Eating food is not only about satisfying hunger, but it’s a basic instinct of every human being and a need for survival. However, food choices also has some extraordinary effects on one’s mood. Interestingly, there are some foods that can help us fight stress. When feeling down or when the world seems to be dull and boring, food can be the ultimate weapon to fight these feelings. One of the best stress-fighting foods are sunflower seeds. They are a nutritious snack that provides a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It is also a great substitute for high-calorie candy bars and other less healthy snacks. Enjoy a handful of these mild nutty tasting seed with a firm, yet tender texture not only for hunger, but to beat stress.
Nutrient-Packed Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamins such as vitamin B1, B5, and E. They also have a healthy dose of selenium, copper, phosphorous, and magnesium – all are essential minerals. Only four tablespoons of sunflower seeds contain half your daily minimums of these nutrients. The fat in the seeds are also healthy for the heart as it increases good cholesterol while protecting the cardiovascular system. Phenolic acids, arginine, and lignans are also helpful in cholesterol maintenance.
Seeds that Beat Stress
The mechanism of stress is a two-way process. Stress increases the blood pressure of the body and this increase in pressure leads us to feel stressed. Sunflower seed, just like lychee fruit are useful in both reducing stress and lowering blood pressure levels.
- Sunflowers seeds which are considered to be among the healthiest foods of the world are rich in folate, which helps with mental fatigue, irritability, insomnia, depression, and even diseases such as gingivitis. It also helps the nerves to properly function and provide support to red blood cells. So the next time you feel stressed about something, there is no need to smoke or eat sweets, instead, have some sunflower seeds to help you calm down and focus better.
- The seeds are rich in magnesium, which counterbalances calcium and help regulate nerve and muscle tone. It also serves as nature’s own calcium channel blocker, preventing it from rushing into the nerve cells and activating them. As the entry of calcium is blocked, the nerves are kept relaxed, thus preventing the body to feel stressed.
- Neurotransmitters are the chemicals responsible for delivering messages to the brain, which have a tremendous impact on mood and feelings. Serotonin is among the body’s most important neurotransmitters. When it is released, it gives a relaxing and content feeling that relieves any form of emotional tension.
- Sunflower seeds are a great source of B-6, which is necessary to fuel the normal depression-fighting chemicals of the body.
- Sunflowers seeds provide the best combination of carbohydrates and tryptophan, which make them functional in fighting depression.
Although sunflower seeds seem small and unimpressive, these seeds are packed with nutrition and health benefits, particularly in beating stress. These are commonly found in their black and white husks or de-shelled for easy snacking. For a healthy and stress-fighting snack, substitute your bacon bits with a handful of these seeds and you will not only like their taste, but the many advantages they will provide to your body.