Also Known as
Surajmukhi ke beej
Looking for a health-promoting snack? Enjoy a handful of mild nutty tasting sunflower seeds with their firm but tender texture to take care of your hunger and get a wealth of nutrition at the same time. Sunflower seeds are available at your local market throughout the year.
Sunflower seeds are the gift of the beautiful sunflower that has rays of petals emanating from its bright yellow, seed-studded center. The flower produces grayish-green or black seeds encased in tear-dropped shaped gray or black shells that oftentimes feature black and white stripes. Since these seeds have very high oil content, they are one of the main sources of polyunsaturated oil.
How to Select
Sunflower seeds are sold either shelled or unshelled and are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the sunflower seeds are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure the seeds' maximal freshness.
When purchasing unshelled seeds, make sure that the shells are not broken or dirty. Additionally, they should be firm and not have a limp texture. When purchasing shelled seeds, avoid those that appear yellowish in color as they have probably gone rancid. In addition, if you are purchasing sunflower seeds from a bulk bin smell them to ensure that they are still fresh and have not spoiled.
· They can be relished alone or in combination, as per one's choice.
· Add sunflower seeds to your yoghurt, soup or salad recipe.
· Garnish mixed green salads with sunflower seeds.
· Adding sunflower seeds to scrambled eggs will give them a unique taste and texture.
· Use fine ground sunflower seeds to dust your meats with in place of flour.
· Sprinkle sunflower seeds onto hot and cold cereals and desserts too.
How to Store
Since sunflower seeds have a high fat content and are prone to rancidity, it is best to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can also be stored in the freezer since the cold temperature will not greatly affect their texture or flavor.
· A handful of sunflower seeds will take care of your hunger, while also enhancing your health by supplying significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E.
· They are also a very good source of vitamin B1. In addition, sunflower seeds are a good source of manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorous, vitamin B5 and folate.
· It has Anti-Inflammatory and Cardiovascular Benefits.
· Sunflower Seeds' Phytosterols that lowers and enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.
· They calm your nerves, muscles and blood vessels.
· Magnesium is also necessary for healthy bones and energy production.
· Sunflower seeds are also a good source of selenium, a trace mineral that is of fundamental importance to human health.
· As a rich source of Thiamin and Niacin, it protects the health of the nerves and brain as well as skin and digestive tract.
· The flour made from sunflower seeds is one of the richest source of Iron, hence beneficial in the treatment of anaemia.