All the benefits of sunflower seeds, allies of your heart

Sunflower seeds have many beneficial properties. Let’s find out which ones and how to use them in your recipes.

Sunflower seeds are the seeds of Helianthus annuus, known as sunflower. It is a seasonal plant belonging to the family of Astaraceae and easily recognizable by its large orange-yellow flowers.

Its seeds are used to produce sunflower oil. Moreover, they have many health benefits, that is why you should introduce them in your daily diet. Let’s see their properties and how to use them in your recipes.

Sunflower seeds: nutritional values and calories

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Sunflower seeds are rich in calories: 100 grams has 884 calories. For this reason, you should eat them with great moderation. However, they are cholesterol free and contain beneficial substances fundamental for your body. The total nutritional values for 100 grams of sunflower seeds are:

– Carbohydrates: 20g

– Sugars 2,62g

– Fiber 8.6g

– Total fat 51,46g

– Saturated fats 4,455g

– Monounsaturated fats 18,528g

– Polyunsaturated fats 23,137g

– Proteins 20,78g

– Water 4.7g

– Thiamine (or B1) 1,48mg

– Riboflavin (or B2) 0,355mg

– Niacin (or PP or B3) 8,355mg

– Pantothenic acid (or B5) 1,13mg

– Pyridoxine (or B6) 1,345mg

– Folic acid 227mg

– Choline 55,1mg

– Ascorbic acid (or C ) 1,4mg

– Alpha-tocopherol (or E) 35,17mg

– calcium 78mg

– Iron 5,25mg

– Magnesium 325mg

– Manganese 1,95mg

– Phosphorus 66mg

– Potassium 645mg

– Sodium 9mg

– Zinc 5mg

Sunflower seeds: properties

This food, in spite of being very caloric, is very good for your heart. Thanks to its Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids levels, it helps to reduce the LDL cholesterol (the bad one) in favour of the HDL cholesterol (the good one). They also contain phytosterols, plant sterols that reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.

Thanks to their high content of vitamin E, these seeds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, can fight free radicals and prevent aging. Its levels of fiber, minerals and proteins makes sunflower seeds good for a regular intestinal function. In addition, the presence of mucin gives relief in cases of ulcers and gastritis.

In general, thanks to their mineral salts and vitamins, these seeds give energy and strength and are therefore great for athletes or during times of stress and fatigue.

Sunflower seeds: side effects

Do sunflower seeds make you gain weight? No, if consumed with great moderation. The ideal amount is 10 grams per day, about a handful. Excessive consumption may make you gain weight, cause problems to your kidneys and have a laxative effect.

Sunflower seeds: recipes

Roasted sunflower seeds, which you can easily buy in ethnic shops, supermarkets and online, for example on Amazon, are very versatile. You can eat them on their own as a snack between one meal and another, or you can add them to salads, soups or purees.

They are excellent in bread and pie doughs, but also in cakes if they are not salted. For breakfast, you can add a tablespoon of sunflower seeds to your oatmeal.

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ultimo aggiornamento: 25-11-2018