Top 5 science-based benefits of sunflower seeds
The popular adage that "big things come in small packages" is the perfect way to describe sunflower seeds. Technically, these black-white striped seeds are fruits of the sunflower plant and are nutty in flavor. Loaded with a multitude of vitamins and minerals, they are known to prevent one from multiple acute and chronic diseases. Here are the top five health benefits of sunflower seeds.
Reduces risk of heart disease
A compound present in sunflower seeds helps block enzymes that cause blood vessels to constrict, helping them relax. Additionally, the magnesium in these seeds helps in bringing down high blood pressure. A three-week study conducted on women with type 2 diabetes who ate 30gm of sunflower seeds daily concluded a 9% and 12% decrease in "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, respectively.
Good for diabetic patients
Sunflower seeds are quite beneficial for people with diabetes. As per a study, people who consumed 30gm of sunflower seeds daily had their blood sugar levels by 10% within six months. In fact, research also suggests that adding sunflower seeds to food items like bread can lower the effect of carbohydrates on your blood sugar.
Increased levels of inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A study on more than 6,000 individuals who consumed sunflower seeds at least five times a week showed a 32% fall in CRP levels as compared to people who didn't. Additionally, the flavonoids, vitamin E, and other plant compounds in sunflower seeds also reduce inflammation.
Sunflower seeds are loaded with zinc, vitamin E, and selenium, which makes them quite wholesome. Vitamin E enhances immune response, thereby helping the body fight off infections. In fact, it also acts as a powerful antioxidant and prevents free radicals from damaging the cells in the body. Zinc, on the other hand, is helpful in protecting the body from inflammation, pathogens, and allergies.
Good for skin
If you are someone struggling with various skin issues, adding sunflower seeds to your daily diet is a wise decision to make. These seeds help you retain your skin's natural glow and steer it clear of various infections. Oleic and linoleic acids that are present in sunflower seeds quite abundantly increase the production of collagen and elastin in the body, speeding up wound healing.