Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, protein, fat and fiber, sunflower seeds are one of the healthiest and most nutritious seeds one can consume. In fact, eating these little powerhouses of nutrients can not only improve your health in many ways but can also help you lose weight.
Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, vitamins B, copper, selenium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and folate. And like most seeds and nuts, they also contain plenty of essential fatty acids. Furthermore, sunflower seeds are a great source of fiber and protein.
Consuming sunflower seeds can lead to many health benefits, including:
- Better heart health,
- Increased body’s antioxidant capacity,
- Improved cholesterol (lower LDL, higher HDL),
- Reduced overall inflammation,
- Healthier thyroid function,
- Lower risk of osteoporosis and bone loss,
- Better blood sugar levels.
Besides improving your health, sunflower seeds can also help you drop weight. Since they’re high in fiber, they can make you feel fuller for a longer period of time, they can reduce constipation and bloating, and they can make you eat less food in general.
However, it’s important to note that if you’re eatng an overly processed and high in calorie diet, adding sunflower seeds won’t help you much. It’s best to eat a balanced, whole-foods diet, exercise regularly and then add healthy snacks such as sunflower seeds to lose weight.
Here is how you can incorporate sunflower seeds into a balanced diet:
As a snack: if you’re feeling hungry between meals, instead of grabbing chips or a candy, go for sunflower seeds. They’re highly nutritious and filling.
As a part of a meal: add some sunflower seeds in your oatmeal for breakfast; or, add them to homemade whole grain bread and other baked goods.
As a part of a salad: toss some sunflower seeds to your regular veggie salad or your lunch tuna salad.
As a whole meal: if you need to lose weight and you’re otherwise eating a healthy, balanced diet, feel free to eat a handful of sunflower seeds with tea when you’re not feeling particularly hungry, for example for dinner.