Sunflower seeds are harvested from the plant Helianthus annuus, or common sunflower, that belongs to the Asteraceae family and is characterized by a large and typical inflorescence that tends to turn towards the sun. Although small, sunflower seeds are a source of valuable nutrients for the health of the body, they bring indeed vitamins of group B but, above all, vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant, mineral salts such as zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, but also folic acid, very important during pregnancy for the health and the development of the fetus, and essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid, able to lower bad LDL cholesterol. For what concerns vitamin E, that is abundant in these seeds, it plays a role against free radicals and aging processes but also helps reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack and some types of cancer. Indeed, as evidenced by the 1991 study published on Lancet, low levels of vitamin E can increase the risk of angina pectoris and, as reported in the 1993 article on The New England Journal of Medicine, vitamin E integration would have a role in reducing the risk of heart disease. However, taking vitamin E as a supplement is a highly debated issue, there are those who claim that it does not have a protective effect on the heart or that can even be dangerous to health while others support its effectiveness. On the contrary, what it is recommended is to take food rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants because this habit is related to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, as reported on the American Journal of Terapeutics in 2010 by a group of researchers of the Chicago Medical School as well as in the guidelines of the American Heart Association. You can add a tablespoon of sunflower seeds to the breakfast yogurt or to your salads, use them to decorate the bread prepared by you, but you can also eat the sunflower seeds mixed with other seeds as a tasty snack. Be careful that the seeds aren’t rancid because of poor conservation, this bad conservation can indeed increase free radicals.
Vitamins and mineral salts, folic acid and linoleic acid, LDL cholesterol control, antioxidant action ensured by the presence of vitamin E.