For more than 5,000 years, sunflower seeds have been used by the North American Indians who first domesticated the plant producing a variety of seed colors. They used the seeds as food and as a source for oil. The flowers, stems and roots were also used for various purposes. Sunflower is said to be the first plant cultivated in the United States. Spanish explorers brought sunflower with them to Spain, which later on spread to other neighboring countries.
Sunflowers (Helianthus Annuus) require a good amount of sunlight and they thrive in well drained loamy soil. They are a fast growing plant and can grow to a height of 8 to 12 feet in six month time. Their natural design easily attracts insects and birds which speeds up their pollination. These super seeds are readily available all year round.
Sunflower seeds are superfood loaded with health nutrient that just a small handful will benefit you from head to toe. They are an abundant source of vitamins E and B1 including essential minerals.
The vitamin E in sunflower helps relieve you of arthritic pain. By increasing your red blood cell production assures you of healthy circulation. It also protects your body cell from the damaging effects of free radicals. They also protect you from UV rays, thus keeping your skin glowing and looking youthful. The thiamine or vitamin B1 it holds activates enzymes within the cell, driving chemical reactions needed by the cell to function well.
Sunflower seeds has an excellent amount of minerals like magnesium that eases away stress by soothing the nerves keeping you calm and relaxed; calcium to help you maintain a strong and healthy bones; copper to support your metabolism and help your cells in producing energy; and Selenium, which is critical in fighting free radicals and control cell damages in the body.
Sunflowers are high in fat. They contain a healthy level of poly and monounsaturated fats which are good fats that helps you maintain a good cholesterol level. Weight watchers be warned… healthy fats when take excessively can cause unwanted weight gain.
Sunflower seeds are generally safe as food, although it has to be taken in moderation due to its high calorie content. Individuals with type 2 diabetes are advised to avoid eating the seeds or using the oil that can increase blood sugar level and may also lead to atherosclerosis. Pregnant and nursing mothers are better off avoiding sunflower seed.
Sunflower fun fact: Sunflowers were used to remove toxins at both Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disaster areas.
Have you tried nibbling on some chocolate coated sunflower seeds?... they’re good!
Stay fit. Live healthy.
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