I've just discovered Sunflower Seed Butter at my local New World and its delicious so thought I'd share it with you.  Well not literally as it would get messy sending it through the internet.

Whole sunflower seeds are great snacks on their own but can take a while to eat so the sunflower butter is a great alternative to peanut butter.  I had been using peanut butter but was playing having on my digestive system so thought I'd give this a go as its gluten free and its been great. 
Its slightly sweeter than peanut butter which is a good thing as it makes a tasty afternoon treat on a couple of rice wafers.  That and a protein shake tides me over till dinner time. Sunflower seeds have alot of health benefits and you can check them out below. Give it a go!

  • Delicious, nutty, and crunchy sunflower seeds are widely considered healthful foods. They are high in energy, 100 g seeds consists of 584 calories. Nonetheless, they are incredible sources of many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins.

  • Much of their calories come from fatty acids. The seeds are especially rich in poly-unsaturated fatty acid linooleic acid, which comprise more 50% fatty acids in them. They are also good in mono-unsaturated oleic acid that helps lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increase HDL or "good cholesterol" in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet which is rich in mono-unsaturated fats help to prevent coronary artery disease and stroke by favoring healthy lipid profile.

  • Like other nuts, they are also very good source of proteins with fine quality amino acids such as tryptophan that are essential for growth, especially in children. Just 100 g of seeds provide about 21 g of protein (37% of daily-recommended values).

  • In addition, the sunflower seeds contain many health benefiting poly-phenol compounds such as chlorgenic acid, quinic acid, and caffeic acids. These are natural anti-oxidants which help remove harmful oxidant molecules from the body. Further, chlorgenic acid help reduce blood sugar levels by reducing breakdown of glycogen in the liver.

  • They are indeed very rich source of vitamin E; contain about 35.17 g per100 g (about 234% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.

  • Sunflower kernels amongst are one of the finest sources of B-complex group of vitamins. They are very good sources of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), pantothenic acid, and riboflavin.

  • Sunflowers are incredible sources of folic acid. 100 g of kernels contains 227 mcg of folic acid, which is about 37% of recommended daily intake. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis. When given in expectant mothers during peri-conception period, it may prevent neural tube defects in the baby.

  • Niacin and pyridoxine are other B-complex vitamins found abundantly in sunflower seeds. About 8.35 mg or 52% of daily-required levels of niacin is provided by just 100 g of seeds. Niacin help reduce LDL-cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, it enhances GABA activity inside the brain, which in turn helps reduce anxiety and neurosis.

  • The seeds are incredibly rich sources of many essential minerals. Calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper are especially concentrated in sunflower. Many of these minerals have vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone production, as well as regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.

Just a hand full of sunflower kernels a day provides much of the recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein.

Above taken from www.nutrition-and-you.com  

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