Sunflower is one of the most beautiful flowers on earth and commonly found to be grown in the home or public garden due to its attractive bright yellow color. Not only the appearance of sunflower is attractive but the size of the flower is also impressive. However, the appearance and the size of the sunflower is nothing compared to the health benefits of the sunflower seeds.
What Is Black Oil Sunflower Seeds?
There are some varieties of sunflower and the seeds derived from each variety are also different from one another. Black oil sunflower seeds are probably one of the common ones, derived from the most common variety of sunflower, Helianthus annuus. It is one of the varieties of sunflower commonly found in America and according to some studies, sunflower is actually native to North America though today you could find sunflower around the world. Surprisingly, though sunflower seeds are now popular as healthy snack but initially sunflowers were used as birdseed and even until now, sunflower is closely related to hamster or guinea pig. Well, aside from that sunflowers also bring a lot of health benefits for human.
Nutritional Values of Sunflower Seeds
One of the nutrients contained in sunflower is healthy fat. The problem with people today is when they are hearing about fat, the next thing that crosses their minds is weight gain. The fact is healthy fat is essential for human health and it won’t cause weight gain if you eat it in proper portion. Not only healthy fat, sunflower seeds are excellent source of vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin A. For mineral content, sunflower seeds contain copper, iron, calcium, phosphorus, selenium and many more. The list of health benefits of black oil sunflower seeds below will tell you more about how amazing sunflower seeds are for human health.
- Excellent Source of Antioxidant
The first benefit you could get from black oil sunflower seeds is the antioxidant compounds. It is effective in lowering the oxidative stress caused by the free radicals that enter the body.
- Good for Heart
Vitamin E found in black oil sunflower seeds are also well known as gamma-tocopherol. It is a potent antioxidant that could reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties also protect the heart from stroke and heart attack.
- Helps Balance Cholesterol Level
The same gamma-tocopherol, a potent antioxidant mentioned in previous point is also excellent in balancing the level of cholesterol. Vitamin E will prevent the blocked arteries by managing the cholesterol level.
- Maintains the High Blood Pressure
Some studies have been conducted to find out the close correlation between consuming black oil sunflower seeds with the reduction of symptoms of high blood pressure and the result is really amazing.
- Prevents the Development of Cancerous Cells
One of the side effects of oxidative stress caused by free radicals in human body is the development of cancerous cells. The antioxidant compounds found in black oil sunflower seeds may help preventing it.
- Natural Solution to Thyroid
The study case about thyroid showed that most people who are suffering from thyroid are also suffering from selenium deficiency. Consuming black oil sunflower seeds which are rich of selenium may help treating this condition naturally.
- Helps Combat Osteoporosis
When you get calcium from dairy products, you could get the magnesium from black oil sunflower seeds. Those two minerals are very effective to help combating osteoporosis.
- Prevents Muscle Cramp
Muscle cramp could be really dangerous especially for you an active athlete because it could lead to injury. Muscle cramp could occur when someone is suffering from vitamin B deficiency and black oil sunflower seeds are excellent source of vitamin B such as thiamine, folate, vitamin B3 and B5.
- Improves Mood
There is no easy way to fight symptoms of depression but some studies have shown the positive effect of consuming sunflower seeds in improving mood.
- Balances Blood Sugar Level
There are a lot of studies that stated the diet rich of nuts and seeds could help reducing hyperglycemia. It means, you could reduce the risk of diabetes by balancing the blood sugar level.
- Excellent for Skin Health
As mentioned above, black oil sunflower seeds are packed with vitamin E. It is a common knowledge that one of the health benefits of vitamin E is to promote healthy skin.
- Promotes Healthy Digestion
All nuts and seeds are excellent source of fiber and black oil sunflower seeds are no exception. One of the health benefits of fiber is to promote healthy digestion.
- Immunity Booster
As food rich of antioxidants, black oil sunflower seeds are excellent immunity booster. You could add it to your salad or breakfast oat to provide you one layer of protection, especially from viral infection.
- Reduces the Symptom of Asthma
One of the trigger of asthma is allergic reaction. Unlike the other seeds and nuts which are rich of purines and oxalates, black oil sunflower seeds are low in those properties. It means, you could consume it to help reducing the symptoms of asthma though further study about this matter is strongly required.
- Prevents Alzheimer and Dementia
There are some reasons why black oil sunflower seeds could help prevent Alzheimer and dementia, the first thing is because it is packed with antioxidants. Second, it could reduce the inflammation that could be the root of Alzheimer and dementia. Third, black oil sunflower seeds are rich of mineral especially Zinc that is great for brain and nervous system.
Cautions of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
Allergic reaction is one of the thing commonly occur to people who are sensitive to purines or oxalates compound which are commonly found in nuts, pulses and seeds. So, unlike the other seeds, sunflower is low in oxalates and purines, so the allergic reaction cases are not very common. However, it doesn’t mean there is no caution you should worry about.
- As mentioned above, sunflower seeds are excellent source of healthy fat (Omega-6 Polyunsaturated fat). The problem is consuming it too much will cause some hormone imbalance while consuming it in proper way will help you balancing your hormone. It means, you should know how much you should consume the sunflower seeds and how to balance it with the other healthy fat (Omega 3 fatty acid).
- Right now there are some options of black oil sunflower seeds you could find in the market place. You should be careful with the ingredients, some are salted and others are unsalted. It is better to choose the unsalted ones because the sodium content could be excessive if you consume the salted ones.
- One important tips to buy organic sunflower seeds is you should choose seeds that are uniform in color, firm, plump and not broken.
Black oil sunflower seeds are excellent snack choice though you could add it to some food recipes as well like in granola bars, fruits and vegetables salad, breakfast oat and so on. The key to the health benefits of black oil sunflower seeds is consuming it in the proper portion only, not excessive.