Whole Sunflower seed is a fruit of the sunflower plant surround by a thin black shell. Sunflower seeds consist of edible kernels. They are mostly used as a snack rather or as a part of a meal. Oftentimes they are used as ingredients in various recipes and sometimes as salad toppings, in bars, desserts, and breakfast. There are more than 50 varieties of sunflower seeds native to America. Sunflower seed is a perfect staple in summer and is consumed by all ages of people. They are fun to eat, and often children of all ages enjoy the ‘art’ of cracking the shell and eating the kernel inside. The seeds are dehulled and roasted to extract their oil that can be used for various purposes. Whole sunflower seeds are also used to produce butter that is allergy friendly as compared to the other types of nut & seed butter.
When Whole (in-shell) sunflower seeds are processed, they are dried to produce a stable low moisture raw seed. They can also be dry roasted and tossed with sea salt to enhance their natural ‘nutty’ flavor. Traditionally Whole and Kernel sunflower seeds are sold in two forms raw and roasted. Some people prefer it in raw form while some in roasted form, but they can be consumed and enjoyed in both forms. Apart from consuming it in raw and roasted form, sunflower can also be processed into oil form. Oil can be extracted from sunflower seeds by applying great pressure into it. And over the past couple of decades, sunflower oil has become popular across the globe.
In-shell sunflower seeds are very popular and considered a top snack food. In the United States, whole sunflower seeds are eaten by baseball & softball players during the game, for their high protein content and low sugar ratio.
Various studies show that whole sunflower seeds are loaded with many minerals and nutrients that are linked with many health benefits such as they are good for the heart, fight against cancer, helps promote weight loss, help promote hair health, a good source of protein and keep your blood sugar level in control. The most important thing is that whole sunflower seeds are very delicious and so can be added to a healthy diet plan.
Sunflower seed is very unique in nature. It is ranked among the top 10 sources of various nutrients such as vitamin E, selenium, copper and many more like that.
They are full of some surprising health benefits of which some are as under;
1. Rich Source of Protein:
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of protein and contain 40% of your recommended daily intake in a single 100g serving. Protein is an essential part for our health. If you are someone who is not fond of eating meat then sunflower seed is the perfect alternative in getting your daily intake of protein.
2. Helps Promote Weight Loss:
Sunflower seed is a rich source of fiber and vitamin B nutrients. Both of these nutrients help in promoting weight loss. The fiber helps in slowing down the absorption process in the stomach while the vitamin-B helps in breaking down the micronutrients in a more efficient fashion. Thus keeping the energy level high and restricting the glucose level.
3. Helps Promote Hair Health:
Sunflower seed is a great source of vitamin E which helps in promoting good hair health and keeps them youthful, wavy and bouncy. One of the best advantages of eating sunflower seeds is that they promote blood flow to the scalp which stimulates new hair growth.
4. Helps Control Blood Sugar Level:
Sunflower seed is loaded with fiber that slows down the absorption of sugar into the human blood while magnesium present in the sunflower seed controls insulin sensitivity. So both of these nutrients keep in control the blood sugar level that helps in fighting against cancer.
5. Fight against Cancer:
One of the super impressive benefits of sunflower seeds is that they are a rich source of selenium, vitamin E and magnesium oxidants that fight against free radicals. Thus help in fighting against cancer.
6. Great for Heart Health:
Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E. Thus adding a handful of sunflower seeds to your daily diet can help you out reduce chronic inflammation which is considered the real culprit for contributing to the various diseases. Consuming sunflower seeds will lower your cholesterol level which is a major factor for the heart attack disease.
1. Trail Mix: Add sunflower seeds to trail mix.
2. Salad Toppings: Sprinkle them on green leafy salads or use it as salad toppings.
3. Hot and Cold Cereals: Sprinkle sunflower seeds onto hot and cold cereals.
4. Tuna or Chicken: Add sunflower seeds to your favorite tuna or chicken and enjoy.
5. Granola Bars: Stir it into your homemade granola bars to make it more delicious