Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seed Benefits

Some of the common health benefits of sunflower seeds are that they contain a variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals. This healthy high-fat, low carb keto nut also provides a decent amount of plant-based protein and fiber. However, sunflower seeds do provide some additional unique health benefits. The soft sunflower seed kernels are taken from the seeds of the large, beautiful yellow sunflower (helianthus annuus). A 1/4 cup serving of raw unsalted sunflower seeds provides 67 calories, 6 g of fat, 1 mg of sodium, 74 mg of potassium, 2 g of carbs, 1 g of fiber, and 2.5 g of protein. Therefore, with sunflower seeds nutrition, you will only be eating 1 net carb while getting 6 grams of healthy fats.

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

1. Reduce Inflammation

Being able to reduce inflammation is one of the health benefits of sunflower seeds. Inflammation is the result of free radical accumulation that leads to pain, swelling, and disease. Arthritis is one of the most common inflammatory diseases. However, most diseases are the result of some type of chronic inflammation. Of all the seeds and nuts, sunflower seeds contain the highest amount of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E. As a potent antioxidant, vitamin E is able to neutralize the effects of free radicals thereby effectively reducing inflammation and its effects.

2. Improve Cardiovascular Health

Another one of the health benefits of sunflower seeds is that it can improve cardiovascular health. Sunflower seeds contain a significant amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are known for reducing the bad LDL cholesterol in the body and increasing the good HDL cholesterol in the body.

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

3. Reduce Blood Pressure

Reducing blood pressure is another one of the noteworthy health benefits of sunflower seeds. Eating raw unsalted sunflower seeds can help to lower your blood pressure in at least two different ways. First, sunflower seeds contain linoleic acid. Inside the body, this hormone is in part responsible for dilating blood vessels and thereby reduces the pressure on blood vessel walls. A second way sunflower seeds can reduce blood pressure has to do with the magnesium it contains. Among its many roles, magnesium has a calming effect on the muscles and nerves which can ultimately lower blood pressure.

4. Mood Enhancer

Magnesium can also prove to be a mood enhancer. However, sunflower seeds also contain tryptophan – a substance that plays a role in adrenaline production. It is commonly known for mitigating depression and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

5. Vitamins & Minerals

Sunflower seeds provide a variety of vitamins and minerals that perform different essential roles in the body. Sunflower seeds contain manganese, copper, magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron, and the B-complex vitamins.

In Summary

You may be surprised to discover how easy it can be to add sunflower seeds to your keto diet, low carb diet, or diabetic diet. There is no doubt that sunflower seeds are an excellent portable keto snack. And there are so many great sunflower seed flavor packs! However, raw unsalted sunflower seeds will allow you to capture the most health benefits of sunflower seeds. You can purchase the shelled sunflower seeds or the unshelled sunflower seeds.

However, both the plain unsalted shelled sunflower and the salted shelled sunflower seeds taste great by themselves or combined in keto salads, keto soups, keto granolas, keto stir fries, keto muffins, and any number of keto breads as well. Then too, you can use a sunflower oil to cook with or as a main ingredient in other keto recipes. In fact, sunflower seed oil can be used to make the delicious homemade vegan keto mayo.

You can also use one of the unsweetened sunflower seed butters to make keto SunButter cookies and even as an ingredient in some of the homemade soy milk ice cream recipes. And there is even sunflower seed flour for you to bake with! So, there are many great options for you to capture some of the health benefits of sunflower seeds.

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