Health Benefits and Nutrition info
Sunflower seeds are rich in healthy fats and a good source of fiber, protein, magnesium, zinc iron, vitamin E, and several of the B complex vitamins. They also contain the amino acid tryptophan and they therefore, are a healthy addition to your diet. Nutritious sunflower seeds are good for your heart and hair. They can also improve sleep, mood, and male fertility. They lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease, help with weight management, and reduce the risk of birth defects.
The sunflower seed is the fruit of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus). Sunflower is one of the largest flowers in the world. While its tiny seeds aren’t nearly as big, they make up for it by being big on nutrition!
Helianthus is native to North America. The common name, “sunflower”, typically refers to the popular annual species Helianthus annuus, or the common sunflower, whose round flower heads in combination with the ligules look like the sun. The global yearly production of sunflower seeds today is approximately 40 million tonnes. Over the past decades sunflower seeds became worldwide popular also for their oil. The oil may be used as is or may be processed into polyunsaturated margarines. The oil is extracted by applying great pressure to the sunflower seeds. The protein-rich cake remaining after the seeds have been processed for oil is used as a livestock feed.
How to enjoy
Sunflower seeds are usually eaten as a snack. They can also be used as garnishes or ingredients in various recipes for their nutty taste and their nutritional properties.
Preparation and cooking tips
Sunflower seeds can ideally be used in recipes and salads with tuna, chicken or turkey. You can sprinkle them on hot or cold breakfast cereals as well as in your favorite stir-fry, and of course add them in your homemade breads.