Sunflower - symbol of summer is familiar among people and there is no need for its closer description. There are many species and subspecies of sunflower, which differ in the plant height, the flower head size and color of fruits and oil content. Cultivated sunflower originates from America and was transferred to Spain in the early 16th century, from where it was spread further on. Today, it is grown as one of the most important plants for oil producing, as well as fodder plant, and good pasture for bees. Medicinal parts of plant are flowers and seeds - fruits. Sunflower oil has a great importance. Light-yellow, clear and sloppily sunflower oil is characterized by long endurance. It is a very useful source of vegetable fats for both healthy and sick people.
Sunflower Seeds Content
Sunflower seed contains as much as 50 percent of oil, where multiple unsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic, dominate. It also contains significant amount of protein. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E and B-1 and a good source of manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, vitamin B-5, folic acid, and dietary fibers. Handful of sunflower seeds perfectly satisfies hunger, but also offers useful ingredients. What is more interesting, their protein content is almost the same as in the meat stake.
Sunflower Seeds Health Benefits
World Cancer Research Fund singled out 20 foods that because of their favorable composition provide protection from cancer and which therefore should be consumed as often as possible. Sunflower seeds are on that list of super foods.
Sunflower seeds are rich in antioxidants which neutralize harmful free radicals effects and thus prevent occurrence of cardiovascular and malignant diseases. Sunflower seed abounds in linoleic fatty acid, vitamin E and protein, so its regular intake provides moisture to dry and dehydrated skin, and it can be helpful in treating eczema, too.
Besides that, sunflower seeds may help in removing the pain in the throat and cramps in the legs. Unlike other fats, sunflower oil is beneficial for our body. It contains multiple saturated fatty acids, which are important for the health of blood vessels, and proved effective in lowering blood cholesterol.
Use of Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds share the fate of the other grains, they are popular snacks and a frequent addition to bread. They can be also a great addition to cereals, yogurt and salad with tuna or chicken. Common fried eggs will get a special taste if sunflower seeds are added to them. Also, stir-fried and ground seeds will supplement flavor of various sauces and stews.