Sunflower Seed's Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits - Best Lotus Seed 尚品莲皇湘莲子藕片


Description

The sunflower's Latin scientific name, Helianthus annuus, reflects its solar appearance since helios is the Greek word for sun, and anthos is the Greek word for flower.

Since these seeds have a very high oil content, they are one of the main sources used to produce polyunsaturated oil. Shelled sunflower seeds have a mild nutty taste and firm, but tender texture.


The sunflower seed is considered the fruit of the sunflower, consisting of edible kernels surrounded by a black shell. The seeds are pressed to extract their oil or dehulled and roasted or consumed as a popular snack. They can also be added to salads, bars, breakfast bowls and desserts to give dishes a crunchy and satisfying twist. They can also be used to produce sunflower butter, a popular allergy-friendly alternative to nut butters made from peanuts or almonds.


Sunflower seeds are loaded with many important nutrients and have been associated with a number of health benefits. In particular, studies show that the nutrients and compounds found in sunflower seeds could reduce the risk of heart disease, fight against cancer, improve thyroid function and keep blood sugar steady. And best of all, sunflower seeds are delicious and versatile, making it easy to add them into a healthy and well-rounded diet.


 History

While sunflowers are thought to have originated in Mexico and Peru, they are one of the first plants to ever be cultivated in the United States. They have been used for more than 5,000 years by the Native Americans, who not only used the seeds as a food and an oil source, but also used the flowers, roots and stems for varied purposes including as a dye pigment. The Spanish explorers brought sunflowers back to Europe, and after being first grown in Spain, they were subsequently introduced to other neighboring countries. Currently, sunflower oil is one of the most popular oils in the world. Today, the leading commercial producers of sunflower seeds include the Russian Federation, Peru, Argentina, Spain, France and China.


Sunflower seeds' classification

There are three types of commonly used sunflower seeds: linoleic (most common), high oleic, and NuSun developed for sunflower oil. Each variety has its own unique levels of monounsaturated, saturated, and polyunsaturated fats. 


the husk is solid black are called black oil sunflower seeds, these seeds are usually pressed to extract their oil. 

Striped sunflower seeds are primarily used for food, they may be called confectionery sunflower seeds.

When dehulled, the edible remainder is called the sunflower kernel or heart.


in 2014, global production of sunflower seeds was 41.4 million tonnes, led by Ukraine with 24% and Russia with 21% of the world total (table). China, Romania, and Argentina also contributed significant volumes.


Sunflower seeds are more commonly eaten as a snack than as part of a meal. They can also be used as garnishes or ingredients in various recipes. The seeds may be sold as in-shell seeds or dehulled kernels. 

In-shell sunflower seeds are particularly popular in Mediterranean, Eastern European, and Asian countries.

Apart from human consumption, sunflower seeds are also used as food for pets and wild birds in boxes and small bags.

Sunflower Seed's Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits - Best Lotus Seed 尚品莲皇湘莲子藕片


Nutritional Profile

The benefits of sunflower seeds extend way beyond their irresistible flavor and satisfyingly crunchy texture. In fact, sunflower seeds are jam-packed with a wealth of important nutrients and have been associated with a multitude of health benefits, ranging from enhanced skin health to protection against bone loss.


Sunflower seeds are loaded with many important nutrients and have been associated with a number of health benefits. In particular, studies show that the nutrients and compounds found in sunflower seeds could reduce the risk of heart disease, fight against cancer, improve thyroid function and keep blood sugar steady. And best of all, sunflower seeds are delicious and versatile, making it easy to add them into a healthy and well-rounded diet.


Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E and a very good source of copper and vitamin B1. In addition, sunflower seeds are a good source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6, folate and niacin.


In a 100-gram serving, dried whole sunflower seeds provide 584 calories and are composed of 5% water, 20% carbohydrates, 51% total fat and 21% protein (table). The seeds are a rich source (20% or higher of the Daily Value, DV) of protein (42% DV), dietary fiber (36% DV), many B vitamins (23–129% DV) and vitamin E (234% DV). The seeds also contain high levels of dietary minerals, including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron and zinc (40–94% DV).

Half of a 100-gram serving is fat, mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, principally linoleic acid. Additionally, the seeds contain phytosterols which may contribute toward lower levels of blood cholesterol. 


Sunflower Seeds, dried 0.25 cup,35.00 grams,Calories: 204,GI: low

Nutrient

Amount

DRI/DV
(%)

Nutrient
Density

World's Healthiest
Foods Rating

vitamin E

12.31 mg (ATE)

82

7.2

excellent

copper

0.63 mg

70

6.2

very good

vitamin B1

0.52 mg

43

3.8

very good

selenium

18.55 mcg

34

3.0

good

phosphorus

231.00 mg

33

2.9

good

manganese

0.68 mg

30

2.6

good

vitamin B6

0.47 mg

28

2.4

good

magnesium

113.75 mg

27

2.4

good

folate

79.45 mcg

20

1.7

good

vitamin B3

2.92 mg

18

1.6

good

 

World's Healthiest
Foods Rating

Rule

excellent

DRI/DV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DRI/DV>=10%

very good

DRI/DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DRI/DV>=5%

good

DRI/DV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DRI/DV>=2.5%


Sunflower Seed's Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits - Best Lotus Seed 尚品莲皇湘莲子藕片


Health Benefits

A handful of sunflower seeds will take care of your hunger, while also enhancing your health by supplying significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.


Anti-Inflammatory and Cardiovascular Benefits from Sunflower Seeds' Vitamin E

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing structures and molecules, such as cell membranes, brain cells, and cholesterol. By protecting these cellular and molecular components, vitamin E has significant anti-inflammatory effects that result in the reduction of symptoms in asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, conditions where free radicals and inflammation play a big role. Vitamin E has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, help decrease the severity and frequency of hot flashes in women going through menopause, and help reduce the development of diabetic complications.


In addition, vitamin E plays an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E is one of the main antioxidants found in cholesterol particles and helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol. Only after it has been oxidized is cholesterol able to adhere to blood vessel walls and initiate the process of atherosclerosis, which can lead to blocked arteries, heart attack, or stroke. Getting plenty of vitamin E can significantly reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis. In fact, studies show that people who get a good amount of vitamin E are at a much lower risk of dying of a heart attack than people whose dietary intake of vitamin E is marginal or inadequate.


Sunflower Seeds' Phytosterols Lower Cholesterol

Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.


Phytosterols beneficial effects are so dramatic that they have been extracted from soybean, corn, and pine tree oil and added to processed foods, such as "butter"-replacement spreads, which are then touted as cholesterol-lowering "foods." But why settle for an imitation "butter" when Mother Nature's nuts and seeds are a naturally rich source of phytosterols—and cardio-protective fiber, minerals and healthy fats as well?


Sesame seeds had the highest total phytosterol content (400-413 mg per 100 grams), and English walnuts and Brazil nuts the lowest (113 mg/100grams and 95 mg/100 grams). (100 grams is equivalent to 3.5 ounces.) Of the nuts and seeds typically consumed as snack foods, sunflower seeds and pistachios were richest in phytosterols (270-289 mg/100 g), followed by pumpkin seeds (265 mg/100 g).


Calm Your Nerves, Muscles and Blood Vessels with Sunflower Seeds' Magnesium

Sunflower seeds are a good source of magnesium. Numerous studies have demonstrated 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.


Magnesium is also necessary for healthy bones and energy production. About two-thirds of the magnesium in the human body is found in our bones. Some helps give bones their physical structure, while the rest is found on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to draw upon as needed.


Magnesium counterbalances calcium, thus helping to regulate nerve and muscle tone. In many nerve cells, magnesium serves as Nature's own calcium channel blocker, preventing calcium from rushing into the nerve cell and activating the nerve. By blocking calcium's entry, magnesium keeps our nerves (and the blood vessels and muscles they ennervate) relaxed. If our diet provides us with too little magnesium, however, calcium can gain free entry, and the nerve cell can become overactivated, sending too many messages and causing excessive contraction. Insufficient magnesium can thus contribute to high blood pressure, muscle spasms (including spasms of the heart muscle or the spasms of the airways symptomatic of asthma), and migraine headaches, as well as muscle cramps, tension, soreness and fatigue. 


Improved Detoxification and Cancer Prevention from Sunflower Seeds' Selenium

Sunflower seeds are also a good source of selenium, a trace mineral that is of fundamental importance to human health. Accumulated evidence from prospective studies, intervention trials and studies on animal models of cancer has suggested a strong inverse correlation between selenium intake and cancer incidence. 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.


In addition, selenium is incorporated at the active site of many proteins, including glutathione peroxidase, which is particularly important for cancer protection. One of the body's most powerful antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase is used in the liver to detoxify a wide range of potentially harmful molecules. When levels of glutathione peroxidase are too low, these toxic molecules are not disarmed and wreak havoc on any cells with which they come in contact, damaging their cellular DNA and promoting the development of cancer cells. Its selenium richness is another reason that sunflower seeds can make a good snack.


How to Select and Store

Sunflower seeds are sold either shelled or unshelled and are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins.

Since sunflower seeds have a high fat content and are prone to rancidity, it is best to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can also be stored in the freezer since the cold temperature will not greatly affect their texture or flavor.