Suffering from high cholesterol levels can have a bad influence on the health of the heart, resulting in several cardiovascular diseases, which can be life-threatening in certain cases. A recent research has proved that there are chances that sunflower seeds may influence cholesterol levels in a positive manner. Rich in a number of nutrients, sunflower seeds are said to be beneficial for the overall health of the body system. You can take sunflower seeds in the raw form, after removing the kernel. Many people also enjoy the salted version of these seeds. The health benefits of sunflower seeds are plenty, and can be seen especially on the cardiovascular system.
Relation Between Sunflower Seeds and Cholesterol Levels
So are sunflower seeds bad for cholesterol? Well, there are a few studies which have shown that taking sunflower seeds can lower high cholesterol. The body gets affected in different ways in case there is an increase in the cholesterol levels. The cardiovascular system is the first to get affected since cholesterol forms deposits in the blood vessels, thus clogging them. The clogged blood vessels can hamper blood circulation, and affect the heart and other vital organs in the body.
Sunflower seeds are a rich source of linolenic acid, which helps in removing the blockage in the blood capillaries and improvises circulation. The phytosterols in these seeds work towards increasing the levels of high density lipoprotein (or HDL), also known as good cholesterol, in the body. In turn, it also helps reduce the levels of bad cholesterol, referred to as low density lipoprotein (or LDL), which may harm the heart in many ways.
The person having abnormal levels of LDL in the body is more prone to stroke and heart attacks. Excess LDL is scavenged from the bloodstream by HDL and sent to the liver for its breakdown into smaller molecules so that it is easily assimilated in the body. HDL also helps curb the level of LDL, so that it does not rise and cause havoc in the body system. A healthy level of HDL is always better for a healthier outcome of the heart and the cardiovascular system.
Benefits of Including Sunflower Seeds
People who snack on raw or salted sunflower seeds have been known to reap a number of health benefits from it. Apart from lowering the erratic levels of bad cholesterol (or LDL), eating sunflower seeds also has a few other positive effects on the health of an individual. Listed below are some of the positive effects of including raw sunflower seeds.
- Magnesium is replete in sunflower seeds, which helps prevent and mitigate a number of disorders like headaches, asthma and heart diseases. This essential mineral also facilitates the healthy functioning of the heart and other organs.
- High content of selenium in the seeds helps ward off the risk of cancer. It prevents the unhealthy growth and development of certain cells, which is one of the first signs of cancer. It also counteracts against the already unhealthy cells and destroys their advancement.
- Vitamin E, another essential nutrient, is an effective antioxidant which helps fight against the free radicals in the body, that are responsible for causing a number of infections and diseases. Another vital role played by vitamin E is that it helps prevent the onset of complications related to diabetes in patients suffering from this disorder.
- Women, especially in the menopausal phase have been benefited by snacking on raw as well as roast sunflower seeds. Symptoms of menopause like irritability, mood swings and hot flashes can be mitigated with the routine consumption of this healthy, alternative snack.
Cooking in sunflower oil is also a healthy option to stay fit and disease free. To earn positive results from this natural remedy, you must be aware of the amount that can be taken. For this you can get in touch with your health care provider, who will help you in determining the quantity.