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Sunflower Seeds Health Benefits & Important Nutrients

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03 Dec 2021
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Introduction

Sunflower seeds are not just edible, but they are extremely tasty too. In addition to this, they are healthy as well. Today, uses of sunflower seeds in the food industry include multi-grain breads, breakfast cereals, trail mixes, snack bars and more. No matter in what form you decide to include these seeds in your diet, it is first important to understand the nutrition value they offer. You can then better appreciate why sunflower seeds are good for you.

Nutritional Facts about Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds may be tiny, but they pack a ton of nutrients in their minute frames. A closer look at the nutritional profile of these seeds can help you understand why there are so many uses of sunflower seeds for health.

Want to know more about the nutritional facts regarding sunflower seeds? Here is everything you need to know about sunflower seeds’ nutrition and the carbs, calories, protein and other things present in one ounce of shelled, dry-roasted seeds from the sunflower.

Sunflower Seeds Nutrients

Sunflower Seeds - Nutritional Value (Per ounce)

Calories

163

Total fat

14 grams

Saturated fat (included in the total fat)

1.5 grams

Polyunsaturated fat (included in the total fat)

9.2 grams

Monounsaturated fat (included in the total fat)

2.7 grams

Proteins

5.5 grams

Carbs

6.5 grams

Fiber

3 grams

Vitamin E

37% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)

Vitamin B6

11% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)

Niacin

10% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)

Folate

17% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)

Iron

6% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)

Magnesium

9% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)

Zinc

10% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)

Copper

26% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)

Manganese

30% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)

Selenium

32% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)

Important Macronutrients and Micronutrients in Sunflower Seeds

If you want to know more about the reason sunflower seeds are so beneficial, here is a closer look at the micronutrients and the macronutrients packed into these tiny edibles.

  • Carbs

Sunflower seeds contain a lower amount of carbs than fats. The carbohydrates present in these seeds give your body easy resources of energy to help you take care of your everyday activities. Since these carbs are not primarily sugars, sunflower seeds have a low glycemic index of just 35. This means they take a while to be digested and keep you feeling satisfied for longer periods.

  • Fats

Most of the calories in sunflower seeds come from fats. The good news is that these seeds are rich in healthy fats. Nevertheless, remember to keep the fat content in mind when you consume these seeds, so you can enjoy all the sunflower seeds’ health benefits without worrying about a high-fat diet.

  • Protein

In addition to healthy fats, sunflower seeds also contain a fair amount of protein. You can also combine these seeds with other protein-rich nuts to make a filling and healthy mid-meal snack.

  • Fiber

There are about 3 grams of fiber in an ounce of sunflower seeds. While this may not be a lot, the fiber in these seeds, combined with the protein and fat, make these foods quite filling. This is why sunflower seeds make for a good snack.

  • Vitamins

While we discuss sunflower seeds’ health benefits is that these seeds contain a variety of vitamins. Niacin keeps the skin and nervous system healthy, folate helps in red blood cell formation, vitamin B6 keeps the immune function normal, and vitamin E plays a major role in skin health and immunity.

  • Minerals

Sunflower seeds also have minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium. Together, they help take care of a variety of bodily functions. For example, iron helps make hemoglobin, magnesium maintains normal nerve health, and copper is important for bone health. Zinc helps the body’s metabolism and manganese is important for blood clotting.

  • Plant compounds

Sunflower seeds contain plant compounds like phenolic acid, flavonoids and chlorogenic acid. These plant compounds are all powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of cancer.

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

When it comes to nuts and seeds, very few individuals even consider sunflower seeds. In fact, many are unaware that they are edible. However, contrary to popular opinion, sunflower seeds' health benefits are plenty. Let’s take a quick look at what makes sunflower seeds good for you.

  • Reduces inflammation

Inflammation is not always bad. It essentially signifies that the body is fighting off an infection. However, inflammation that persists for long periods of time is dangerous since it can lead to chronic diseases and illnesses. Here’s where the benefits of sunflower seeds come into play. Vitamin E, flavonoids, and other plant compounds in these seeds can help lower inflammatory markers in the body.

  • Helps lower blood pressure

High blood pressure often leads to heart disease in the long run. And so, keeping your blood pressure levels in check is necessary to improve your heart health. One of sunflower seeds' advantages is that they contain magnesium and linoleic acid, compounds that help relax and expand your blood vessels. This reduces your blood pressure levels.

  • Supports immune system functions

Minerals like zinc help your body maintain and produce more immune cells, whereas selenium helps fight off infections by boosting your immune system. Both of these minerals are present in sunflower seeds. And so, consuming a handful of these seeds regularly can help keep your immune system in good health.

  • Improves skin health

Did you know that sunflower seeds have benefits for skin too? Compounds such as oleic and linoleic acids are present in abundance in sunflower seeds. These compounds help form collagen and elastin in the body. Also, they decrease the time taken for healing of wounds and prevent scar formation as well. All of this works together to help keep your skin supple and soft.

  • Can aid in weight loss

Despite being rich in calories, many individuals consume sunflower seeds for weight loss. This is due to the fact that sunflower seeds contain protein and fibre, which keeps you feeling full for a long time, thereby leading you to reduce your food intake. So as you can see, sunflower seeds can indirectly lead you to lose weight.

Conclusion

Sunflower seeds are a highly underrated source of both macronutrients and micronutrients. Also, they are very easily available too. One of the primary advantages of sunflower seeds is that they can be consumed as a snack, or they can be added to other dishes and food items like cereals and trail mixes.

And while the many health benefits of sunflower seeds can no doubt help you protect your health, it is always advisable to have a backup plan in the form of health insurance. This way, you can ensure that you’re protected completely. Want to take a look at the different health insurance policies that are currently available? Finserv MARKETS can help you out with that. Visit the website right away to take a look.

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