For a quick snack or healthy addition to any meal, sunflower seeds are an excellent option. High in vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated oils, sunflower seeds and butters are a perfect replacement for higher-fat nuts, or saturated oils. Whether you're looking for something healthier to eat on-the-go, or an overhaul to your diet don’t forget this nutrient-dense seed. Just one quarter-cup of sunflower seeds contains over 60% of your daily vitamin E requirements, as well as containing vitamin B1, manganese, copper, magnesium, and a ton of other vitamins and minerals. In addition, these seeds have a high amount of dietary fiber, to help the digestive system.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant, which protects cells and helps the body fight inflammation, making sunflower seeds an excellent nutrient for those with asthma or arthritis. This vitamin is also important for maintaining heart health by reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, or blocked arteries.
The magnesium contained in sunflower seeds helps build strong bones, while copper serves to improve collagen and elastin on the surface of the bones and joints to increase flexibility and strength. As a good source of selenium, sunflower seeds can help to repair damaged cells and reduce cancer risks.
Sunflower seeds have the highest amount of phytosterols per ounce of any nut or seed. Phytosterols have been shown to reduce cholesterol in the blood, improve the immune system and decrease cancer risk. By replacing other types of nuts and seeds with low phytosterol content you can double or triple your daily intake of the compound and improve your overall health. The best thing about sunflower seeds is how readily they can be incorporated into virtually any meal. Raw or toasted seeds can be eaten on their own or added to cereal, oatmeal, salads or granola. Sunflower butter can be used to replace other, higher fat nut butters or even dairy butter. Finally, sunflower oil can be used to replace less healthy oils in baking and cooking. To get the most health benefits, aim for 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds a day. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep a pack of sunflower seeds in your purse or bag for a quick, filling, and nutritious snack when you are out and on the go. Sunflower Seeds in 22 Days Nutrition Bars We're big fans of these nutritious little seeds and you'll find them in several of our vegan bars.