Sunflower seeds for Diabetes

Sunflower seeds and diabetes


Sunflower reminds us of beautiful summers.  Its radiant color gives us the feeling of happiness and positivity.  It has got its scientific name Helianthus from two Greek words "helios" which means sun, and "Anthus" which means flower. 

Sunflower also symbolizes positivity and strength to admiration and loyalty. Chinese people consider sunflowers as lucky which give lasting happiness and so they are often given at the start of new things and graduations.

Sunflowers are definitely the most popular summer blooms but did you know that sunflower seeds also do have a lot of importance?

 

Let us first see what are the nutrition facts about sunflower seeds:

Sunflower seeds are obtained from the big flower heads of the plant. The edible seed variety has a nutty and mild flavor.

1 ounce or 1/4 cup or 30 grams sunflower seeds contain:

 

Calories

163

Total fat, which includes

14 grams

Saturated fat

1.5 grams

Polyunsaturated fat

9.2 grams

Monounsaturated fat

2.7 grams

Protein

5.5 grams

Carbs

6.5 grams

Fiber

3 grams

Vitamin E

37% of the RDI

Niacin

10% of the RDI

Vitamin B6

11% of the RDI

Folate

17% of the RDI

Pantothenic acid

20% of the RDI

Iron

6% of the RDI

Magnesium

9% of the RDI

Zinc

10% of the RDI

Copper

26% of the RDI

Manganese

30% of the RDI

Selenium

32% of the RDI

 

Benefits of Sunflower Seeds (Helianthus annuus):

  • Sunflower seeds are a rich source of several nutrients which help prevent chronic diseases. 

  • Those nutrients are selenium, beneficial plant compounds (phenolics and flavonoids), and vitamin E.

  • The magnesium, protein, linoleic fatty acids and plant compounds present in sunflower seeds do play a big role in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.

  • Consumption of sunflower seeds helps in reducing the risk of inflammation, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.


How to consume sunflower seeds?

Sunflower seeds which are unshelled is a popular snack but shelled varieties can be eaten straight away or added to various foods such as salads, trail mix,
and baked foods

 

Sunflower seeds can be eaten in various ways like -

  • Add to trail mix.
  • Add in homemade granola bars
  • Have with a green leafy salad.
  • Add to cereal.
  • Add to fruits.
  • Sprinkled over fried/saute vegetables

 

Important Note about sunflower seeds-

Sunflower seeds contain a good amount of fat and so are prone to becoming rancid.  Hence one should store them in an airtight container.

To summarize, sunflower seeds are a great crunchy and nutty snack which are packed with plant compounds and various nutrients. 
These nutrients largely help one fight type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation.

Diabetics, do think of adding sunflower seeds to your diet.

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Do read another interesting blog on pumpkin seeds

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