Sunflowers are beautiful flowers that many people love. In addition to being sunny and bright, sunflowers produce seeds that are a great snack. Sunflower seeds can help you stay on track with your diet while also getting healthy vitamins and minerals. You may have eaten sunflower seeds as a child because they are salty and crunchy with shells that are fun to spit. The good news is that you were getting some great nutrients while having fun! Here are some of the nutrients you get when eating sunflower seeds, with or without the shell.
Sunflower seeds are full of Vitamin E, an important vitamin for reducing inflammation and fighting oxidation. Vitamin E reduces the inflammation that can lead to heart disease. It has also been shown to be helpful in preventing cancer. Vitamin E also plays an important role in keeping your skin and hair healthy and looking young. Vitamin E also helps your eyes function, keeps your muscles strong and keeps your brain functioning well.
You may have never heard of selenium, but sunflower seeds a great source of this nutrient. Selenium is incredibly important in keeping your thyroid functioning properly. If your thyroid does not function properly, you may have problems with regulating your metabolism, heart rate, and body temperature. Hypo and hyperthyroidism are also responsible for problems involving weight gain and weight loss. Selenium is another nutrient that has been shown to prevent the growth of cancer cells because of its antioxidant properties.
Sunflower seeds provide a great source of magnesium. Magnesium helps balance calcium levels in your body so that it can function properly. Magnesium is also needed to keep your bones strong and healthy. It also plays an important part in your cardiovascular system, keeping blood pressure low and preventing blood clots. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar. Without this helpful nutrient, your moods can take a dive too. Magnesium is often used to regulate anxiety and depression.
Sunflower seeds contain high amounts of fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient for both heart and bowel health. Fiber helps keep cholesterol levels low. It is also necessary to keep your bowels functioning properly. Without fiber, your body cannot properly regulate blood sugar, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Fiber can also help you lose weight because it helps you stay full for longer.
How to Eat Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are great to pair with other foods to add crunch and extra nutrition. These seeds can be used on top of salads or mixed with other nutritious foods for a healthy snack. They are also a great addition to trail mixes and other crunchy snacks. However, make sure you are not overconsuming sunflower seeds. They do have a high-fat content and it can be easy to go over your calorie goals when you eat too many. Sunflower seeds are often seasoned with salt which can lead to too much sodium consumption as well. So, make sure you are always aware of how many seeds you are eating at a time.