Saturday 23 July 2022

4 Side Effects of Eating Sunflower Seeds, Says Dietitian

 Sunflower seeds

When you think of sunflower seeds, you might think of baseball games when players are eating sunflower seeds by the handful. You crack open the hard exterior and enjoy the small seed. You can also turn them into delicious snacks using other ingredients to make something filling and healthy. Or, you can just pop them in your mouth!

Although seeds are known to have some healing powers, it's important you know which ones to grab off the shelves. Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDNFAND award-winning nutrition expert, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Diabetes Create Your Plate Meal Prep Cookbook breaks down the side effects of eating sunflower seeds. 


They may help fight inflammation.

Inflammation in knee

According to Amidor, sunflower seeds provide both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Per one ounce of sunflower seeds, you'll find about three grams and nine grams of each.

Having a healthy dose of mono- and polyunsaturated fats in your diet may help lower inflammation. "Unsaturated fats have been shown to help decrease inflammation," says Amidor. 


You may go over your daily sodium recommendation.

Salt Shaker Spill

"Choosing salted sunflower seeds can certainly send your daily recommended amount of sodium through the roof," says Amidor.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend choosing nuts and seeds that have no sodium.

An example Amidor provides is with one serving of David's Original Sunflower Seeds. These seeds contain 123% of your daily recommended amount or 2,820 milligrams of sodium.

"The recommended daily maximum per the 2020-2025 dietary guidelines is 2,300! If you choose to have sunflower seeds opt for no added salt varieties," suggests Amidor.


They may help improve heart health.

Woman experiencing heart burn and acid reflux from gastroesophageal disease

"A study published in the journal Circulation found that participants who ate more seeds, including sunflower seeds, were associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD risk factors including high cholesterol," explains Amidor.

Similarly, sunflower seeds can help lower blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it can damage the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. This may potentially cause a heart attack or heart failure if worked too hard. 


They may help control blood sugar in people with diabetes.

Diabetes prick check

According to the Cureus Journal of Medical Science, sunflower seeds contain chlorogenic acid, which studies have shown to lower blood sugar. Other studies have also suggested that sunflower seeds provided better glycemic control, meaning these seeds have anti-diabetic properties.

"A study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research looked at the effects of sunflower seed consumption on blood sugar levels in people with diabetes," explains Amidor.

Therefore, this study suggested that those taking sunflower seeds showed a positive and faster decrease in their fasting blood sugar levels compared to those who were in the control group.

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