Today I bought a bunch of sunflowers, favourites due to their cheerful yellow colour. But that’s not all I love about them, they produce excellent snacks; sunflower seeds. Whilst small, they are nothing short of impressive in terms of their versatility and nutritional value. Read on to discover our Top 5 Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds, as well as ways in which they can be enjoyed!
1. Restful sleep
Magnesium supplements are having a moment and it’s easy to see why, a deficiency in this mineral is associated with insomnia, a modern-day health epidemic. For a cheaper (albeit effective) remedy, reach for sunflower seeds. One serving provides more than a quarter of your recommended daily intake of magnesium. Try throwing a handful over a pot of plain Greek yogurt a couple of hours before bed.
2. Good mood
As well as aiding sleep, magnesium also promotes a better mood; so much so that in Victorian times magnesium sulphate was given to patients suffering from depression. Feeling low? Try this sunflower seed clusters recipe which also contains dark chocolate another excellent source of magnesium but please remember to enjoy in moderation, ie. don’t get hooked!
3. Beautiful skin
High in antioxidants, vitamin E and selenium, sunflower seeds can help slow aging and keep your skin looking radiant. Antioxidants work by mopping up free-radicals that would otherwise damage your cells and cause inflammation. A serving of sunflower seeds contains over half of your daily recommended intake of vitamin E, so grab that trail mix and get munching!
4. Strong muscles and bones
A 35g serving of sunflower seeds also provides 6g of protein, an essential macronutrient for the growth, repair and maintenance of your muscles. Having said this, healthy muscles aren’t just built through consuming protein, good-ol’ magnesium is also important. Similarly, most people associate calcium with strong bones, yet magnesium is also crucial. Double the excuse to try making your own sunflower seed butter!
5. Healthy heart
Phytosterols in sunflower seeds have been shown to reduce levels of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, which is responsible in the development of heart disease. Alongside this, their essential fatty acids (in the form of linoleic acid) are important for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Try the recipe in the video above as a novel way to enjoy sunflower seeds and reap their heart-healthy benefits.
Whenever I look at sunflowers, I’m amazed at how a simple seed has the potential to produce a beautiful flower or provide a potently powerfuel snack. Indeed, sunflower seeds are an inexpensive store cupboard staple that has a variety of uses and health advantages. Just be sure to buy them in their plain, unroasted state; anything with added flavourings or salt should be avoided. After all, nature knows what it’s doing! Know something special about these seeds or other seeds? Let us know below or @ KeepfitKingdom !