Discover the incredible weight loss benefits of sunflower seeds, how to best prepare them and how much you should eat to get maximum benefit from sunflower seeds - one of nature's amazing fat burning foods.
Have you ever noticed the beautifully colored sunflowers that stand proudly tall in the open fields, with their huge, wide and golden flowers, and their darker brown centers? This is where sunflower seeds come from. The seeds may be black, gray, or green. They are small seeds with hard, tear-shaped shells that are black or gray. Shells may be streaked with black and white.
Once hulled, these seeds have a mild, nutty flavor, and are firm yet tender in texture.
Do you realize that for over 5,000 years, Native Americans have not only consumed these seeds for the oil, but have also utilized the seeds, as well as the flowers, for decorative purposes, religious occasions and dyes?
You can purchase sunflower seeds throughout the year at your local supermarket, grocery store, health food store or whole foods store.
Fat Burning Benefits of Sunflower Seeds
They are an outstanding food source for Vitamin E and also contain a reasonable amount of thiamin, a B vitamin. They're also a rich in such minerals as manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium and phosphorus, a good way to get another B Vitamin, Pantothenic acid, and an excellent way to get folate and tryptophan into your diet.
They contain Vitamin E, a potent anti-oxidant that can protect the body from harmful traveling free radicals that trigger cardiovascular disease, strokes, various types of cancer and other illnesses.
Linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, is plentiful in these particular seeds, helping to boost your body's metabolic rate so you can burn fat more efficiently. It also helps you to control your weight, and maintain healthy cholesterol, triglyceride, and insulin levels.
Decreasing abdominal fat and aiding muscle development are two bonuses you will receive from the linoleic acid that is found in the seeds. This is a strong weapon to use for your fat burning goal.
Sunflower seeds contain fiber that works with your digestion, plumps up stools, and hastens the elimination of toxins from your body. This gives you the sense of fullness but not the extra calories.
Tryptophan, an amino acid that releases serotonin in the brain, is helpful in making you feel full and in preventing you from eating too much food during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, it makes you feel great and can help with depression.
Sunflower seeds contain magnesium, which is helpful in lowering blood pressure, alleviating symptoms associated with asthma, warding off migraine headaches, and reducing the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. This mineral works to make bones stronger too.
Magnesium adds to energy production and also helps the body metabolize fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
The copper found in the seeds helps form elastin, red blood cells, and is also important in the formation of bones.
Phosphorus works with calcium to promote healthy bone development. In addition, it is vital for the repair and growth of cells.
The mineral called selenium in these seeds contributes to optimum health. Selenium can assist in the synthesis of DNA repair. It is also helpful in preventing cancer cell development.
The B Vitamins known as thiamin and Pantothenic acid help the body to produce energy, break down carbohydrates and fats, help the digestion, help the nervous system to function properly, and they also give extra strength to the wall muscles of the stomach.
Proper Preparation of Sunflower Seeds
You can buy sunflower seeds in two varieties: either in the shell or out of the shell. They are typically available from the store either in bulk quantities or in ready-to-use packages. When you buy seeds in bulk, be sure that the receptacles have lids over them, and check to make sure that the seeds are not moist, shriveled up, or damp. Also, make certain the merchant has a good rotation of bulk foods so you will end up with fresh seeds.
If you buy seeds in bulk receptacles, make sure they are not yellow, broken or dirty. They should have a firm appearance, and not be too soft. If the color is yellow, most likely they are spoiled. These should not be purchased.
Keep the sunflower seeds in the refrigerator in an airtight container after you get them home. This is done because the seeds have a tendency to become rancid very quickly after being exposed to air. Keep them frozen for up to a few months at a time.
If you have seeds still in the shell, use a grinder or seed mill. An alternative is to grind the seeds using a stand mixer. Once the seeds are ground up, pour them into icy water so the shells will separate from the nuts.
It may be a good idea if you cultivate your own sunflowers - I have several plants in my garden; there is a large variety of sunflower seeds available for sale, however, so it is just more convenient to buy them.
Here are some things you can do with sunflower seeds: Add them to salads - either mixed green or fruit salads. They are good with poultry as well as tuna. They also make a nice addition to vegetables.
Why not try a breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs and some added sunflower seeds for extra flavor and nutritional benefits?
A few creative chefs made the decision to grind some sunflower seeds and use them instead of flour (or add them to flour) or to sprinkle them on meat and pieces of chicken.
Try adding approximately one spoonful or handful of sunflower seeds to your cold or hot breakfast cereals. Enjoy a guilt-free treat!
Eat about 1/4 cup for each serving. It contains approximately 105.20 calories and weighs 36 grams.
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