I’ve been searching for new snacks lately, ones that aren’t laden with carbs but will also satisfy my hunger. I’ve been trying raisins, almonds and grapes lately. I am also one of those people who gets hangry (hungry/angry) so it is imperative that I snack so I don’t go postal. I love nuts and trail mix but unfortunately they are quite expensive and I’m not rolling in the dough, if you catch my drift. So I’m strolling through the grocery store the other day and it hits me: Sunflower seeds! First of all, sunflowers are beautiful (just like me, haha…) PLUS Spitz is an official sponsor of the MLB. Baseball is a sport that stars my sports crush, Angels’ pitcher C.J. Wilson.
Sunflower seeds were first used by First Nations people 5,000 years ago as a food and oil source but also used the flowers and roots as a dye. Sunflower seeds (in addition to giving me a 4th degree of separation from Mr. Wilson) have some amazing health benefits:
- They have a high source of folate, which helps your body produce an anti-stress chemical.
- They contain significant amounts of Vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.
- 90 % of the recommended intake of Vitamin E is contained in a quarter cup of sunflower seeds. Vitamin E helps improve your cardiovascular health.
- One ounce will provide 12 grams of protein – giving you healthy hair and skin
- Folate also helps boost your fertility (if you are so inclined to improve upon that)
Sunflower seeds are high in fat, though it is mostly the food fat that is found in all good superfoods. They are prone to rancidity so it is best to store them in the refrigerator.
Of course, one pitfall of sunflower seeds is breaking the shell when you purchase the unshelled variety. Now don’t go spitting them all over your workplace (though that would make for a hilarious story). I just break them myself. You could always put them in a ziploc bag, grab a rolling pin and roll over them to break the hulls.
And with that, CJ and I will leave you contemplating the health benefits of sunflower seeds.