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Sunflower seeds are generally used as seeds, and this snack is quite popular with the people of Indonesia. Despite having a small size, sunflower seeds hold many he alth benefits, you know
Sunflower seeds come from the sunflower plant (Helianthus annuus). The seed flesh covered by a black shell with white stripes has a savory taste and a crunchy texture.
In addition to being used as a snack, sunflower seeds can also be used as a complement to food, such as salads or oatmeal porridge.
Various Benefits of Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds contain protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat. In addition, sunflower seeds also contain many vitamins and minerals needed by the body, such as vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, and iron.
Seeing the abundance of these nutrients, it's no wonder that sunflower seeds can bring various he alth benefits, including:
1. Prevent inflammation
Inflammation that lasts a long time in the body can trigger chronic diseases. Well, the benefit of sunflower seeds in this case is to prevent inflammation in the body.
This is because sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, flavonoids, and bioactive compounds that can act as anti-inflammatory to inhibit and suppress inflammatory reactions.
In fact, a study has shown that consuming sunflower seeds five or more times a week can reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.
2. Maintain heart he alth
The benefits of sunflower seeds in maintaining heart he alth come from various aspects. The bioactive peptide and magnesium compounds in this snack are known to reduce high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart failure.
In addition, sunflower seeds are also rich in linoleic acid, which is a type of unsaturated fatty acid that can be he althy for the heart. This substance can help lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood thereby reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
3. Maintain blood sugar levels
Sunflower seeds are one of the snacks with a low glycemic index. Snacks like this are suitable for diabetics because they will not drastically raise blood sugar.
In addition, research shows that consuming 30 grams of sunflower seeds daily for 6 months can reduce blood sugar levels by as much as 10%. This is thought to be due to the content of chlorogenic acid compounds that are widely contained in sunflower seeds.
4. Maintain digestive he alth
In 30 grams of sunflower seeds contained about 3 grams of fiber. Although relatively small (only fulfills 1/8 of the daily requirement), the presence of fiber in the daily diet can improve the work of the intestines in absorbing nutrients and maintaining the balance of good bacteria in the intestines.
5. Maintain ideal body weight
Getting the ideal weight is certainly the dream of many people. Well, you can make it happen by regularly snacking on sunflower seeds. The protein, he althy fat, and fiber content in sunflower seeds can make you feel full longer so you can reduce the desire to overeat.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the nutritional content and compounds in sunflower seeds are also thought to be able to relieve PMS symptoms, maintain he althy bones and skin, prevent babies from being born with neural tube defects, and maintain and repair body tissues.
Sunflower seeds are a he althy snack option, but they are also calorie-dense. Therefore, do not consume it excessively, so that you avoid obesity and diabetes. In addition, consuming excessive sunflower seeds is also at risk of causing hardening of the stool which leads to chronic constipation.
So, if you want to get the benefits of sunflower seeds, limit your consumption to 30 grams (± 160 calories) per day.
For those of you who have an allergic reaction or have difficulty defecating due to eating too many sunflower seeds, contact your doctor immediately to get the right treatment.