People who eat it on a daily basis have better overall health.
This superfood has twelve (12) essential nutrients at excellent values!
[Percent Daily Value (%DV) per 30g (or about 1 ounce, or 1/4 cup, or 2 tablespoons)]
- Vitamin E: 12mg – 82% DV
- Copper: 600mg – 70% DV
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 0.5mg – 48% DV
- Vitamin B6: 0.4mg – 31% DV
- Magnesium: 108mg – 30%DV
- Phosphorus: 220mg – 33%DV
- Selenium: 14mcg – 32% DV
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 3mg – 19% DV
- Vitamin B9 (Folate): 76mcg – 19%DV
- Iron: 2mg – 17% DV
- Zinc: 1.5mg – 15% DV
- Phytosterols – one of the richest sources – 270-289 mg/100 g
A 1/4 cup serving of this food provides: 190 calories, 16g of fat, 6g of protein, and 4g of dietary fiber
- Percent Daily Value (%DV) is a guide to the nutrients in one serving of food. For example, 40% for protein means that one serving provides 40% of the protein you need each day. It helps you make informed food choices. DVs are based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults.
- Values and percentages are based on the USDA Nutrient Database https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list
Health benefits of the nutrients present in this superfood
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant, a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals. It has significant anti-inflammatory effects that result in the reduction of symptoms in asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, help decrease the severity and frequency of hot flashes in women going through menopause, and help reduce the development of diabetic complications. Supplementation with vitamin E does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The effect of antioxidants was only associated with obtaining them from foods, not supplements.
Copper is incorporated into a variety of proteins and metalloenzymes which perform essential metabolic functions. It is necessary for the proper growth, development, and maintenance of bone, connective tissue, brain, and heart. Copper plays a role in a wide range of physiological processes including iron utilization, elimination of free radicals, and the production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin. It also takes active part in the metabolism of cholesterol and glucose, and the synthesis and release of life-sustaining proteins and enzymes. Like all essential nutrients, too much or too little ingestion of copper can result in a corresponding condition of copper excess or deficiency in the body, each of which has its own unique set of adverse health effects. The World Health Organization recommends a minimal acceptable intake of approximately 1.3mg/day.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Vitamin B1 is very beneficial for your overall health. It is involved in many biochemical reactions in the body. Thiamine is needed for the metabolism of sugars and amino acids. B1 is important in keeping the nervous system healthy and plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy mental attitude. It can help stabilize mood and improve memory and concentration. Thiamine’s phosphate derivatives are involved in many cellular processes. All organisms use vitamin B1, but it is made only in bacteria, fungi, and plants. Humans must obtain it from their diet. Vitamin B1 is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Vitamin B3 supports the functions of the nervous and digestive system. The body can produce niacin from the amino acid L-tryptophan. A deficiency in B3 can cause depression, irritability, stress and mood disturbances. Niacin functions to help the body release energy from carbohydrates. This can control blood sugar and maintain nervous system functioning.
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Vitamin B6 is involved in many aspects of macronutrient metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, histamine synthesis, hemoglobin synthesis and function, and gene expression. Vitamin B6 can help the body manufacture neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which aids in the body’s ability to cope with depression, stress and anxiety. B6 may also help boost the immune system during times of anxiety. B-group vitamins have been called the “happy vitamins” or “anti-stress vitamins” because they can improve your mood and increase your tolerance to stress. B6 is crucial for dopamine and serotonin production.
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
Folic acid is an essential vitamin needed for energy. If there is a deficiency in folic acid, people may experience depression and fatigue which may produce higher levels of stress. B9 strengthens memory and concentration while preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Folate is necessary for fertility in both men and women. It contributes to spermatogenesis. Folate-rich diets were associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Published in the “Journal of the American Heart Association” in August, 2016, one study found that long-term supplementation with folic acid reduced the risk of stroke by 10%. A few studies suggested that there was a link between depression and low levels of folate. The recommended daily intake of folic acid is 400 micrograms. B9 is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.
Phytosterols are plant sterols with chemical structures similar to that of cholesterol. Phytosterols are responsible for keeping unhealthy cholesterol levels in check which is one of the best ways to guard against cardiovascular disease.
Iron plays many important roles in our body. It is an active component of hemoglobin that delivers oxygen to every cell in the body. Iron is responsible for hemoglobin and red blood cells production. It is the nutrient that keeps us energized. Iron is also the metal at the active site of many important redox enzymes dealing with cellular respiration and oxidation. This mineral is a critical for the metabolism of hundreds of proteins and enzymes involved in diverse body functions, such as oxygen transport, DNA synthesis, and cell growth.
The body uses magnesium in over 300 different biochemical reactions, including synthesis of ATP, DNA and RNA. It is of utmost importance for the healthy brain, the brain “master mineral”. It calms down our nerves helping to regulate nerve and muscle tone. It counterbalances calcium and by blocking calcium’s entry, magnesium keeps our nerves relaxed. Yet, according to the USDA, an estimated 57% of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.
Phosphorus provides every cell in the body with ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is necessary for any cellular process that uses energy. It plays a major role in the structural framework of DNA and RNA. Living cells use phosphate to transport cellular energy. ATP is also important for phosphorylation, a key regulatory event in cells. Phospholipids are the main structural components of all cellular membranes.
Selenium is a core-component of the antioxidant enzymes that activate many processes of free radicals fighting. It reduces the risk of certain cancers, increases testosterone and sperm production, libido and sperm motility. Ahsan U, Kamran Z, Raza I, et al. in the paper “Role of selenium in male reproduction – a review” (2014) has shown that selenium and various selenoproteins improve male reproductive performance and protect against oxidative damage to spermatozoa. It’s important to note that this effect was only associated with selenium obtained from foods, not supplements. Deviation from the optimal content of dietary selenium, both above or below may cause multiple health abnormalities.
Zinc is required for the function of over 300 enzymes and is the only metal which appears in all enzyme classes. It plays a key role in synaptic plasticity, one of the important neurochemical foundations of learning and memory. Zinc plays a crucial role in the synthesis of serotonin, one of four hormones of happiness. Zinc is especially important for men’s health. About 2-4 grams of zinc are distributed throughout the human body – in the brain, muscle, bones, kidney, and liver, with the highest concentrations in the prostate. Semen is particularly rich in zinc, a key factor in prostate gland function and reproductive organ growth. Zinc helps improve sex drive, testosterone and sperm production and prostate health. The Daily Value for zinc is 15mg. Doses larger than 25mg may cause anemia and copper deficiency.
Zinc and selenium increase “happy hormones” productions: Those minerals have been scientifically proven to prevent depression and anxiety. Researchers from the University of Barcelona found that people had higher levels of serotonin metabolites after nut consumption
Vitamin E and selenium for brain protection:
These free-radical fighters prevent brain cell from oxidative damage. Brain cells are particularly vulnerable to free radicals. Antioxidant nutrients protect against brain aging and delay the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
- Have we intrigued you enough?
- Is it about time to uncover the name of this superfood?
- Get ready to be surprised!
Sunflower seeds are the quintessential embodiment of health and happiness. The seeds provide with a wealth of nutrition that is available throughout the year.
How many sunflower seeds can you eat per day?
A typical serving of shelled sunflower seeds is around one to two ounces or 30-60 grams a day (approximately 1/8 to 1/4 cup of kernels or 1/2 to 3/4 cup unshelled seeds). This serving is fine as part of a balanced diet.
“I don’t think there’s anything on this planet that more trumpets life that the sunflower. For me that’s because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life” (Helen Mirren)