The vibrant sunflower has always been one of the most enchanting flowers due to its bright yellow colour. Just looking at a field of sunflowers can make your day so much better and make you so much happier. But that’s not all they do for us. It may come as a surprise to you, but sunflowers solve a plethora of everyday problems. From having medicinal properties to solving beauty and skin issues.
Sunflowers symbolize the Sun God. Hence its name, and that is why it has been utilized in many different ways by different cultures and civilizations. The Native Americans used the sunflower, and its leaves, as animal fodder. While the petals were used for dye and the seed extracts were used to make oil and other beauty concoctions.
Alongside its historical usage, the sunflower has many modern-day benefits from vamping up your home to making your fitness journey delicious and easy by adding their seeds to trail mixes, granola, multi-grain bread, nutrition bars or just snacking on them. They’re rich in healthy fats, beneficial plant compounds and several vitamins and minerals thus reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Sunflower seeds can be dubbed the powerhouse of nutrition due to the ample amount of benefits gained from their consumption. A quarter cup of sunflower seeds only contains 163 calories and are high in Vitamin E and selenium. These function as antioxidants to protect your body’s cells from great damage, protecting you from many diseases. Sunflower seeds are also good sources of beneficial plant compounds, including phenolic acids and flavonoids which are also great antioxidants. Sprouted sunflower seeds increase the plant compounds and reduces factors that can interfere with mineral absorption.
Studies link these nutritional benefits with reducing chronic inflammation which is also linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In one study of 6000 adults, those who ate sunflower seeds at least 5 times a week had 32% lower levels of C-reactive protein. Sunflower seeds also block enzymes that causes blood vessels to constrict thus lowering your blood pressure. The magnesium also does a similar job.
Additionally, sunflower seeds are rich in linoleic acid which is used to make a hormone-like compound that relaxes blood vessels, promoting lower blood pressure. This fatty acid also helps lower cholesterol. When it comes to diabetes, however, studies point in the right direction, but more research is still needed.
Head over to your nearest store and pick up a bag of sunflower seeds for the perfect healthy snack.