10 Health benefits of Sunflower

The origin of sunflower

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an herbaceous plant that originates from South America. It is considered as the first culture cultivated by the Maya in the fertile soil around the Amazon River. Indians from Peru and Mexico are producing sunflower as a basic cereal even before the 5 000 years. They are used sunflower to get flour from the sunflower seeds and added them to the other types of flour to prepare bread. They are also used sunflower seeds to produce manual squeezing oil.

Basic characteristics of sunflower

The name sunflower is derived from word Helios meaning sun and athos meaning flower. Sunflower is one of the one-year crop cultures, which is most commonly used in the industry for the production of oil, but also in industries for the production of animal feed. 

The root of the sunflower is very long and enters deep into the earth, and sunflowers mostly sitting near wetland areas because they are well-drained and clean soil from various pollutants in nature.

The long and a hard woody stem which is covered with sharp hairs, bears distinctive flowers, which have petals of yellow color and the black central part where placed sunflower seeds. In addition to yellow petals, there are varieties of sunflowers with purple or orange petals.

Sunflower seeds fall into the high-energy foods of plant origin because they contain lots of vegetable oils and fats. Proportion of fat in the sunflower seeds, are even 52%, as compared to other nutritive substances.

Sunflower seeds when mature are black and gray color, oval shape tapered at the top and slightly flattened from the side. Seeds are the main source of vegetable oil and they are highly rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional composition of sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds fall into the high-energy foods of plant origin because they contain lots of vegetable oils and fats. Proportion of fat in the sunflower seeds, are even 52%, as compared to other nutritive substances.

The main share of fat in sunflower seeds makes essential unsaturated fatty acids - linoleic (omega 6) and oleic fatty acid (omega 9).

Among other nutritional elements, sunflower seeds contain protein (20%), as well as carob hydrate (20%). Roasted sunflower seeds have a protein as well as a piece of meat.

Vitamin composition of sunflower seeds:

- Vitamins of the B complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, folic acid)
- Vitamin E

Mineral composition of sunflower seeds:

- Magnesium
- Manganese
- Selenium
- Copper
- Phosphorus (20 times more than fish meat)
- Zinc
- Calcium
- Potassium
- Sodium
- Iron

Health benefits of sunflower

1. Prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease

2. Prevention and treatment of cancer

3. The proper functioning of the nervous system and prevention of multiple sclerosis

4. The treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, headaches

5. It slows down the aging of cells

6. Improves eyesight

7. Cures eczema and other skin diseases

8. Helps with nervousness, stress, raise immunity

9. It is desirable that men consume sunflower because it’s rich in vitamin E, in order to prevent prostate enlargement and prostate cancer

10. Students and people who are engaged in mental work are recommending chewing sunflower seeds instead spreading intensive energy due to mental work.

Method oil pulling by Ayurveda

The increasingly popular method of therapy shaking sunflower oil, comes from traditional Indian medicine called Ayurveda, and is over 5,000 years old.

Using this procedure you will be removed from the body harmful substances which have a beneficial effect on the immune system and optimal performance of cells and organs. The method is simple to use, and is implemented by one teaspoon of oil in the mouth slowly shaken for 15 to 20 minutes. Be careful not to swallow oil. Upon completion spat out the liquid, which should be completely white? Then rinse the mouth with water, toothbrush and toothpaste you brush your teeth. The procedure can be performed several times a day (1-3 times), always on an empty stomach, and recommended cold unrefined sunflower oil.

Applications and a means of keeping sunflower seeds

For better taste it is recommend to goods fry sunflower seeds on dry pan.

Fried sunflower seeds can be added to sauces, soups, salads; can be added to the dough for the integral bread, with the other seeds. It can be milled with flax, cumin, sesame, peanuts so it makes homemade wholemeal crackers or even butter.

Besides sunflower seeds which can nibble on or add to dishes, from sunflower can obtained and sunflower oil, which is best used in unrefined state because it retains all the important nutrients.

Sunflower seeds should be kept in a dark place in a glass jar with a lid.

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