10 Fabulous health benefits of sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds make a great snack, but the sweet, nutty seeds also have some amazing health benefits. Sunflower seeds are highly nutritious and provide a great combination of minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids. Here are ten of the amazing health benefits that you can gain from eating sunflower seeds:
1. They act as an anti-inflammatory
Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Eating sunflower seeds can ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, they are all conditions where inflammation and free radicals are an issue.
2. They are good for your bones
You need magnesium, as well as calcium to maintain healthy bones and sunflower seeds are a good source of the mineral. Magnesium gives bones their structure and is found both inside the bones and on the surface of the bones, where it is stored until the body needs to use it.
3. They can help protect against cancer
Sunflower seeds contain a high level of phytosterol and lignans, which can help to reduce the risk of some types of cancer. The compounds work by inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells in the body.
4. Sunflower seeds can help fight the signs of ageing
Health benefits of sunflower seeds also include anti-ageing. The Vitamin E and beta carotene found in sunflower seeds are both effective at keeping your skin looking young and fresh. The beta-carotene makes your skin less sensitive to the sun and the Vitamin E helps protect your skin against free radical damage and it also helps prevent scarring and the onset of wrinkles.
5. Eating sunflower seeds can help to prevent hair thinning
Sunflower seeds contain Vitamin B6, which is known to boost the oxygen supply to the scalp, which promotes the healthy growth of new hair and can reduce hair loss. They also contain copper, which is needed to retain the colour in your hair.
6. They can keep your skin supple
Eating sunflower seeds can help to keep your skin supple. They are an excellent source of essential fatty acids that boost the production of elastin and collagen, which makes your skin smooth and soft.
7. Sunflower seeds help to fight acne
Another one of health benefits of sunflower seeds is that the seeds can also help fight acne. The same fatty acids that create collagen and elastin also have antibacterial properties. Eating sunflower seeds can improve the appearance of acne or it can be applied topically in the form of sunflower seed oil.
8. They can lower cholesterol
Health benefits of sunflower seeds also include improved cholesterol levels. Sunflower seeds are high in cholesterol lowering compounds like phytosterols and the good, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help to lower the bad cholesterol in the body.
9. Sunflower seeds are good for the nervous system
The magnesium in sunflower seeds is essential to the proper functioning of the nervous system. Magnesium prevents too much calcium getting to the nerve cells, which can cause them to become overactive.
10. They can brighten your mood
Health benefits of sunflower seeds also include an improved mood. As well as being a tasty snack, sunflower seeds can make you feel happier too! They contain a compound called tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps the body produce serotonin. It is serotonin, that relieves tension and calms you and it can help to ward off depression.
What other health benefits of sunflower seeds would you like to add to our list?