Sunflower seeds are one of the unique crops native to the American continents that are still popular today. Cultivated as early as 3000 B.C., Native American tribes honored the sunflower, using the seeds for food and oil, and other parts of the plant in ceremonies, clothing, and medicine.
With all of the excitement surrounding exotic superfoods like the Acai berry, Maca, or raw Cacao, it can be easy to overlook a food that’s been in our backyard for thousands of years.
Perhaps that’s what makes the sunflower seed so brilliant – it’s easy to find, and abundant in healthy vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
At the top of the Sunflower Seed’s health-boosting artillery is Vitamin E. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off free radicals – molecules in the body that damage DNA and create disease. Regular intake of vitamin E helps strengthen the immune system, maintain healthy blood vessels, and contributes to healthy skin, hair, and eyes.
Sunflower seeds have more Vitamin E than any other food, with the exception of wheat germ oil. In just under 3 ounces of kernels, you can get 100% of your recommended daily value!
Most of the calories in sunflower seeds come from the heart healthy unsaturated fats. These fatty acids help remove plaque and cholesterol in your blood vessels that can cause disease. When you eat healthy fats, you are decreasing your risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular disease.
Other vitamins and mineral like Selenium, Phosphorous, Copper, Folate, Niacin, Iron, Magnesium, and Zinc help activate and support antioxidant and immune boosting properties of sunflower seeds.
Sunflower seeds truly are an amazing superfood. And they’re as American as apple pie.