Sunflower bearing the botanical name Helianthus annus , is a herbaceous annual plant belonging to the family Asteraceae.
There are three types of Sunflower seeds : linoleic, high oleic and Nu Sun developed for sunflower oil.
Sunflower seeds are packed with various nutrients such as Vitamin A, E, B1 and B6 and folate. Sunflower seeds are rich in Copper, Manganese, Phosphorus, Selenium . They are also an affluent source of polyunsaturated fats called linoleic and oleic acid.
Sunflower seeds play a crucial role in the body’s fight against inflammatory diseases. Sunflower seeds are abundant in Vitamin E, which is the body’s primary fat soluble antioxidant.
Vitamin E travels throughout the body, neutralizing free radical damage to the tissues. By reducing the damage, Vitamin E has a significant anti inflammatory effect and results in the reduction of symptoms in diseases like asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
PREVENTS COLON CANCER
Sunflower seeds having a substantial source of fiber, can prevent the risk of colon cancer.
Fiber bulks up the contents of the intestines and reduces the amount of time, toxins in the stool come in contact with the colon mucosa, ultimately lowering your chances of having colon cancer.
LOWERS BLOOD SUGAR
Sunflower seeds score low on the glycemic index and are a healthy diet for people suffering from diabetes.
It is high in healthy fat and protein content, and low in carbohydrates which prevents blood sugar spikes.
Sunflower seeds are also rich in magnesium, which is usually lost in the urine because of elevted blood glucose.
CALM NERVES AND MUSCLES
The high magnesium content in sunflower seeds can calm nerves and muscles. Magnesium in the body, serves as nature’s own calcium channel blocker and prevents calcium from entering into the nerve and activating it.
LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
Recent studies have shown that diets rich in potassium can be equally as beneficial in lowering blood pressure as a low sodium one.
Sunflower seeds being a good source of potassium efficiently do the deed.
Phytosterols are compounds in plant that have a similar chemical stucture as cholesterol. When present in sufficient amount, they are known to have dramatic effect in lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Sunflower seeds are a good source of phytosterols having 270mg/100g.