The sunflower is my favorite flower, and its seeds are packed with nutritional benefits that can help you from the hairs on your head to your toes. The seeds are readily available all year round, and just a small amount of them can mean dramatic improvement in the way you feel. Here’s a short list of what they can do for you:
They control cell damage, thus playing a role in preventing cancer. This is because sunflower seeds are a good source of selenium, which is a proven enemy of cancer. They contain bone-strengthening minerals. Besides calcium, your bones need magnesium and copper to stay strong. Sunflower seeds have both these minerals. They keep you calm. Yes! The magnesium in sunflower seeds is reputed for soothing the nerves, thus easing away stress, migraines and helping you relax. They bring a glow to your skin. Sunflower seeds are the richest whole food source of Vitamin E, which combats UV rays and keeps skin youthful. They ease every condition that’s inflammatory in nature, such as joint pain, gastric ulcers, skin eruptions, asthma and such. That’s because sunflower seeds are loaded with antioxidants. Just one fourth cup of sunflower seeds a day can keep heart troubles away. These small seeds prohibit cholesterol from sticking to the walls of your arteries, thus preventing heart attacks.
are a native species to North America and were used by American Indians for an important, high-energy food source. Spanish explorers carried it with them to Europe.
A sunflower grown in the Netherlands holds the record for being the tallest sunflower in the world. It measured 25 feet, 5.4 inches. (Source: 2004 Guinness World Records)
According to the 2004 Guinness World Records, a sunflower grown in Michigan had 837 heads on one plant.
Roasted Sunflower Seeds
My selected way to enjoy sunflower seeds is by adding a little spice to the:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Spread sunflower seeds on a cookie sheet & bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from oven when seeds are slightly browned and fragrant.
After removing from the oven, stir in one teaspoon of melted coconut oil for every cup of seeds. Cool on an absorbent towel and salt to taste. The flavor will add richness and body.
Sprinkle the seeds with chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, red pepper flakes, or a mixture of all of them to add spice to the roasted seeds. Any of Chef Tess Spices that you enjoy would be a great choice as well.
Or add one teaspoon of melted butter or olive oil and cinnamon-sugar, nutmeg, or ginger.
Other options for your sunflower seeds include :
- Add them to trail mix or granola.
- Bake them into bread, rolls, or biscuits.
- Serve them with freeze dried fruit or vegetables.
- Add seeds to cooked oatmeal, hot rice cereal, or another hot breakfast cereal.
With their crunchy, nutty taste, sunflower seeds can easily become a regular part of your daily diet. Sprinkle them on your salads, granola, stir-fries. Stir them into yogurt, pop them into sandwiches, rice, pasta, or knead them into your dough…the possibilities are as endless as the good qualities of these sun-loving seeds.