Adding nuts, dry fruits, and seeds to your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health. They are nutrient-dense, healthful, and protect you from a variety of chronic illnesses. The fact behind the extensive use of Sunflower seeds (Surajmukhi beej) is that it offers a variety of health benefits from heart health to wonder remedies for skin and hair. In addition, sunflower seeds are exceptional because of their non-heating and non-cooling properties; therefore, it is a perfect neutral seed for all three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Sunflower seeds (Surajmukhi beej) are precisely the fruits of the Sunflower plant (Helianthus annuus). The seeds are extracted from the plant's large flower heads, which can reach a measure of more than 12 inches (30.5 cm) in diameter.
|Did you know that nearly 2000 seeds are found in a single sunflower head?|
Sunflower crops are divided into two categories. The one you eat is produced for the seeds, while the other is farmed in large quantities — is grown for the oil. One can tell the difference between these two varieties of sunflowers very easily. For example, white striped seeds are taken from the confection sunflower seeds, such as the ones we eat, and Oilseed sunflower seeds are entirely black and smaller than regular sunflower seeds.
Let us now explore the extraordinary benefits of Surajmukhi beej (Sunflower Seeds).
The sunflower or suryamukhi/surajmukhi is one of the most beautiful flowers. Did you know that the sunflower oil extracted from its seeds is the second most consumed edible oil in the world? Though there are two different Sunflower categories for seeds and oil, for effective results, the raw sunflower seeds are highly efficient compared to the oil. It is rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, which play a vital role in reducing the risk of many health problems. Sunflower seeds and oil can be useful in treating Atherosclerosis (the accumulation of fats, cholesterol, and other chemicals in and on the walls of your arteries. This type of buildup is known as Plaque).
Sunflower seeds and oil contain polyunsaturated fatty acids that have powerful anti-atherosclerosis effects. Surajmukhi beej helps lower total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in the blood. It reduces the formation of plaques in the arteries and prevents atherosclerosis.
Sunflower seeds are mildly nutty in flavor and have a solid but delicate texture. They are usually roasted to enhance the flavor, but you can get them raw as well. Here are some of the many benefits of incorporating sunflower seeds into your diet and beauty regimen.
1- Prominent for healthy skin - Sunflower seed has anti-inflammatory properties that help lower skin hyperpigmentation (redness) and dryness. Sunflower seed is high in omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E. It helps to decrease inflammation in the skin and enhances the development of new skin cells. Overall, sunflower seed has so many awesome benefits for the skin; that's why it's one of the key active ingredients in many beauty products.
How to use - Make a paste of sunflower seeds. Apply directly into your palm, massage gently into the required skin for 5-7 mins; then rinse off. It's best not to get it in your eyes.
2- Improving heart health- Keeping our heart healthy is one of the biggest concerns in today's world. Heart problems like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, etc., are mostly due to high cholesterol levels in our body. Sunflower seeds contain oleic acid, which checks cholesterol, thus preventing the heart from many cardiovascular diseases.
How to use - Stir a tablespoon of sunflower seeds into homemade granola bars or sprinkle it over fruit salads for faster results; it will help prevent the risk of heart diseases.
3- Herbal Treatment for Eczema - The seeds also have a therapeutic effect when used directly on the skin. It is rich in Vitamin E, particularly effective against Dermatitis or Eczema. In addition to the consumption of vitamin E, it shows significant results in reducing symptoms on the skin.
How to use - Can take Sunflower seeds, one or two tablespoons twice a day for effective results.
4- Natural Healer - The effect of sunflower seeds can also be seen on wounds and scars, as it heals much faster when it is applied to the affected area. Linoleic acid in sunflower seeds can speed up the healing process by reducing wound size and promoting wound contraction.
How to use- Take one tablespoon of sunflower seeds twice a day for internal wounds.
5- Prevents Arthritis - Sunflower seeds are very effective in preventing arthritis. It is rich in omega-3 fats, which help reduce inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory effects, particularly in rheumatoid arthritis.
How to use- Apply lukewarm sunflower seeds' paste directly on the affected site, massage gently into the skin until it is completely absorbed.
6- Promotes faster hair growth - Vitamin E is good for hair and prevents hair loss and breakage. It also helps reduce dandruff and relieve an itchy scalp, and other essential nutrients present in sunflower oil prevent baldness.
How to use- Not only seeds, but you can also benefit from sunflower seeds oil. Pour a small amount of sunflower seeds oil directly into your palm, massage gently into the hair for 7- 10 minutes.
7- Contains anti-asthma nutrients - Consuming sunflower seeds helps reduce the symptoms of Asthma, such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and cough. It also reduces bronchial constriction.
How to use- Crush sunflower seeds to make a powder and take 1 tablespoon of sunflower seed powder with lukewarm water for better results OR you can take 1/2 tablespoon of sunflower seed directly.
8- Anti-cancerous - Sunflower seed is the richest source of Vitamin E. Sunflower seeds reduce the chances of getting colon and other cancers by neutralizing free radicals, which have been linked to cancer. In addition, it contains carotenoids, which protect against malignancies of the uterus, lungs, and skin.
How to use- Use edible sunflower seeds to prepare delicious food. Use as topping to your favorite fruit salads, veggie salads, oatmeal, burgers, or baked goods, etc.
9- Best for weight loss- Taking sunflower seeds (Suraj Mukhi beej) in moderation will be helpful because it contains essential fatty acids, which is good for health, thus helping reduce weight loss.
How to use- Take 1 tablespoon of edible sunflower seeds with salad or sprouts.
10- Fights Depression- Magnesium is good for our mental health & sunflower seeds contain magnesium. It helps to elevate our mood and reduces the feeling of anxiety and depression.
How to use- Take 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds with salad or mix it with oats.
Sunflower seeds may appear small, yet they are packed with nutrients. They contain a variety of nutrients that our bodies need to perform various internal functions. For example, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Selenium are abundant in Sunflower seeds (i.e., black seeds with white stripes). These nutrients protect your cells from free radical damage, lowering your risk of chronic diseases and increasing immunity (always consult a doctor before consuming). They also include phenolic acids and flavonoids, among other things. Thus, sunflowers have a lot of nutrients packed into a small seed.
The foremost nutrients in 1 ounce (30 grams or 1/4 cup) of shelled, dry-roasted sunflower seeds (surajmukhi beej) are Calories, Saturated fat, Protein, Fibre, Niacin, and many more.
Other nutritions present in sunflower seeds
1- Fat- Sunflower seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid, and good fat.
2- Folic acid- It is essential for DNA synthesis and also helps to prevent Cancer.
3- Vitamin E- It is a powerful antioxidant required to maintain the integrity of the skin.
4- Magnesium- It works wonders on the mind and bones. It prevents bone diseases like osteoarthritis and gives strength to our skeleton system. It also elevates mood by reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
5- Selenium- Selenium is required for the proper functioning of the Thyroid hormone. Therefore, by taking sunflower seeds, we get protected from hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Sunflower seeds are a delightful and healthy treat straight out of the bag. However, beyond the box, you will discover many other ways to incorporate them into your diet.
Here are some suggestions:
1 - Add sunflower seeds to green salads, chicken salads, fruit salads, and tuna salads.
2 - To make a frozen dessert, add sunflower seeds, layer yogurt with fresh fruit.
3 - Blend in with smoothies
4 - Sprinkle sunflower seeds over ice cream and yogurt
5 - Add them to your breakfast oatmeal
When consumed at the recommended quantity, the sunflower seeds (surajmukhi beej) are harmless; but, when taken in excess, they might cause some unwanted effects.
1- It has the potential to produce hyperacidity.
2- It may induce bloating at times.
3- When used locally, it can create a rash on sensitive skin, so do a patch test first.
4- If consumed in excess by a person on Diabetic medication, it may reduce blood sugar levels.
5- Excessive consumption may induce stomach distress.
6- When heated to higher temperatures over time, it can emit hazardous substances harmful to one's health.
Sunflower seeds (surajmukhi beej) come in various shapes and sizes, providing moderate to high calories. However, when taken in moderation and replaced with higher-calorie or unhealthy snacks, Sunflower seeds can be part of a healthy diet.
Keep in mind that a lot of processed sunflower seeds include a lot of salt. Your heart and kidneys may suffer due to it if you consume too much salt in your diet. It can also contribute to water retention and elevated blood pressure. Eat raw, unsalted sunflower seeds to keep sodium levels low. For any consultation regarding health benefits or consumption of Sunflower seeds, visit www.healthybazar.com/consult-us