Savory Sunflower Seeds

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Sunflower oil and seedsBenefits of Sunflower Seeds…

Sunflower seeds have been a bit overshadowed by their super counter parts flaxseed and chia seed in the news of late.

But, these crunchy little gems are excellent sources of health benefitting nutrients including vitamin Q, E, B1 and 6 as well as folate and niacin. You’ll also find a rich assortment of minerals, copper, manganese, selenium, magnesium and phosphorus in sunflower seeds as well as protein and important amino-acids essential for growth.

If there is a downside to sunflower seeds it would be their calorie content. If you are dieting you’ll have to account for the high caloric content of these seeds.  There are 584 calories in just 100 grams of sunflower seeds.

However, you need to remember that you are also consuming a high energy food with those calories…they are not wasted calories.

People with kidney disorders should take note and avoid sunflower seeds as they contain a meager amount of oxalates or purines.

Sunflower seeds are also used to make sunflower oil…one of the most popular oils in the world used mostly for cooking purposes.

You can obtain sunflower seeds shelled or unshelled all year long in nearly any market or grocery store, in packages or bins. They should be firm and not limp in texture when shelled and clean and unbroken if unshelled. Of course you need to avoid eating the shells themselves as they could puncture the digestive tract and cause stomach disorders. If you can swing it…go for the organic ones.

It’s best to store sunflower seeds in an airtight container or in the refrigerator because they are prone to rancidity.

The great thing about these little powerhouse seeds is that they can be enjoyed just as they are as a snack, mixed in salads or into other foods. Flax seed cannot be enjoyed as a snack right from the palm of your hand because you need to grind flaxseed before you eat it in order to benefit from it.

There are endless possibilities for these crunchy, nutty seeds to become a part of your diet.

With super anti-inflammatory properties because they are an excellent source of vitamin E (a fat soluble antioxidant) that neutralizes the effects of free radicals, preventing damage from fat containing structures.

They lower the risk of cancer because they enhance the immune system. They also are high fiber with lots of vitamin E reducing the possibility of colon cancer. Selenium found in sunflower seeds has been shown to induce DNA repair of damaged cells, inhibiting the spread of cancer cells.

All the vitamin E in sunflower seeds works to protect you against cardiovascular disease too. Research has shown that people who consume lots of vitamin E are at lower risk of dying from a heart attack, while the minerals in sunflower seeds (calcium, copper and magnesium) help prevent bone mineral density loss.

The skin benefits too and responds with a healthy glow when regular part of the diet. The copper found in sunflower seeds produces melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color.

Sunflower seeds also offer prevention from scarring and help prevent wrinkles and fine lines. Palmitic, oleic and linoleic are essential fatty acids found in sunflower seeds that encourage the formation of collagen and elastic making the skin soft and smooth.

To top all these benefits off, sunflower seeds are extremely high in oil content making them one of the primary sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats…both excellent for overall health.

What’s not to like about this powerhouse seeds?

Sunflower seeds are the perfect food to use in raw baking along with many other seeds and nuts. For an endless variety of great raw snacks, treats and desserts look no further than “Healthy Raw Desserts” … a complete raw food dessert and treat recipe book set, volume one and two. Each volume contains 50 raw, gluten free, sugar and white flour free recipes that are no bake so they retain their full plate of nutrients.

Why not impress the ladies with your knowledge and treat them to some desserts that give life rather than destroy it? As a lady myself…I can tell you they will be impressed!

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