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.
I’ve been using one of those pre-workout powders that you mix with water to get energized for my strength training workouts and I question whether it is really worth it or not. These pre workout drinks typically have a number of ingredients like Vitamin B6, caffeine, Vitamin B12, Creatine, L-Arginine, and a bunch of proprietary substances. I’ve used one of them for about a year, and while they do help you get through the workouts, they have side effects. The most bothersome side effect is that if you take this in the evening like I do prior to lifting weights you have a tough time getting a good nights sleep.
Is it worth it?
Consider that recovering from a good strength training session must also include getting sufficient sleep, you have to question the value of getting all jacked up and compromising your rest. I do advocate that you take L-Arginine, L-Glutamine and Creatine after your workout to help you recover, but neither of these should greatly interfere with your sleep.
I was using N.O. XPLODE, but am rethinking my strategy, and may opt for something a bit less potent. I’m going to try one of those energy chews next time as my pre-workout supplement and see if that has a less disruptive influence on my sleep.
If you have any ideas on a pre-workout supplements or foods you would suggest I try please let me know.
You workout every day, doing strength training, cardio, yoga, pilates, you are reading motivational works, you take all the right supplements, spend time meditating, and still you feel like crap. Maybe just maybe your diet needs some analysis. This is exactly what I’ve been asking myself lately and I’m sure most of you are saying Joe come on your diet is at least 50% of the equation and you didn’t know that. Well I think I realized that what I was consuming was not optimal, and in my own warped way I thought if I took the right vitamins and supplements it would fill in all the gaps and I would feel great. Seriously there are days where I don’t consume a single vegetable or fruit, and I’m not sure that slice of tomato or pickle on my hamburger or that bag of fries counts. Maybe that pepperoni pizza with a bit of tomato sauce and mushrooms counts as my daily allowance for vegetables; who am I kidding?
Sure I throw in an occasional salad in every week, but that can’t overcome the other 6 days of the week where vegetables and fruits have been omitted from my diet. Just last week I was at a Mediterranean restaurant and ordered the vegetarian feast, basically a buffet filled with various salads, bean dishes, humus, bread, pastas, etc. and after consuming a large plate of this good stuff I thought I was going to explode. I’m not sure if my body was revolting against the foreign substances, but for the next 6 hours the gas was trying to escape from all orifices. And while I try to limit sugar and simple carbs from my diet as much as possible I am in need of a diet overhaul. So I am on a quest of start this diet overhaul and I mean now. So I plan on putting together some future posts on how I have overhauled my diet, and what it does to my energy levels and overall well being. I am open to any suggestions you may have.