What are the benefits of eating raw sunflower seeds?

Written by catherine irving
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What are the benefits of eating raw sunflower seeds?
Sunflower seeds have a long list of health benefits. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Despite their small size, sunflower seeds have a surprisingly large list of health benefits when you eat them. Reducing risks for cancer and cardiovascular disease top the list. And women may find benefits eating sunflower seeds during menopause. You can also get your daily recommendation for magnesium, selenium and Vitamin E in about a quarter of a cup.

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History

Sunflower seeds were one of the first plants cultivated in the United States and were used by Native Americans as a food and oil source. Sunflower seed oil is one of the most widely used oils in the world.

Function

Sunflower seeds contain Vitamin E and helps neutralise free radicals in our bodies that could damage cell membranes and brain cells. A quarter-cup of raw sunflower seeds contains about 90 per cent of our daily recommendation for Vitamin E.

Effects

The vitamin E contained in raw sunflower seeds also offers anti-inflammatory benefits and reduces asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Eating raw sunflower seeds can also reduce the odds of colon cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Fun fact

Women may discover that sunflower seeds help ease the frequency of hot flashes during menopause.

Theories/speculation

According to the World's Healthiest Foods, selenium, which may assist in DNA repair and help damaged cells, can also be found in sunflower seeds. A quarter cup of seeds accounts for more than 30 per cent of the recommended dose of selenium.

Considerations

Sunflower seeds also contain amino acids and magnesium, which can reduce the symptoms of asthma, migraine headaches and the risk of stroke. Magnesium also aids our energy production and keeps our bones healthy.

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