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Sunflower Seeds Benefits

Are you looking for a health-promoting snack? Enjoy a small bunch of mild nutty-tasting sunflower seeds with their firm, however tender texture to deal with your hunger and get a wealth of nutrition at the same time.

Here's everything you have to know about sunflower seeds, including their nutrition, benefits, and how to eat them. Let’s explore more. 

What Are Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds are actually sunflower plant fruits (Helianthus annuus). The seeds are reaped from the plant's large flower heads, measuring more than 12 inches in diameter. A single sunflower head can have at least 2,000 seeds.

There are two primary types of sunflower crops. One sort is grown for the seeds you eat, while the other is mainly farmed — grown for the oil.

The sunflower seeds we eat are encased in inedible black-and-white striped shells, additionally called hulls. Those utilized for extracting sunflower oil have solid black shells.

Taste Profile

Sunflower seeds have a gentle and nutty flavor along with a firm, however tender texture. Their taste is periodically compared with the Jerusalem artichoke, another Helianthus family member.

The seeds can be eaten as a flavorful, crunchy snack or topping, or they can be used to make sunflower seed oil. They're often cooked to enhance the flavor; however, you can also buy them raw. 

Nutrition Facts About Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds may seem tiny however are extremely nutritious. They contain numerous nutrients needed by our body to do diverse internal functions. The white seeds are exceptionally high in vitamin E, selenium, and zinc. These nutrients secure your body's cells against free extreme damage, reducing the danger of developing chronic diseases and increase immunity. Furthermore, they also contain compounds like flavonoids and phenolic acids.

Almost 30 grams of shelled, dry-roasted sunflower seeds contains:

Vitamins and Minerals

Sunflower seeds are considered a vitamin and mineral powerhouse. They are rich in vitamin E, offering about 7.4mg or just fewer than 50% of the FDA's everyday value. They are additionally a decent source of thiamin and other nutrients in smaller quantities such as niacin, vitamin B6, and folate.

Minerals in sunflower seeds include copper (68% of your daily intake), magnesium (10%), phosphorous (31%), manganese (31%) and selenium (35%), and smaller amounts of zinc, iron, and potassium.

Moreover, sunflower seeds are the decent source of beneficial plant compounds, including phenolic acids and flavonoids — which also function as antioxidants.

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

How to Select and Store

Shelled or unshelled Sunflower seeds are usually available in prepackaged containers and bulk bins. Similarly, as with any other food that you may buy in the bulk section, ensure that the bins that carry the sunflower seeds are covered and that the store has a decent product turnover so as to guarantee the seeds' maximal freshness.

When buying unshelled seeds, make sure that the shells are not dirty or broken. Additionally, they ought to be firm and not have a limp surface. When purchasing shelled seeds, stay away from those that seem yellowish as they have presumably gone rancid. If you buy sunflower seeds from a mass bin, smell them to guarantee that they are still fresh and have not ruined.

Since sunflower seeds have a high-fat substance and are prone to rancidity, you should store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can likewise be stored in the freezer since the cold temperature won't significantly affect their texture or flavor.

Tips for Preparing and Cooking Sunflower Seeds

If you want to eliminate the shells from unshelled sunflower seeds, there are some more easy ways to stop the shell than by hand, which requires a great deal of diligence and time. The fastest way to shell sunflower seeds is to grind them in a seed mill and afterward place them in cold water where the shells will float to the top and can be skimmed off with an opened spoon.

While not as efficient, another option for individuals who don't have seed mills is to place a small number of seeds into the bowl of an electric mixer, pulsing the blender on and off a couple of times until the shells separate yet not too many seeds are crushed. Then dive the seeds into cold water as shown above to separate them from the shells. In any case, shelled sunflower seeds are plentiful in the stores, so there is no compelling reason to go through the trouble except you have reaped them from your garden.

How to Enjoy: A Few Quick Serving Ideas

Sunflower seeds may become blue-green when baked. This is because of a harmless chemical reaction between the seeds' chlorogenic acid and baking soda — but you can reduce the amount of baking soda to minimize this reaction.

Are there any side effects of sunflower seeds?

Sunflowers seeds are usually safe for eating; however, people may encounter some unusual results in some cases. Here are some things that you may feel after eating sunflower seeds.

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