Useful and harmful properties of sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are known, perhaps, to everyone, and some regularly use them or even do not represent their life without them. But only a few guess about the properties of such a product. Learn all about the seeds to learn how to properly prepare them and eat with health benefits.
Such simple and amazing seeds.
The homeland of sunflower is America, and in Europe such a product, like many others, was introduced by the Spanish conquistadors. But initially the plant was perceived solely as an ornamental and was planted in parks and gardens, delighting with its sunny petals.
And only in the XIX century began to show food interest in the seeds. At first they tasted, and then they tried to extract the oil. And today seeds are in great demand, and affordable, tasty and healthy sunflower oil is recognized worldwide.
Still, edible seeds are not all flowers of sunflower. So, wild or decorative species have small and tasteless seeds.But then breeders managed to bring many other varieties, and the flower diameter of some of them reaches a meter! And the seeds are so large that they can be compared in size with pumpkin seeds.
What do seeds consist of?
The composition of sunflower seeds can be safely called unique, because there is so much useful in it! For example, here you can find vitamins E, groups B, A, D, F and some others. Seeds also contain magnesium, zinc, amino acids (for example, arginine) and unsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols, phosphorus, potassium, chromium, copper, molybdenum, selenium, cobalt, iron, and much more. The caloric value of 100 grams of the product is about 600 calories.
What is useful sunflower seeds? Here are some of their properties:
- Vitamin D ensures proper absorption of calcium by the body, and also significantly improves the condition of the mucous membranes and skin.
- Vitamin E is a powerful natural antioxidant that neutralizes the activity of free radicals and thereby prevents the development of cancer and slows the aging and destruction of tissues.
- Seeds are very beneficial for the cardiovascular system.First, the potassium contained in them helps to strengthen the heart muscle. Secondly, the amino acid arginine reduces vascular permeability and normalizes their functioning. Thus, regularly using seeds in moderation, you can protect yourself from coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction.
- Phytosterols are similar in structure to cholesterol, but they surprisingly reduce its absorption by the body and control the level, protecting against dangerous and insidious atherosclerosis.
- Zinc is beneficial for men: it increases the viability and motility of sperm.
- Magnesium is necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system: it allows you to increase stress resistance and eliminate the effects of experiences, as well as strengthen nerve fibers. In addition, this element helps to relieve tension in the muscles and fully relax.
- Sunflower seeds normalize metabolic processes and thereby improve the work of all body systems.
- A handful of seeds is a great source of energy. They have a lot of carbohydrates, and they are not absorbed immediately, but gradually, providing satiety and a surge of strength.
- Vitamin A helps to maintain visual acuity and improve skin condition.
- Useful seeds for women, because they not only have a positive effect on the condition of nails, hair, teeth and skin, but also contribute to the normalization of hormonal levels.
Are sunflower seeds harmful? Yes, if they are used incorrectly.
- Firstly, it is worth remembering about the high caloric content: if you abuse this product, the extra pounds will not keep you waiting and will certainly rest on your stomach, hips and other problem areas.
- Secondly, the seeds can spoil the tooth enamel, because many people clean them with their teeth.
- Thirdly, there are contraindications. These include renal or hepatic failure, exacerbation of gastric or duodenal ulcers.
How to store?
Store seeds both raw and fried, preferably in a dry, protected from light and rather cool place in some closed, but still air-permeable container, for example, in a canvas bag or in a glass jar with a lid. In this case, the product will retain its properties and taste.
How to use?
You can eat and raw, and heat-treated, that is, roasted seeds.But roasting should be moderate, otherwise the seeds will lose some of the beneficial properties and accumulate harmful carcinogens. In addition, you should not remove the peel in advance, as the peeled seeds in the air quickly oxidize, and some substances are destroyed.
How to cook?
The easiest way to cook sunflower seeds is to fry them. But it should be done without oil, because it is contained in the product itself. You can lay the seeds on a heated frying pan and cook them, stirring constantly, for about 10 or 15 minutes. Add salt if desired.
The second method is roasting in the oven, and it can be considered more useful. Preheat the oven to about 150-170 degrees, place the seeds on a parchment-covered tray or baking tray and cook for about 20-25 minutes.
You can also make delicious desserts from sunflower seeds. Most Popular:
- Halva. For its preparation you will need 1.5 cups of flour, 3 cups of peeled seeds, a glass of water, a glass of sugar, a bag of vanilla and half a cup of butter. First, prepare the seeds: peel them and fry them in a pan, then mince them several times. Fry the flour slightly without butter.Prepare the syrup by mixing the sugar and water, bringing it to a boil and then thickening over the fire. Now mix the melted butter, a lot of seeds, flour, vanillin and syrup. Put the mixture in the form and leave to freeze.
- Kozinaki. It will take: a tablespoon of honey, 300 grams of peeled sunflower seeds, 4-5 tablespoons of sugar, ½ cup of water and two tablespoons of butter. Roast the seeds and peel. Mix sugar with water, make syrup, add honey and butter. Put the seeds in the mold, pour the sweet mass and let the dessert freeze.
How to use for medicinal purposes?
For a long time practiced the use of seeds in traditional medicine. The most popular recipes are:
- With bronchitis or cough, you need to pour 50 grams of raw seeds with a glass of water. Put the container on the fire, bring to a boil and keep on the stove until about a third of the liquid evaporates. Strain the composition and take two tablespoons three times a day after meals.
- To improve vision, you can make a decoction. To do this, 300 grams of peeled raw seeds, pour three liters of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from the heat and let it stand for an hour, then strain and drink during the day, for example, instead of tea or water (you can take up to a liter of money per day).
- If during pregnancy there was toxicosis, then to alleviate the condition it is recommended to take a few raw seeds, clean them and slowly chew.
- Use sunflower seeds in cosmetology. For example, you can skip them through a meat grinder or grind in a coffee grinder and use as a nourishing mask. Put the gruel on the face, cover it with a cloth and leave for an hour and a half. Then rinse with warm water.
- For preventive purposes, it will be enough to eat a handful of sunflower seeds for breakfast.
- To protect against atherosclerosis, use a decoction. 500 grams of raw sunflower seeds, place in a saucepan, pour two liters of water. Boil the mixture on the fire for two hours, then strain and drink a quarter glass 3-4 times a day. The course of treatment lasts two weeks, then make a week's break.
- To strengthen the immune system, you can eat a vitamin mixture prepared from a teaspoon of peeled raw seeds, a teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast.
Be sure to eat the seeds, but do it with health benefits!
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