Sunflower seeds are healthy PART 1

Sunflower seeds are healthy PART 1

The sunflower seeds (Helianthus annulus) contain about 20% primary protein and all the essential amino acids in satisfactory amounts. Fats represent 50% of their weight and consist of polyunsaturated fatty acids. 65% of fats constitutes the essential linoleic fatty acid. Monounsaturated oleic fatty acid represents 10% of sunflower seed fats. In the sunflower seeds, the concentration of vitamin E is very high, which is particularly important giving the high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Vitamin E prevents the autooxidation and thus, the formation of free radicals. For this reason, the regular consumption of sunflower seeds is not harmful. Instead, the consumption of sunflower oil in large quantities increases the risk of neoplastic diseases.

Lately, there have been numerous studies done on the relationship of fat and immune system. It has been found that polyunsaturated fatty acids needed, especially linoleic acid, are absolutely indispensable for a good operation of the body mechanisms defense, but there is a limit that must not be exceeded.

Large quantities of fats, especially polyunsaturated, influences negatively the immune system, diminishing its ability to face tumors, allergies, infections and antigens, thymus dependent and independent.

Experiments on rats have shown that fat rich feeding lowers the resistance against malaria and tuberculosis.

Similar results were also obtained in humans. Inferior respiratory tract infections happen more often in overweight children than in those with normal weight.

Children, adolescents and overweight adults presents a deficiency of the cellular immune response.

It was found that the alimentation rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic acid, disrupt the activity of T cells called NK (Natural killer) in the detection and destruction of cancer cells.

Lowering the fats amount in the diet, including essential fatty acids, can have a significant anticancer effect.

Consuming  sunflower seeds, we remove the danger of ingesting excessive amounts of polyunsaturated fatty. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, as well as B complex vitamins.

Seed roasting is not advisable because, at the temperature around 2192 F, proteins undergo a reduction of their biological value, a big part of the lysine becoming unavailable.

On the other hand, at high temperatures, fatty acids, which normally have CIS shape, form converts into TRANS. TRANS forms are harmful.

Also, adding sunflower seeds in breadmaking is not recommended, because in the oven the temperature is around 3632 F, influencing negatively both proteins and fats.

 The healthiest way to consume sunflower seeds is their natural form, not in the form of oil.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition
Tags: oil, seeds, sunflower

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