In commercial circles, sunflower seeds are usually classified by the pattern on their husks. Should the husk have a solid black color, the seeds are called black oil sunflower seeds. The crops may be referred to as oil seed sunflower crops. These seeds are usually pressed to extract their oil. Striped sunflower seeds are primarily used for food; as a result, they may be called confectionery sunflower seeds. Here Marsha McCulloch, MS, RD, HealthLine.com, reflects on whether sunflower seeds are good for you, nutrition, and benefits:
“Sunflower seeds are popular in trail mix, multi-grain bread and nutrition bars, as well as for snacking straight from the bag.
They’re rich in healthy fats, beneficial plant compounds and several vitamins and minerals.
These nutrients may play a role in reducing your risk of common health problems, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Here’s everything you need to know about sunflower seeds, including their nutrition, benefits and how to eat them.
What are sunflower seeds?
Sunflower seeds are technically the fruits of the sunflower plant (Helianthus annuus) (1Trusted Source).
There are two main types of sunflower crops. One type is grown for the seeds you eat, while the other — which is the majority farmed — is grown for the oil (1Trusted Source).
The sunflower seeds you eat are encased in inedible black-and-white striped shells, also called hulls. Those used for extracting sunflower oil have solid black shells.
Sunflower seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and a firm but tender texture. They’re often roasted to enhance the flavor, though you can also buy them raw.
Sunflowers pack many nutrients into a tiny seed.
The main nutrients in 1 ounce (30 grams or 1/4 cup) of shelled, dry-roasted sunflower seeds are (3):
|Total fat, which includes:||14 grams|
|• Saturated fat||1.5 grams|
|• Polyunsaturated fat||9.2 grams|
|• Monounsaturated fat||2.7 grams|
|Vitamin E||37% of the RDI|
|Niacin||10% of the RDI|
|Vitamin B6||11% of the RDI|
|Folate||17% of the RDI|
|Pantothenic acid||20% of the RDI|
|Iron||6% of the RDI|
|Magnesium||9% of the RDI|
|Zinc||10% of the RDI|
|Copper||26% of the RDI|
|Manganese||30% of the RDI|
|Selenium||32% of the RD|
Sunflower seeds are especially high in vitamin E and selenium. These function as antioxidants to protect your body’s cells against free radical damage, which plays a role in several chronic diseases (4, 5).
When sunflower seeds are sprouted, their plant compounds increase. Sprouting also reduces factors that can interfere with mineral absorption. You can buy sprouted, dried sunflower seeds online or in some stores (6Trusted Source).
Sunflower seeds may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar as they contain vitamin E, magnesium, protein, linoleic fatty acids and several plant compounds (1Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
Furthermore, studies link sunflower seeds to multiple other health benefits.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sunflower-seeds#benefits
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