ALL ABOUT SUNFLOWER SEEDS
Sunflower seeds are the fruiting bodies of the sunflower plant. Depend on varieties, sunflower seeds have many colours, may be black, dark brown, greybrown, beige or striped. So far, some 55 different varieties have been identified.
These days Sunflower became very popular in many countries, where having sunny and very warm summer months with very dry conditions during the ripening of the seeds. The main exporters of sunflower seeds are Ukraine, Russia, Argentina and China.
There are 2 types of in-shell sunflower seeds
Black sunflower seeds
The single best wild bird food. These small and thin inshell seeds are easy to open and are rich in fat and protein.
Striped sunflower seeds
Are easily recognized for its great size and it whitish black color with its stripes alongside. The grain is classified according to the size of its diameter.
Size: 20/64 (>7.94mm) - 22/64 (> 8.73mm) - 24/64 (> 9.54mm)
Base on the applications, sunflower kernels are sorted into 3 main types.
SUNFLOWER KERNEL "BAKERY"
Sunflower bakery kernel is produced from oil sunflower seeds. With pleasant flavor, nutty texture and nutritous benefits, they are having become one of the leading ingredients used in Bakery industry..
SUNFLOWER KERNEL "CONFECTIONARY"
Confectionery kernels are produced from non-fat sunflower seeds and are larger than Bakery grade. They are used as snack or addition to foods, such as to sprinkle on bakery or coat around chocolate.
SUNFLOWER KERNELS CHIPS
Sunflower Chips are broken kernels that have the same specifications as bakery kernels, with the difference that most of them are smaller than 1/2 kernel. They are used mainly as direct supplement in bird food, but also in food processing process.
SUNFLOWER SEED BENEFITS
There are quite a few impressive health benefits of sunflower seeds, mainly come from their significant huge amount of essential vitamins contained in just small seed.
1 ounce of seeds provide our body with
9.4mg Vitamin E (47% DV)
0.4mg Thiamin (Vitamin B1) (18% DV)
2.4mg Niancin (Vitamin B3) (12% DV)
0.4mg Vitamin B6 (19% DV)
64mcg Folate (16% DV)
0.5mg Copper (26% DV)
15mcg Selenium (22%)
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E travels throughout the body to neutrolize free radicals and performe important antioxidant function. Balanced levels of vitamin E have been linked to a lower overall reduced risk of early death from cardiovascular disease.
Control Cholesterol Levels
Phytosterols are found in the highest concentrations in sunflower seeds. They are proven to be a great cholesterol-controlling compound. A handful of these seeds every day can help protect your heart by lowering LDL cholesterol levels and plaque deposition in the arteries and blood vessels.
Good for pregnancy
Sunflower seeds are a rich source of folate. This B vitamin is required by our bodies for cell division and for making genetic material. And it’s vitally important during pregnancy.
Studies have connected selenium to preventing the spread and occurrence of cancer. This trace mineral functions as a powerful antioxidant in the body. It can slow down the oxidative stress and neutralize the free radicals before they can cause too much damage.
Promote Weight Loss
Sunflower seeds contain the significant amount of B Vitamins, such as B1, B3 and B6, which help to ensure macronutrients are broken down in more efficient fashion. These vitamins help in the weight loss process, and can help keep energy levels high while calories are restricted.