Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Amazing Kernel

According to research completed in March 2001 by Dr. K. Phillips of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, the sunflower kernel is rich in a number of nutrients that have been shown to protect against cardiovascular and other diseases and to act as antioxidants and anti-carcinogens. When considered in aggregate, this amazing kernel packs a powerful nutritional punch. Sunflower kernels contain high levels of vitamin E, betaine, phenolic acids, and choline. In addition, the kernel is a good source of arginine and lignans. Each of these compounds, while perhaps unfamiliar to the layperson, has been studied by the scientific community and shown to offer a variety of health benefits. Vitamin E (Tocopherols): May protect against cardiovascular disease. Betaine: May protect against cardiovascular disease. Phenolic acids (chlorogenic acid): Antioxidant and anti-carcinogen. Choline: Plays a role in memory and cognitive function. Arginine: Potential heart benefits. Lignans: May protect against heart disease and some cancers; lowers LDL cholesterol and triglyceride.
Sunflower seeds offer an easy way to add some crunch, taste, and nutrition to a variety of foods. Toss them over your salad, mix them in with popcorn, serve them a la carte, or even add them to your fresh baked, whole grain breads and muffins. To Your Health, J