Close your eyes and think about Sunflower Seeds.  Where are you transported to?  They take me back to the baseball park where I had my first official job keeping score for fifty cents a game.  A handful of nutty-tasting Sunflower Seeds still in the hull take the edge off hunger while keeping you busy separating out the shells!  Not only are they are great snack, Sunflower Seeds add oomph to salads, stir fry and more.  

Thought to have originated in Mexico, they are one of the first plants to be cultivated in the United States.  Native Americans harvested Sunflowers for over 5,000 years and put the entire plant to good use.  They used the seeds as food and as an oil source.  The flowers, roots, and stems served various purposes including as dye pigment, snakebite ointment, and building material.  Spanish explorers brought Sunflowers back to Europe where they were subsequently introduced to neighboring countries.  

Soaking Sunflower Seeds is an excellent way to make them more digestible, especially if you are making them into a nut butter.  When they absorb water, they are easier for the body to break down.  Cover the seeds with about an inch of water and soak them for four to eight hours.  This is best done in the refrigerator because they can start to ferment if the temperature is too warm.  Because the soak water will be bitter, drain and rinse the Sunflower Seeds thoroughly and remove the skin debris that has soaked off.  

Although the most nutrient-dense way to eat nuts and seeds is in their raw form, research studies have shown that low roasting temperatures minimally change the nutrient content.  Dry roasting is a delicious way to enhance their flavor and sweetness.  It’s easy!  Here’s the drill:

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Place one layer of unsoaked Sunflower Seeds on a baking sheet.
  • Roast for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E, which is necessary for muscle maintenance, formation of red blood cells, and immune health, among other benefits.  A 2015 study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that Vitamin E deficiency may be more common than previously thought.     

Although there are more, here are two final reasons that Sunflower seeds add oomph!  They provide healthy monounsaturated fat similar to Olive Oil.  Additionally, they are rich in phytosterols which have been found to reduce cholesterol absorption by up to 50 percent!  Grab a handful of delicious fun.  START SOMEWHERE including more real food in your day.  LIVE YOUNGER by giving your body more of what it was designed for.  You can do it.  I will help you!   

Sunflower Seeds Add Oomph

Sunflower Seeds Add Oomph