Enjoy sunflower seeds with the shell on for maximum benefit.
The National Sunflower Association explains that sunflower seeds contain many health benefits. As a natural source of vitamin E, sunflower seeds fight heart disease by eliminating the body of dangerous free radicals. Copper provides oxygen to the blood, resulting in higher energy levels and lower instances of oxidative stress. Sunflower seeds also contain a form of vitamin B called folate that contributes to the development of DNA and RNA, making a diet rich in sunflower seeds essential for pregnant women. In addition, sunflower seeds contain another vital component to human health and well-being. Does this Spark an idea?
What is Fiber?
The Mayo Clinic defines fiber as “roughage or bulk.” It consists of plant food that your body cannot break down and absorb. When you consume fiber, it passes through your digestive system, taking harmful toxins along with it. Doctors at The Mayo Clinic list sunflower seeds as an excellent source of fiber.
How Much Fiber is Present in Sunflower Seeds?
The National Sunflower Association explains that an ounce of sunflower seeds contains 2 grams of fiber. Consider that Americans require 35 grams of fiber every day, but typically ingest only 11 grams. The average American adult can receive his daily recommended intake of fiber by consuming sunflower seeds in addition to other fiber-rich foods.
Benefits of Eating Sunflower Seeds for Fiber
Fiber found in sunflower seeds can ease constipation by regulating bowel movements. It accomplishes this by adding bulk and softness to stools, ensuring that they pass through the body with ease. Similarly, it may help those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome by encouraging healthier bowel movements.
Fiber can also encourage weight loss. Sunflower seeds contain a coarse texture and take longer to chew, giving the brain more time to realize that hunger has been satisfied. In addition, people feel fuller for longer periods of time. This means that snacking on sunflower seeds may prevent people from overeating.
The Mayo Clinic advises that you introduce higher amounts of fiber into your diet gradually. Switching to a high-fiber diet too quickly will cause gas, bloating and even cramps. Instead, gradually increase the amount of fiber consumed in your diet. Allow a few weeks to build up to higher levels of fiber so that the natural bacteria inside your digestive tract can adjust. When eating a high-fiber diet, increase your water intake as well, because fiber must interact with water to work optimally.