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Sunflower Seeds

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Sunflower Seeds Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 4.7 g
Calories: 584 kcal
Protein: 20.8 g
Carbohydrate: 20 g
Dietary fiber: 8.6 g
Sugars: 2.6 g
Fat: 51.5 g
Saturated fat: 4.5 g
Monounsaturated fat: 18.5 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 23.1 g
Vitamin C: 1.4 mg
Vitamin B1: 1.5 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.4 mg
Vitamin B3: 8.3 mg
Vitamin B6: 1.3 mg
Vitamin B9: 227 μg
Vitamin A: 3 μg
Vitamin E: 35.2 mg
Calcium: 78 mg
Iron: 5.3 mg
Magnesium: 325 mg
Phosphorus: 660 mg
Potassium: 645 mg
Sodium: 9 mg
Zinc: 5 mg

Their flowers are big, bright and cheery and their seeds are delicious roasted, now sunflowers have been scientifically proven to be good for your health – at least, their seeds have. They are a good source of healthy fats and minerals that also serve as a brilliant snack or addition to many recipes.

Can Prevent Diseases From Getting Worse. Advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, are factors that encourage degenerative diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s and chronic renal disease to develop complications and worsen over time. Much research has been conducted to determine how these AGEs can be slowed down or stopped altogether and a study, published in 2012, seems to have found a promising answer.

The researchers looked at four edible sprouts and found that sunflower seed sprouts were the most effective at inhibiting the activity of AGEs by up to 83.3% – a higher percentage than that of the leading antiglycative drug aminoguanidine, which has an inhibitory effect of 80.9%.

Packed Full Of Disease Fighting Antioxidants. We all know that antioxidants are good for maintaining a strong, healthy body – they seek out and destroy damaging free radicals, thus helping to prevent cell damage which can evolve into serious diseases like cancer; but we have to maintain a healthy diet in order to keep our levels of antioxidants topped up.

In 2009, research examined the antioxidant capacity of striped sunflower seeds and found that their antioxidant capacity accounts for up to 65% of the overall seed. The researchers have concluded that regular consumption of sunflower seeds could easily prevent the development of diseases like cancer.

Reduce Cholesterol Levels Caused By Diabetes. In 2012, a team of researchers conducted a trial in which they supplemented the diets of twenty-two postmenopausal women, suffering with type 2 diabetes, with either almonds or sunflower kernels/seeds. The women consumed 30g a day for three weeks, stopped for four weeks and then continued for a further three weeks.

The results showed that for both almonds and sunflower kernels the women experienced a drastic reduction in their overall cholesterol levels, as well as their “bad” cholesterol levels.