Sunflower seeds, peanuts and almonds are all excellent for helping you burn fat off of your body, while also being tremendously healthy for you in many different ways. Unless you have an allergy to them, they can be extremely helpful in your diet! These seeds provide great health benefits in many different areas, with unique tastes and textures that you will surely enjoy eating on a consistent basis! All three of these contain vitamins and minerals that help your body maintain optimum performance, and can be especially helpful for athletes who do a large amount of traveling.
Sunflower Seed Benefits
Sunflower seeds will provide your body with a large amount of Vitamin-E, a necessary and often overlooked vitamin in your daily diet. The National Sunflower Association explained that an ounce of sunflower seeds provides 76 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E. This vitamin is an antioxidant which helps protect cells against cell damage from free radicals amongst other benefits. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, people who consume large amounts of the vitamin E have a generally lower risk of heart disease than people who do not. This vitamin can also work with others to maintain healthy eyes, and protect against macular degeneration according to the UMMC. Along with this, the National Sunflower Association says that an ounce of sunflower seeds contains approximately 24 percent of the recommended daily amount of selenium for men, and 31 percent for women. These micronutrients are often overshadowed by macronutrient goals by many bodybuilders or people training solely for their physique, but are vital to building a healthy and useful body. Especially for athletes, micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients.
Source of Healthy Fats
Sunflower seeds contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, also known as the “good” fats since they help raise HDL (good cholesterol) while reducing LDL (unhealthy cholesterol levels). The National Sunflower Association says that about 90 percent of the fat in sunflower seeds is unsaturated (healthy) fats. The seeds also contain protein and is effective in building and maintaining muscle tissue in the body. I have written about the benefits of dietary fats many times before, and will continue to assert that a diet high in healthy fats is the absolute healthiest for you. Healthy fats are crucial for athletes since they are often processed at the speed of carbohydrates but have the longevity of protein in terms of energy. Furthermore, this type of fat actually has direct impact on your abdominal region, helping to enable the fat which is stored in this region to be burned more efficiently!
High Amounts of Folate
Folate is a form of Vitamin- B found naturally in foods, with the synthetic form of this vitamin being called folic acid as explained by the Office of Dietary Supplements. Folate is necessary for the body to produce new red blood cells, and for metabolism and maintenance of normal levels of homocysteine-an amino acid. There are not too many foods which are abundantly rich in folate, and sunflower seeds are definitely one of them!
Along with these already mentioned benefits, sunflower seeds also contain remarkable amounts of several other vitamins and minerals. A ¼ cup serving of sunflower seeds contains:
- 16 grams of fat
- 190 calories
- 34% of selenium
- 33% of phosphorus
- 82% of vitamin E
- 70% DV of copper
- 34% of Manganese
- 20% of Folate
These minerals help with the transportation of oxygen to the red blood cells, and also to several other parts of the body. They maintain the immune system, stabilize blood glucose and blood cholesterol, and also prevent constipation.
Benefits of Peanuts
Peanuts have high amount of monounsaturated fat, and monounsaturated fats are very healthy for the heart and other parts of your body. Along with this, peanuts contain unique vitamins and minerals such as:
- Vitamins B1, B3 and E
Potential to Reduce Stroke
Based on preliminary animal studies on resveratrol which is the purified nutrient in intravenous form which was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, it was observed that this phytonutrient can improve blood flow in the brain by about 30% which reduces stroke greatly. According to peanut-institute.org, peanuts contain both arginine and resveratrol. As stated on their website, “arginine, an amino acid that is high in peanuts, is a precursor to nitric oxide, which helps expand blood vessels and can decrease blood pressure. Resveratrol, also found in grapes and wine, improves longevity and performance, and reduces inflammation.” Combining these two together forms a very potent team to fighting stress of daily life as well as aging, and helping to prevent stroke.
Evidence from several studies indicate that certain nutrients found in peanuts such as folic acid, phytosterols, and resveratrol may actually have anti-cancer effects, as peanut have actually been considered for a long time as a preventive food for colon cancer. Peanuts also have high amounts of fiber which help to stabilize your digestive system when ate in moderation and consistently.
Other health benefits of peanuts include:
- Helps protect against Alzheimer’s and also age related cognitive decline
- Helps to prevent gallstones
- Reduces your chance of weight gain
- Due to the presence of antioxidants, it enhances a healthy heart
Almonds are recognized as one of the most nutritious nuts aside from the fact that the already have a delicious taste. Almonds are beneficial to your health because they help prevent many diseases. It serves as a good source of minerals and vitamins such as:
- Vitamins B and E
- Healthy fats
Helps Prevent Heart Attack
Studies by countless experts have shown that people who eat almonds frequently (about five times a week), are fifty percent more likely to reduce the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. Almonds strengthen and protect the artery walls against any damage that may occur in them. It is also recommended to reduce the risk of cancer. Almonds are extremely simply to add in to your diet, as a handful 3-5 times per days can do wonders for your overall health. Almonds are excellent because you do not need to make a very strong effort to maximize the benefits of them, and can have huge impacts just from adding handfuls in per day.
Bone and Teeth Strength
Because of its high phosphorus content, almonds are a powerful food to protect and strengthen bones and teeth. It is very important that we must take good care of the health of our bones and teeth, and by eating almonds a few times in a week we can strengthen our bones. Along with this, chewing almonds itself is extremely helpful in strengthening your teeth. Between the nutrients and the texture, this is a food which is excellent for your mouth overall!
Overall Brain Health
It has been shown for centuries that frequent consumption of almonds drives the brain to have a higher activity level overall, which reduces the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. It also supplies powerful nutrients to our nervous system, which helps us in achieving a high intellectual level and an increase in longevity.
All three of these foods are absolutely amazing for your health, and they are very practical for working in to your diet. For my friends who are athletes, I highly suggest that you carry around a jar of any of these with you at all times, and snack on them throughout the day. I guarantee you will feel more overall energy, and your performance will improve because of it!