Sunflower seeds are very consumed foods. Although sometimes, most of the pipes that come in the bag contain a lot of salt, the edible part is very healthy and nutritious.
The pipes come from sunflower (Helianthus annuus), a herbaceous plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. This plant is native to North and Central America and its main producers are Russia, China, the United States, and Argentina. This plant is beautiful and contains hundreds of seeds.
Read also: Is Olive Oil Or Sunflower Oil Healthier?
Benefits of sunflower seeds
But what are the benefits of these seeds? How does eating our pipes benefit our health? In the following lines, you can find the properties and benefits of this edible food.
1. Improve mood
Sunflower seeds are rich in proteins, which contain amino acids, including tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that, at low levels, is associated with depression and obsession.
Research seems to indicate that tryptophan can help improve mood symptoms in women with premenstrual syndrome, as well as help people with depression. However, it is necessary to consume this product with carbohydrate-rich foods to improve absorption, as other amino acids can compete with tryptophan for transport to the brain.
However, carbohydrates can divert these amino acids and help increase tryptophan levels in the brain.
2. Improve male fertility
Pipes contain zinc, a mineral that is important for male fertility. According to research, this mineral can increase the amount of sperm and its quality. Approximately 100 grams of sunflower seeds contain 5 mg of zinc.
3. Prevents pregnancy problems
Sunflower seeds are a rich source of folic acid, a vitamin B that is required by our body for cell division and to make genetic material. It is also very important during pregnancy.
Insufficient levels of this vitamin increase the risk of neural tube and spina bifida defects in the baby and increase the chances of low birth weight or premature birth. Therefore, pregnant women should consume these seeds so that the baby can form well and enjoy good health.
4. Help control weight
Tryptophan, present in these seeds, helps control weight because it allows you to regulate your appetite. Therefore, it is considered a satiable food.
Pipes also contain chlorogenic acid and some scientific evidence suggests that this component may be useful for weight loss. In addition, this food is rich in healthy fats that are also ideal for losing fat.
5. Improve hair health
The pipes have biotin, a vitamin B necessary to metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Science states that biotin can help improve hair health, which is made of protein. In fact, animal studies have concluded that the introduction of sunflower seeds in dogs' diets improved the health of their hair. Studies suggest that eating sunflower seeds means benefits for people's hair.
6. Fight fungal infections
Fungal infections are quite difficult to treat and can also come back after treatment. But sunflower seeds could be a secret weapon against these nasty infections. According to one study, 90.5% of people who applied ozonized sunflower oil twice a day for three months managed to eradicate the infection completely.
Of the entire sample, only 2.8% of people who used this treatment experienced a relapse during the year after their treatment.
7. It improves the skin
The skin also benefits from this food, as sunflower seeds prevent it from drying out. The oil that pipes improves hydration by forming a protective barrier on the skin and preventing moisture from escaping.
One study found that the application of this oil directly on the skin, over a period of four weeks, preserved the integrity of the skin and improved hydration.
8. Help you sleep better
The diet can have a beneficial effect on stress, and the same is true when falling asleep. Tryptophan, the amino acid that participates in the synthesis of serotonin, is also essential in the synthesis of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.
However, you must remember that it is necessary to consume sunflower seeds with some carbohydrates to promote the absorption of this amino acid and thus achieve restful sleep.
9. Prevents Parkinson's disease
Vitamin E present in pipes is a vital nutrient for health. The research concludes that this vitamin can help protect against Parkinson's disease, a disease that affects movement and makes it difficult to carry out daily actions such as walking, talking, swallowing food. Therefore, vitamin E can have a neuroprotective effect, thus reducing the risk of Parkinson's disease.
10. Improve cardiovascular health
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Sunflower seeds have nutrients that can help keep your heart healthy, as they are a great source of healthy fats and beneficial phytosterols. Fats help balance blood sugar levels, and together with phytosterols, lower bad cholesterol.
11. Improve bone health
This food is rich in calcium and therefore improves bone health. Health professionals recommend the consumption of this food when people suffer from bone decalcification.