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Sunflower Seeds – Bringing to Life Both Towering Flowers and Glowing Skin

Sunflower Seeds for Glowing SkinSunflower seeds are a great snack with great health benefits. Also known as sunflower hearts and kernels, they produce the towering and bright yellow sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) so often grown across American farms or running wild over open fields.

Whether the small seeds are eaten raw or ground up to make oil or butter, they pack a powerful punch. Adding them to your diet helps protect your skin, makes you look younger, and fights skin irritation.

Essential Nutrients and Fatty Acids

The key elements to sunflower seeds that make them so great for your skin are copper, zinc, and essential fatty acids (EFAs). Copper is helpful by producing melanin in your skin when combined with Tyrosinase – an enzyme that’s only beneficial when copper is available. Melanin protects you from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and keeps age spots and wrinkles away. Similarly, zinc helps protect your skin from sunburn, windburn, and general irritation. The two nutrients, copper and zinc, must be balanced in your body to receive the optimum benefits, so a food providing both, such as sunflower seeds, are a great addition to your diet.

EFAs are doubly beneficial in that they help your skin formulate collagen and elastin as well as decrease the risk of acne, eczema, and psoriasis. More specifically, it’s the linoleic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids available in sunflower seeds. The formation of collagen and elastin makes your skin feel smooth and soft, and the antibacterial/anti-inflammatory properties prevent skin irritation.

Additional Hair and Overall Body Benefits

It’s not just your skin that benefits from sunflower seeds; it’s your hair and body, too. Vitamin A, C, and E are all antioxidants found in sunflower seeds that help strengthen your hair. The Vitamin E works overtime by also helping to decrease future scarring, wrinkles, and environmental damage to your skin – giving you a youthful glow. In addition, you’ll receive beta-carotene and selenium which help your locks produce a natural shine.

Iron and magnesium also come as part of this healthy snack. Regular intake of magnesium makes you feel more relaxed, while iron gives you more energy. Both are great for having stress-free and productive days.

Add Sunflower Seeds to Your Diet

Sunflower seeds can easily be eaten raw. Many stores sell them in bags or in bulk aisles already out of their shells. You can toss them over salads and breakfast cereals or add them to a homemade trail mix. Most packaged trail mixes already include them.

Sunflower oil can also be found in stores in the baking and oils aisle. You can drizzle it over salads or use it as a healthy alternative for sautéing vegetables.

To make your own sunflower seed butter, grind up roasted, unsalted seeds in a food processor, blend into a peanut butter texture, and add honey or other sweeteners to taste. You’ll produce a great spread for toast or celery sticks with a marvelous nutty flavor.

If nothing else, grab a handful and eat up! Your body will thank you for it.

04-12-14 | 0 comments | in Nuts, Skin Care

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