Benefits of consuming sunflower seeds

Sunflower is more than just a pretty flower; it also possesses nutrients that work wonders for your skin and hair.

There are plenty of plants that have a range of beauty benefits. From roses to ashwagandha to lavender — the list goes on! Well, you can now add sunflower seeds to it as well. Even though these seeds have been used for centuries to treat different ailments, their skin and hair benefits have only recently gained popularity. If you thought these seeds were only good as a snacking option while drinking at a bar, well, think again. They are rich in vitamin E which not only protects your skin from oxidative stress but also helps you achieve voluminous hair. Keep on reading to find out what these seeds can do for you and the different ways you can incorporate them into your diet.

What Are Sunflower Seeds?

Edible sunflower seeds come in black-and-white striped shells and are filled with nutrients and vitamins. These shells need to be removed before consumption. Now, you’re probably wondering what makes these seeds so special, right? Well, sunflower seeds are rich in minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and zinc. They also contain high amounts of vitamins like vitamin E, B, folate, and niacin. All these put together can benefit your hair and skin tremendously.

Aside from the striped shell, you also get sunflower seeds that are all black. These are mainly used for oil extraction.

Skin and hair benefits

When it comes to skin, sunflower seeds can…

Reduce inflammation

The components present in sunflower seeds aid in the fight against oxidative stress while improving the skin’s barrier. These seeds also contain nutrients like vitamin E, flavonoids, and other plant compounds that help reduce inflammatory issues. So, if you’re prone to redness, acne flare-ups and even skin sensitivity, try increasing your intake of sunflower seeds. Since they are also rich in essential acids like linoleic, oleic, and palmitic, you can expect a collagen boost in your body.

Slow down premature ageing

Many people above the age of 25 deal with pre-mature ageing. If you are worried about the lines on your face and are looking for dietary options to slow down the signs of ageing, you can give sunflower seeds a shot. These seeds are rich in selenium, which aid in the repair and regeneration of damaged cells while vitamin E helps boost the production of collagen and elastin in the body. This helps keep the skin supple and soft.

Aid In Skin Detox

By now you are well aware that what you consume shows up on your skin. If you’re looking to enhance your body’s detoxification process, sunflower seeds can help. These seeds lessen the effects of toxic impurities in the skin while also protecting it from external stressors like pollution and UV rays. They also have high magnesium content which removes the germs and bacteria, in turn, reducing breakouts while leaving you with glowing skin.

When it comes to hair, sunflower seeds can…

Reduce frizz

No matter which products you try, it’s difficult to tame your tresses during the monsoon season. You can thank the high humidity for this. Sunflower seeds contain essential fatty acids that infuse your hair with moisture and hydrate it from the inside out. It also helps form a protective barrier around your strands to save them from damage caused by the environmental stressor.

Fight hair loss

If you are suffering from quarantine hair loss and feel like no product is working, try including sunflower seeds in your diet. These seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid. This helps deep condition your strands while also waking up dormant hair follicles and promote hair growth.

Tips for Eating Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are easily available in the market. You can get them with the shells or just kernels; both provide the same benefits. Sunflower seeds are a versatile food and while it is completely okay to just remove the shell and pop them in your mouth, there are other ways you can include them in your diet.

  • Homemade granola bars.

Ingredients

– 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds

– 1 1/2 cups rolled oats

– 2 Tbsp hemp seeds

– 1/2 cup raw almonds, walnuts, or pecans (roughly chopped)

– 2 Tbsp chia seeds

– 1 heaping of packed cup dates

– 2 tbsp flax seeds (ground or whole)

– 1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)

– 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter

Method

Toast the oats and almonds at 176 C in the oven for 13-15 minutes, until they turn slightly golden brown.

Put the dates in a food processor and blend until you get small bits. Place the oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl along with the seeds and set them aside.

Warm the agave and peanut or almond butter over low heat. Stir and simultaneously pour over oat mixture and then mix, making sure the dates are spread evenly.

Transfer the mixture to a small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Cover the top with parchment or plastic wrap and press it down with something flat. Chill in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.

Remove the mixture from the dish, chop it into even bars and store it in an airtight container.

Other ways you can eat sunflower seeds:

  • Sprinkle on a green salad.

  • Grind the seeds dry and use them as a coating for fish.

  • Add to baked goods, such as bread and muffins.

No matter how you choose to consume them, there’s no denying that this flower seed can do your skin and hair a lot of good.

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