Sunflowers - The New Super Food
As an industry leader, SunOpta offers a complete range of sunflower kernel and inshell sunflower products. We specialize in SL® 80 High Oleic sunflower kernel and XL inshell. We also offer value-added processing such as oil roasted, dry roasted, honey roasted, and flavored sunflower products.
NUTRITION AND DISEASE PREVENTION
The addition of sunflower is a tasty way to help meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E, folate, iron, vitamin B6, thiamin, copper, magnesium, and fiber, thereby preventing or delaying:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Stroke and Heart Disease
- Prostate Cancer
- Motor Neuron Disease (ALS)
- Onset of Aging
- Vitamin E (76% RDA in one ounce/30g): Research suggests that most American diets-up to 97% of women's diets and 89% of men's-are deficient in this essential vitamin. Sunflowers are the best whole food source of vitamin E, which acts to slow the effects of aging, boost the immune system, repair damage to cells, and prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- Folate (17% RDA in one ounce 30g): This essential nutrient is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth, such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate prevents changes to DNA that increase the risk of cancer.
- Ideal Fat Profile: Sunflower seeds contain high levels of "good" fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) and low levels of "bad" (saturated) fats. Almost 90% of the fat in sunflower seeds is the healthiest type of fat for the heart. Additionally, sunflower is naturally free of harmful trans-fats which raise "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and lower "good" cholesterol (HDL).
- Antioxidants: Sunflower seeds contain four times more antioxidants than blueberries, walnuts, and peanuts. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, which cause cell damage. As a result, antioxidants boost the immune system, improve cardiovascular health, prevent heart attacks and stroke, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and promote eye health.
- Phytochemicals: Phytochemicals (chemicals derived from plants) benefit health and play an active role in the prevention of disease. Sunflower seeds' phytochemicals include: betaine (protects against cardiovascular disease), phenolic acid (an anti-oxidant and anticarcinogen), choline (promotes memory and cognitive function), arginine (benefits heart health), and lignans (protects against heart disease and cancer and lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides).
The Sunflower Advantage
Compared to other nuts, sunflower provides more nutrients (including protein, vitamin E, folate, and polyunsaturated fatty acids) with fewer calories: