When you think about sunflower seeds, what comes to mind? Maybe its snacking on them at a baseball game or popping them in your mouth on a hot summer day. Here’s one thing that doesn’t come to mind but should: their health benefits. Sunflower seeds aren’t just a timeless snack, they’re also tasty and good for you — a powerful combination. It also helps that sunflower seeds are so convenient. You can snack on them plain or add them to a meal. For example, throw them in salad, pasta, or even a sandwich. The next time you reach for a handful, here are some of the benefits you’ll reap.
1. Vitamin E
The abundance of Vitamin E is just one of the many benefits of sunflower seeds. In fact, with just one cup of sunflower seeds, you’re getting almost all the Vitamin E you need in a day. What does Vitamin E do? A lot. Some benefits include: combating UV rays, easing arthritis pain, reducing the risk of colon cancer, reducing the prevention of cardiovascular disease, and more. It also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can lessen the symptoms of asthma and osteoarthritis.
Sunflower seeds also have a significant amount of magnesium, which serves a variety of purposes. Like copper and calcium, magnesium is needed to keep your bones strong and healthy. Magnesium has also been known to soothe your nerves and help you relax. It also lowers blood pressure, prevents migraines, and lessens the severity of asthma, and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. That’s a lot of jobs for just one mineral!
Sunflower seeds contain another powerful nutrient: selenium. Selenium helps your body detox and repair DNA. One of the most fascinating things about selenium, however, is its role in preventing cancer. Selenium controls cell damage, which makes it one of cancer’s top enemies. Research demonstrated that there’s an inverse correlation between selenium intake and the chance of cancer. That’s a pretty good reason to snack on sunflower seeds!
Copper, like magnesium, is another nutrient that helps keep your bones happy and healthy. Copper does more than that, though. It also helps produce melanin, which is responsible for giving your hair and skin color. The body also uses copper for energy production.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy sunflower seeds?