I was eating a Cran-Lemon Twister PROBAR® the other day and as I typically do started reading the ingredients and saw “organic raw sunflower seeds” which I hadn’t recall seeing before.
When I think of sunflower seeds the first thing that comes to mind is high school baseball. I don’t recall learning or even playing much my Sophomore year but the one thing I did learn to do was to eat a mouth full of sunflower seeds. I’d skillfully crack open one seed at a time and after spitting out the empty shell would enjoy the seed. I even learned to store the empty seeds on opposite side of my mouth. (impressed aren’t you?)
Besides the salt or BBQ flavor I figured that eating sunflower seeds did little for me aside from passing away the time on the bench.
It wasn’t until reading “organic raw sunflower seeds” and my subsequent query did I start to learn that perhaps the time on the bench wasn’t wasted.
Sunflower seeds contain a number of vitamins and minerals, of which Vitamin E is most concentrated. According to WHFoods.com Vitamin E is:
…the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing structures and molecules, such as cell membranes, brain cells, and cholesterol.
If roasted, rather than served raw like in PROBAR® the impact of nutritional benefits are reduced dramatically. By keeping the seeds raw the vitamins and minerals levels are left unaffected.
Another interesting thing that I learned about sunflower seeds was that they contain selenium which although toxic if taken in large quantities when taken in moderation it is an essential mineral in reduction of antioxidant enzymes. Additionally it helps to prevent cancer and proliferation of cancer cells by helping repair DNA.
I guess my baseball coach did me a favor that sophomore season. Who would have thought sitting the bench could have been so beneficial?