ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Amazing Sunflower

Updated on June 9, 2012

Listening to recent advertising of prescription medications, no doubt you’ve heard the long lists of “may cause,” and “If you experience,” included with the sales pitch. It’s frightening. Why take a medication listing possible side effects twice as long as what it’s supposed to remedy? Many are asking the same question and are seeking options with alternative medicines.

Native Americans have long used sunflower seeds to improve eyesight, treat constipation, worms, chest pains and ulcers. Modern day nutritionists and scientists have “rediscovered” what they have always known…that nutritional and chemical properties of sunflower seeds are indeed medically beneficial. Sunflowers also produce latex, and are being experimented with to discover their suitability as an alternative crop for producing hypoallergenic rubber.

Experts say raw, unsalted sunflower seeds are healthier than roasted and should be shelled to prevent digestive tract blockage. What make them effective are their minerals, oils and vitamins that include Potassium, Magnesium and Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant said to aid in protecting the body’s cells and maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol. It’s also an anti-inflammatory agent. About 90 percent of daily Vitamin E requirements can be obtained in 1/4 cup.

One cup of non-salted sunflower seeds has at least 1,300 mg and a mere 4 mg of sodium. According to Oregon State University studies, sunflower seeds are a good source of potassium that reduces risk of stroke or kidney stones. Vegetables and fruit are also a good source. Potassium also helps reduce the chance of osteoporosis and lowers blood pressure.

The same 1/4 cup provides approximately 30 percent of one’s daily magnesium requirement. Magnesium assists in protecting nerve cells by preventing excessive calcium buildup. A calcium overload can damage nerve cells that could result in muscle spasms. According to the The George Mateljan Foundation for the World's Healthiest Foods, a not-for-profit organization providing scientifically proven information on the benefits of healthy eating, magnesium also has the following benefits:

· Lowers risk of stroke and heart problems

· Reduces blood pressure

· Eliminates migraines and helps asthma related conditions.

Despite their small size, sunflower seeds pack a large amount of health benefits. 1/4 cup also provides these daily requirements.

· 55 percent of B1

· 90 percent of vitamin E

· 36 percent of manganese

· 25 percent of phosphorus

· 20 percent of folate, a water-soluble B vitamin occurring naturally in food.

· 18 amino acids and traces of other vitamins and minerals.

· Sunflower oil is often used as a source of unsaturated fat in the diet.

The National Sunflower Association says sunflower oil is rich in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, is lower in saturated fat and also healthy for cooking. Some use it topically to promote wound healing and treat certain skin conditions. Many physicians state there is evidence suggesting use of sunflower oil instead of olive oil may lower LDL cholesterol.

This all sounds great, but there may be some side effects associated with the use of sunflower oil for certain people. Allergic reactions have occurred in people sensitive to ragweed, daisies, marigolds and others. Allergy sufferers should see a physician before using it. Also, those with Type 2 diabetes should avoid its use since it tends to contribute to hardening of the arteries and increases blood sugar and fasting insulin levels.

Although sunflower seeds are relatively inexpensive to purchase, many prefer to grow their own. They are hardy semi-annual plants, are easy to grow and also make an ideal garden project for children.

You can buy your own seeds or get them from a friend’s garden. Once they are grown, seeds can be harvested by snipping off the flower head and gently wiping across it with a clean cloth. There are many how-to sites on the web dedicated to growing them.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Awesome, useful and up. This was a wonderful piece on something so simple, yet so full of healthy nutrients.

    • Daffy Duck profile image

      Daffy Duck 

      6 years ago from Cornelius, Oregon

      They do have a lot of health benefits to them. I didn't know they had that many. Sunflowers just have a bright, yellow, sunny, upbeat look about them. It's a cheerful flower.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I, too, marvel at the commercials for "wonder" drugs which have far worse side effects than the condition they purport to cure! Glad to see more and more people are coming to the same conclusion and dusting off "old time" remedies. When you consider "wonder drugs" have only been around for (at most) a bit over 100 years and natural remedies have been successfully used for thousands of years, it's really a no-brainer which path is more healthy and beneficial overall. Not to mention in most cases, a heckuva lot cheaper!

    • Brandon Martin profile image

      Brandon Martin 

      6 years ago from Colorado, USA

      Wow I didn't know like 80% of that info, thanks!

    • unknown spy profile image

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Amazing hub! Voted up!

    • Angelo52 profile image


      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Lots of good information on the sunflower seed and the benefits of eating them. I eat them regularly as part of a nut, seed and dried fruit trail mix I make for myself. Keeps out all the salt commercial mixes usually have. Voted up + shared

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Hey Baby Doll, you're welcome.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)