Healthy Ingredient Spotlight: Sunflower Seeds
Besides being delicious, whether raw, roasted, or seasoned, sunflower seeds have a ton of vitamins and minerals – which is why you’ll find them in 22 Days Nutrition bars. So why exactly should you start eating more sunflower seeds?
Sunflower seeds contain polyunsaturated oils, which make them healthier than other nuts and seeds. Healthy fats help to manage cholesterol levels and can prevent unhealthy fats from sticking around, which in turn leads to a healthier cardiovascular system.
A quarter cup of sunflower seeds contains over 61% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin E. This hearty antioxidant can help you shed damaged skin cells more quickly, leaving your skin supple and radiant. Studies have indicated that Vitamin E can also help to prevent or minimize UV radiation damage, for those of us who love the sun. Additionally, the antioxidant qualities of Vitamin E also help reduce cancer risk, manages menopause symptoms, and can also improve brain function.
Source of Magnesium
The same quarter cup of sunflower seeds provides 28% of your daily magnesium requirements. Magnesium (along with calcium) is an essential dietary component for healthy bones. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure, prevent migraines, and lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Magnesium also helps to keep you relaxed by preventing nerves from absorbing too much calcium and becoming over stimulated. Combined with tryptophan (a component of serotonin), magnesium helps you stay happy, relaxed, and healthy. If you are looking to take advantage of the health benefits of both tryptophan and magnesium, try our Enlightened Pumpkinseed bar. It contains both pumpkin seeds (which has tryptophan) and sunflower seeds (magnesium).
If that wasn’t enough, the anti-inflammatory qualities of Vitamin E found in sunflower seeds can help to manage symptoms associated with arthritis and asthma. The seeds also contain the highest level of phytosterols of any food which lower blood cholesterol levels and helps to improve immune system function. Trace amounts of selenium in sunflower seeds helps to repair damaged cells and promote cell death for unhealthy or abnormal cells (generally associated with cancer).
Adding Sunflower Seeds to Your Diet
Sprinkle sunflower seeds on your breakfast oatmeal or your salads. Use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter (or other butters) for a healthier fat intake, and ground sunflower seeds can be an excellent addition to smoothies. For an on-the-go snack, carry a bag of sunflower seeds.
22 Days Nutrition Bars
We love the delicious nutty taste of sunflower seeds and of course, their health benefits. Find them in our vegan energy bar Goji Mate Firecracker and in vegan protein bars Nut Butter Buddha and Enlightened Pumpkinseed.