Sunflowers are now being reintroduced as the “it” item with the discovery of its seeds. These beautiful flowers have a bright future ahead with the limelight onto the seeds after being stated as one of the most important oilseed crops grown in the world with multifunctional benefits. A handful of these seeds may be all you need to live a better quality and stress free life. With an astounding level of nutritional content that consists of protein 20.78 g, fat, 51.46 g, carbohydrates 20 g , ﬁber 8.6 g and a total energy of 2445kj, these seeds exceed the expectations of consumers of being a complete food package in itself.
Harvested from the largest flower heads, the seeds belong to the family of Asteraceae and have a dual purpose of providing protein and oil. This superfood can be eaten raw or roasted and flavored to your taste buds. Its firm but tender structure works amazingly well to create scrumptious granola bars by adding the nuttiness of the seed and its superior flavor profile. Additionally it can also be incorporated into sandwich fillings without altering the taste of the filling. Baking crackers with sunflower seeds make great snacks too. Dieticians best recommend consuming the seed 30 grams everyday to gain the goodness of this seed through nutrients like nutrients like vitamin E, selenium, copper, zinc, iron and phytochemicals and healthy unsaturated fats, protein, ﬁber.
Beneficial for a healthy body and mind:
The path to a better vision:
Sunflowers are no less than any other functional seeds and when it comes to eye health, sunflower seeds rank as the best plant based ingredient for a better vision and to protect against cataracts as well as macular degeneration, an eye disease that leads to the complete loss of vision over time. Vitamin e found in these seeds serves as an ingredient to boost your vision. Additionally sunflower seeds stress on the importance of eye health as you age and of the issues concerning the eye that are taken lightly but with these revolutionary seeds a long term cure is finally discovered.
Healthy diet key for a healthy baby:
Sunflower seeds work as organic, natural supplements to support prenatal health. These seeds contain the most powerful form of vitamin E and folic acid, two very essential ingredients to stimulate growth of the fetus and red blood cells. Adequate maternal nutrition plays a key role in normal pregnancy progress, optimal fetal development and normal birth weight of the fetus. Sunflower seeds aid in these requirements by providing a healthy balanced diet to support optimal growth and most importantly prepare for the psychological changes that occur in the mother.
Better immunity is the need of the hour:
In order to protect our body from the harmful diseases and viruses outside, we need to begin right within our body and sunflower seeds work as a great mechanism to strengthen our immune system. Sunflower seeds have the goodness of zinc and selenium embedded in them and are two important compounds to achieve better immunity cells in your body. Zinc works as an antioxidant to fight against free radicals while selenium plays an integral role in fighting inflammation and infection. Looking towards nature have been found to have the most desirable and positive impact to strengthen our immunity.
How much to consume & How to choose the right one
Although sunflower seeds are generally recommended to be safe, A handful of seeds per day (1 oz) is sufficient for your daily dose of super nutrition that comes from these mighty seeds. Keep an eye out for sunflower seeds that contain salt which can pose health risks for its high sodium content and can sneak on your blood pressure. Choose sunflower seeds that have no added preservatives and flavors. Stick to brands that sell sunflower seeds raw rather than the ones roasted or salted and always read the label before purchase. Stay away from products that contain preservatives like BHA, BHT, sulfites and nitrates.
How to consume
Sunflower seeds are best stored in the refrigerator. They can be sprinkled on salads, scrambled eggs, yogurt, or mixed in with hot or cold cereals. Toss a few on your buttered toast or bake them into cookies and muffins.
With bread: Grinding a cup or two of sunflower seeds in a food processor with lemon juice and garlic, creates a delicious nutty spread to boost your immune system.
Dip; Make an Indian dip by using tomato paste, green chilly and sunflower seeds. Dip it in crackers or even spread it on a toast for a healthy and lip smacking snack.
Crackers: Mix it with other seeds and set it in the refrigerator to get the right texture and for a crunchy snack.
Snack: Munch on these seeds as a snack by roasting it.