Sunflower seeds aren’t as trendy as the mysterious chia seed or the cooler-than-thou hemp seed, but they’re still packed with nutrients and healthier than you might think. While chia seeds have more omega 3 fatty acids, sunflower seeds defeat them hands down in the vitamin and mineral content. Plus, they’re a lot cheaper than their hipper seed friends.
Sunflower seeds are easy to find; you can pick them up in almost any convenience store. They are inexpensive, and they are convenient to eat. Protip: Do yourself a favor — buy your sunflower seeds already shelled unless you want to have a shell spitting contest with a friend (we won’t judge). Here are some more sensational sunflower seeds facts to get this seed into your pantry ASAP:
Sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium, which is excellent for your health. Magnesium plays a role in hundreds of biological processes in your body. It balances with your body’s calcium to prevent muscle spasms and regulates muscles and nerves. Some Americans are short on this crucial nutrient; only two percent of Americans are severely low on magnesium, but around seventy-five percent of us don’t get the recommended daily intake.
A serving of sunflower seeds is packed with vitamin E. Vitamin E helps contain free radicals in the body. It also helps with your body’s anti-inflammatory response, which is a serious skincare bonus that fights aging and skin sensitivity like rosacea. The better news? Sunflower seeds are an easy way to get Vitamin E — roughly four tablespoons provide you over seventy-five percent of your daily Vitamin E.
If you’re on a vegetarian or vegan diet, it can be hard to find protein. A serving of sunflower seeds has about 6 grams of protein; that’s a good amount of protein in a small amount of food. Adding this protein-rich seed to your diet is a healthy idea. These protein-packed seeds are easy to carry around, cheaper than a protein bar, and don’t require refrigeration like yogurt or smoothies.
Selenium sounds like the name of a sci-fi character., but trust us, it’s not. It’s actually a crucial trace element that could help fight cancer. Studies have shown that it can aid in repairing DNA and helps the liver detoxify your body. Studies show that higher selenium intake correlates to a lower incidence of cancer. Yes, sunflower seeds are rich in selenium.
If you’re already wow-ed by these wonderful seeds, we have one more for you; sunflower seeds are high in phytosterols. In English, that means these plant-based chemicals mimic the structure of bad cholesterol. Since they are similar in structure, the phytosterols shove aside the bad cholesterol. That means sayonara to your bad cholesterol, leaving you basking in the healthy glow of sunflower seed power.