I love snacking on sunflower seeds at work... I found this on the website today and am realizing how healthy they really are.
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Enjoy a handful of mild nutty tasting sunflower seeds with their firm but tender texture to take care of your hunger and get a wealth of nutrition at the same time, available at your local market throughout the year.
A handful of sunflower seeds will take care of your hunger, while also enhancing your health by supplying significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.
Excellent source of vitamin E, the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing structures and molecules, such as cell membranes, brain cells, and cholesterol. In addition, vitamin E plays an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E is one of the main antioxidants found in cholesterol particles and helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS’ PHYTOSTEROLS LOWER CHOLESTEROL
Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers. The beneficial effects are so dramatic that they have been extracted from soybean, corn, and pine tree oil and added to processed foods, such as "butter"-replacement spreads, which are then touted as cholesterol-lowering "foods." But why settle for an imitation "butter" when Mother Nature's nuts and seeds are a naturally rich source of phytosterols-and cardio-protective fiber, minerals and healthy fats as well?
MAGNESIUM - CALM YOUR NERVES, MUSCLES & BLOOD VESSELS
Magnesium helps reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Also necessary for healthy bones and energy production.
SELENIUM - IMPROVED DETOXIFICATION/CANCER PREVENTION
Selenium has been shown to induce DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells, to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, and to induce their apoptosis, the self-destruct sequence the body uses to eliminate worn out or abnormal cells.
Sunflower seeds are sold either shelled or unshelled and are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. When purchasing unshelled seeds, make sure that the shells are not broken or dirty. Additionally, they should be firm and not have a limp texture. When purchasing shelled seeds, avoid those that appear yellowish in color as they have probably gone rancid. In addition, if you are purchasing sunflower seeds from a bulk bin, smell them to ensure that they are still fresh and have not spoiled. Since sunflower seeds have a high fat content and are prone to rancidity, it is best to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can also be stored in the freezer since the cold temperature will not greatly affect their texture or flavor.
QUICK SERVING IDEAS
-Add sunflower seeds to your favorite tuna, chicken or turkey salad recipe.
-Garnish mixed green salads with sunflower seeds.
-Adding sunflower seeds to scrambled eggs will give them a unique taste and texture.
-Use fine ground sunflower seeds to dust your meats with in place of flour.
-Sprinkle sunflower seeds onto hot and cold cereals.
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E. They are also a very good source of vitamin B1. In addition, sunflower seeds are a good source of manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and folate.