposed to unhealthy oils and flavors that counteract all the healthy benefits the seeds have to offer.  

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