Even before I entertained the idea that my diet should move in a more healthy direction, I always liked Sunflower seeds. I was wondering what the nutritional profile of those little kernels that tasted so good would be, so I decided to do a little research. Beyond just the nutritional profile I wondered what the health benefits might include. Here is the basic nutritional data:
Sunflower seeds dry roasted
As you can see Sunflower seeds are relatively high in fat, but also include a generous amount of protein and some fiber.
Well beyond the basic nutritional data we need to look a little deeper into some of the benefits of the sunflower seed:
- Low in Cholesterol and Sodium.
- A good source of Thiamin and Vitamin B6.
- High in Magnesium which studies have shown that magnesium helps reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Also contains Phosphorus, Copper, and Manganese.
- High amounts of Selenium. Selenium has been shown to induce DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells, to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, and to induce their apoptosis, the self-destruct sequence the body uses to eliminate worn out or abnormal cells.
- A very good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol). Vitamin E has been shown to be good for your hair and skin, and contains antioxidants that remove free radicals that damage cells.
- A good source of protein.
Now while the sunflower seed has a substantial fat content and is fairly high in calories, its many health benefits make it a great addition to just about anyone’s diet.