The sunflower is one of the prettiest flowers in the world. It is also one of the most nutritious plants around, with its seeds having the power to treat myriad health related conditions. Listed below are nine amazing health benefits you stand to enjoy when you choose to include sunflower seeds in your regular diet.
They lower cholesterol levels
Sunflower seeds are among the best natural sources for the reduction of bad cholesterol levels in the body. The seeds are rich sources of phytosterols; compounds that help reduce cholesterol levels effectively. Sunflower seeds also contain high amounts of fiber as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that also help in regulating the good cholesterol levels in the body by getting rid of the bad cholesterol.
They improve cardiovascular health
Sunflower seeds contain plenty of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps get rid of free radicals that might otherwise cause several cardiovascular problems, including blocked arteries, atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attack. Eating just a cup of sunflower seeds can offer the body over 90% of the amount of Vitamin E it requires on a daily basis.
They improve bone health
Bones need nutrients like magnesium other than calcium. Sunflower seeds contain high levels of magnesium that contribute to improved bone health and increased bone density. The seeds also contain high levels of copper that helps boost elastin and collagen production, thereby offering more strength and flexibility to the bones and joints. Regular consumption of sunflower seeds can therefore keep your bones healthy and strong for years to come.
They support digestion
Sunflower seeds are rich natural sources of dietary fiber, which helps in aiding in quick digestion and assimilation of food. The seeds are very good remedies for a number of digestive related disorders, and can treat constipation as well.
They possess anti-inflammatory properties
Sunflower seeds are rich source of Vitamin E that also acts as an antioxidant, repelling harmful free radicals from the body as well as protecting the latter from their damaging effects. Regular consumption of sunflower seeds would therefore, help treat conditions like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, etc.
They help improve brain health and function
Sunflower seeds contain omega 3 as well as omega 6 polyunsaturated fats that help boost brain health and function. The seeds also contain a compound called choline that helps improve memory as well as cognitive function. Eating sunflower seeds regularly would therefore, keep an individual mentally fit and active.
They relax nerves and improve mood
Sunflower seeds are rich sources of an amino acid called tryptophan that help stimulate the production of serotonins, a ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter which helps relax the body and mind. The high magnesium content of these seeds also allow them to relax the nerves and muscles to a great extent as well, thus combating conditions like stress easily. Magnesium also helps prevent migraine attacks effectively.
They contain antioxidants
Sunflower seeds are natural antioxidants that help protect the body from the harmful effect of foreign contaminants as well as free radicals. The seeds contain antioxidants like Vitamin C and E, and selenium which prevent oxidative damage to the cells. This in turn would protect an individual from conditions like diabetes and cancer.
They improve hair and skin texture
Sunflower seeds have manifold benefits for the hair and skin. The high copper content of these seeds help improve the health of skin as well as hair. Copper is also a natural substitute for the melanin in the hair and skin. As such, it can replenish the lost melanin levels in the body, combating conditions like premature graying effectively.
Sunflower seeds have manifold health benefits for the body. The facts mentioned above mention a few of these benefits as well as the reasons why you should include these seeds in your diet more often.