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Sunflower Seeds - Natural Benefits and Curative Properties

Botanical Name :: Helianthus annus

Indian Name :: Suryamukhi

Description of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are probably the most familiar of all edible seeds. They are the tightly packed core of the glorious sunflowers. The flowers have gigantic size, yellow in color and they always keep their face towards sun. The seeds are commonly crushed for their oil. There are many varieties of sunflower seeds. The larger kernels are generi1l1y used for edible. purposes while the smaller for crushing into edible oil

Origin and Distribution of Sunflower Seeds

The sunflower is believed to have originated in Mexico area. Sunflower was introduced in Europe in the 16th century. It became very popular as an ornamental flower and was established as an oilseed crop in Eastern Europe. It was imported into Russia from Holland in the 18th century. The first commercial production of oil began in 1830-40. The crop steadily grew in importance and soon became one of the world's most important oilseeds

Food Value of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower kernels are well above average in protein. phosphorus and iron concentration. They are very rich sources of B-complex vitamins.

Sunflower seeds can be used to enrich any meal. They can be sprinkled over cereals, salads, yogurt and soups. They can be mixed with vegetables to augment their protein, vitamin and mineral contents. They can be used like chopped nuts on desserts. They can also be taken as snacks between meals.

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seed kernels are an excellent protein food and can be considered as complete food. Eaten with milk, the seeds contribute to the needs of protein, the substance of which every cell of the body is made. The kernels contain almost 50 per cent fat which makes them a highly satisfying food that prevents the let-down 'feeling of fatigue and weariness which are due eating too much carbohydrate and sugar.

Being rich in potassium, the seeds help balance the sodium in our diets, thereby protecting the body from the dangers of too much salt in tissues. Magnesium being plentiful in sunflower, it helps the heart and other muscles as well as nervous tissues in the maintenance of proper balance between magnesium and calcium

  • High Cholesterol level :- The seeds contain substantial quantity of linoleic acid which is the fat helpful in reducing cholesterol deposit on the walls of arteries. Substituting sunflower seeds for some of the solid fats like butter and cream will, therefore, lead to great improvement in health.
  • Beriberi and Pallagra :- As a rich source of thiamin and niacin, sunflower seeds help to protect the health of nerves and brain as well as skin and digestive tract. Lack of these vitamins will produce deficiency like beriberi and pallagra.
  • Anemia :- The flour made from sunflower seeds is one of the richest sources of iron in any food. It is, therefore, highly beneficial in the prevention and treatment of anemia.
  • Respiratory Diseases :- Powder of the dry seeds or the decoction of the pounded seeds is used as a remedy for bronchitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis. influenza and cough. It is believed that growing sunflower in the home garden prevents influenza and cold.

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