Sunflower crops are usually cultivated for the oil extracted from the seeds, used for cooking all over the world. The thing with these seeds is that not many are aware of the fact that they are one of the most efficient natural remedies. Sunflower seeds are extremely rich in nutrients and they present tons of benefits for your health. If you are in need of a quick snack, try a fist full of these seeds. They will provide you with essential elements such as phosphorus, copper, selenium and magnesium, which are difficult to get from only one food. Also, they are an amazing source of folate, vitamin B and E. Another advantage is that sunflower seeds are rich in protein, proving themselves a smart choice for vegans and vegetarians.
- Reduce Cholesterol
Sunflower seeds prove themselves one of the best natural remedies when it comes to their effect on the level of bad cholesterol. The seeds contain phytosterols, which decrease the level of cholesterol in the blood. Studies have shown that out of the seeds and nuts that are used as snack foods, pistachios and sunflower seeds are the richest in phytosterols. These are followed closely by pumpkin seeds. That makes you think, why should you pay for processed foods with added phytosterols, when you can eat sunflower seeds?
- Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Packed with vitamin E, sunflower seeds have powerful antioxidant properties, which can protect the body from free radicals. These are known to destroy brain cells and cell membranes. Free radicals also cause the cholesterol to stick and oxidize to the walls of blood vessels. This is what usually leads to cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that the people who don’t ingest the right amount Vitamin E encounter a higher risk of developing heart issues.
- Protection against Cancer
Sunflower seeds are the perfect source of selenium. This substance is one of the key elements that provide protection against cancer. Selenium plays an important role in the ability of DNA to repair itself. By tripping a “self-destruct” option, it also helps prevent the growth of cancerous cells. This option is “available” in all cells, helping the body to destroy damaged or old cells. Selenium also plays a vital role in the action of antioxidants, providing even more protection against cancer.
- Keep You Calm and Relaxed
Eating sunflower seeds has a relaxing and calming effect. It is not only about the psychological impact, but also about the substances these seeds contain. Sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium, the mineral that keeps the nervous system healthy. People who eat seeds on a regular basis tend to have a reduced risk of strokes, cramps, high blood pressure, muscle spasms and fatigue. Sunflower seeds have also proven themselves a highly recommended natural remedy for depression and anxiety. People with low levels of magnesium present a higher risk of triggering symptoms for mental illnesses.
You can purchase sunflower seeds either ready shelled or unshelled. Keep them in a dry, cool place. Eat at least a fistful of seeds daily.