Sunflower Seeds and Their Health Benefits

Sunflower seeds are not only tasty to snack on and toss into salads, but they are healthy for you too. Sunflower seeds contain a wide variety of nutrients that can help support the immune system and body while also keeping the nervous system calm and strong. The nutrients in sunflower seeds can even help improve brittle fingernails, weak hair and poor skin.

What Are Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds come from sunflowers. Each sunflower can produce over one thousand seeds at one time depending on the size of the sunflower. Each seed comes from the tiny flowers that make up one sunflower head. In order to see the sunflower seeds and harvest them you need to gently scrape away the little flowers from the center of the sunflower and expose the seeds. However, the seeds will not be black or grayish colored like the ones in the grocery store because they have not dried out yet. The sunflower seeds are actually whitish in color. You need to expose the seeds to help the seeds dry out and to turn black in color with a dry hard shell. Once the sunflower seeds are dried out enough, you should be able to take the head of the sunflower gently and shake it over a bucket to help the seeds fall out of it. After, the seeds can be roasted in their shell with seasonings to help add flavor and than snacked on. However, some people prefer to remove the shells from the seeds because the seeds are easier to eat that way.

The Nutrients in Sunflower Seeds

  • Vitamins E, C, A and B Complex
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Proteins
  • Natural Sugars
  • Fiber
  • Sodium
  • Carbohydrates
  • Healthy Fats
  • Selenium
  • Manganese

The Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

The nutrients in sunflower seeds contain anti-inflammatory properties, which makes them healthy to snack on by anyone who suffers from arthritis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, sports injuries and gout. Eating sunflower seeds daily can also help neutralize the free radical cells in our body that cause cancers and aging. Sunflower seeds even have the ability to help protect the heart from disease, heart attacks and strokes by keeping the blood vessels in the heart walls healthy and strong and by keeping cholesterol levels low. I personally eat sunflower seeds daily to help my nervous system healthy because the high amount of magnesium in the seeds helps relax and calm the muscles and nervous in my body naturally. My autoimmune disease tends to cause me to feel fatigued and weak so the magnesium and other nutrients in the sunflower seeds such as the protein, carbohydrates and B vitamins helps keep my bones, muscles and tissues strong in my body while providing me with a healthy boost of energy to get through my day. So, those of you who suffer from fatigue and weakness can benefit from eating sunflower seeds daily too. If you suffer from muscle cramping in the legs at nighttime snack on a handful of sunflower seeds before bedtime can help prevent the cramping from even happening. Those of you who suffer from constipation might be able to treat it and even prevent it in the future by adding some seeds to your meals daily to help bulk up on fiber. The health benefits of sunflower seeds are endless so I believe everyone should snack on these tasty seeds whenever they can for a healthy snack.

Precautions When Eating Sunflower Seeds

When sunflower seeds are eaten in large amounts at a time they can cause stomach discomforts. Some allergic reactions have occurred by people allergic to sunflowers when eating these seeds. Those who suffer from Diverticulosis should take caution when snacking on sunflower seeds because they have been known to cause bleeding and blockages in the intestines. Overall, sunflower seeds are safe to have as a healthy snack daily to help promote a healthy immune system, nervous system and body.