Many people wonder if it is okay to eat nuts and seeds every day. The biggest worry being the fear that it will increase the lipid profile. Nuts are said to be loaded with fats, so wouldn’t it affect the liver? These and many other questions plague us when it comes to the thought of consuming a diet rich in nuts. But, what one doesn’t realise is that it isn’t the eating of nuts that affects the liver or the lipid profile, but a bad lifestyle and faulty eating habits instead. Nuts and seeds are healthy fats and if eaten in moderation on a daily basis it would instead, help us with many benefits. Let’s talk about one such seed today, the humble sunflower seed, which is rich in iron, zinc and copper and therefore helps maintain brain health and your energy levels. It’s a perfectly nutrient dense food, high in vitamin B and minerals like selenium which are needed by the body for enhancing its performance. Here’s why else sunflower seeds are good for you:
• The vitamin E is found in a sunflower seed is in its pure form along with selenium, which is a very powerful antioxidant that helps our cells repair themselves. Our cells are constantly getting damaged with the kind of lifestyle and environment that we are living in. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps in fighting free radicals and these free radicals are the reason for our fast ageing. When our tissues start getting damaged with constant inflammation and oxidative stress, they need vitamin E to repair them and control the damage.
• Sunflower seeds are also rich in flavonoids. Foods rich in flavonoids play a very important role in boosting our immune system and today one goal that each one of us should have is to build a strong immune system as it is our first and last line of defense. It is our immune system that will help us prevent sickness. Inflammation is increasing due to poor lifestyle and that is the root cause of most diseases today. Diabetes, IBD, Alzheimer’s, obesity, cancer, Parkinson’s and the like are all inflammatory conditions. The flavonoids and vitamin E found in sunflower seeds help us in managing inflammation.
• When our blood vessels cannot relax, they start hardening which can increase BP and lead to more inflammation which is related to heart attacks, cardiac arrests, strokes etc. Sunflower seeds help your blood vessels relax which is great for people with BP.
• Sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium which is a trace mineral and is required for almost 300 plus chemical reactions in the body. A slight dip even just one per cent, can affect many chemical reactions, gut health, nerve function, brain health, bone health etc.
• Chlorogenic acid found in sunflower seeds has anti-diabetic, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties which work on improving sugar levels and prevents us from various inflammatory conditions.
With so many benefits we should look at consuming a teaspoon to a tablespoon of soaked or roasted sunflower seeds on a daily basis to avail all its benefits. Enjoy this tasty seed in moderation, however, to get the maximum benefits.