Hindi Name: सूरजमुखी के बीज
Sunflower seeds are the fruit of the beautiful, bright yellow coloured sunflower. The seeds are emanated from the seed-studded center. The seeds are greyish-green or black embedded in tear-shaped grey or black shells. The seeds, being high in oil content are the main sources to produce sunflower oil. Shelled seeds have mild nutty taste, but tender texture.
Sunflower seeds are classified into three varieties based on their levels of mono-unsaturated, saturated and polyunsaturated fat content: linoleic, high oleic and NuSun. The seeds are also classified by the pattern of their husks. Solid black colour husked seeds are called black oil sunflower seeds. The crops may be called as oilseed sunflower crops. Oilseed crops are usually used to extract the oil content. Striped sunflower seed are used to for food and are popularly called as confectionary sunflower seeds.
Most commonly consumed as a snack, sunflower seeds can also be used as garnishes or ingredients to be added in various recipes. Grayish green or black sunflower seeds have a nutty flavor, tender texture and high oil content. They are sold shelled or unshelled and can be eaten alone as a snack. They are also added to a variety of dishes for a unique taste, texture and its nutritional benefits.
In-shell Sunflower seeds are used all across the world but are most popular in Mediterranean and Asian countries. They are most popularly consumed in roasted form and also packed in various roasted flavours. Sunflower seeds are often added to breads and other baked goods. They are often used for feeding birds and pets.
1. Sunflower seeds are a rich source of nutrients, fibers and healthy fats.
2. The seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E, preventing cardiovascular diseases.
3. Phytosterol, a compound found in sunflower seeds reduce the cholesterol level.
4. The high magnesium content reduces asthma and prevents migraine headache.
5. Sunflower oil is high in Vitamin E and low in saturated fat content. It makes the oil an excellent option for heart patients.
6. It is good for the heart, nerves, muscles, blood vessels and has anti-inflammatory properties.
7. It also promotes good bone health and proper digestion.
Tip: When buying unshelled sunflower seeds, make sure they aren’t yellow or they may be rancid.
Did you know?
Sunflower was first grown by American Indians for food and oil.
One sunflower can have up to 2000 seeds.
Sunflowers are one of the fast growing plants.
Instead of popcorn, sunflower seeds are a popular movie snack in Israel and Turkey.