We all want to eat healthy. But in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often do not have time to prepare elaborate meals that provide us with all the necessary nutrients that experts recommend to maintain a healthy body. In that context, in order to make up for the lack of time in the kitchen, we seek to incorporate simple foods that are not only delicious but also a good source of minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, antioxidants and proteins– all of which can become our allies when it comes to adding healthy ingredients to our diet. In this article we focus on sunflower seeds.
Thanks to the advancement of science and the growing importance of preventive medicine, we know more and more about the benefits that certain natural ingredients have on our body. One of the best ingredients in sunflower seeds is lecithin, a lipid substance that, in addition to providing multiple nutrients, has many uses in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
Advantages of sunflower lecithin
Lecithin is a type of fat that can be found in animal and plant tissues. It can also be extracted from soybeans, sunflower seeds, rapeseeds, egg yolk and from fish. Most industrial lecithin comes from soybeans, but sunflower lecithin has the advantage in that it is extracted without adding any additional chemicals and does not cause hormonal imbalance. And, compared to soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin contains no allergens, it is not genetically modified and offers a wider variety of applications.
One of its many uses is for baking, given its emulsifying properties. It is a key ingredient for this industry due to its moisturizing effect; it helps different ingredients mix together, helps to turn cakes out easily, improves fermentation and extends shelf life.
Some of the products in which it is used are chocolate, ice cream, margarine, powdered milk, bread, cookies, pasta and the list goes on. It is also used as a substitute for egg yolk.
Lecithin is used in cosmetics because it is hypoallergenic and has the antioxidant properties of vitamins E and A. It also moisturizes and tones the skin, reducing wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes.
Sunflower lecithin is made up of, among other elements, phospholipids. Although most people think that fats are bad for your health, they are important for the proper functioning of our bodies.
This substance provides multiple benefits for different organs such as the heart and the brain. It’s consumption delivers healthy fatty acids that help burn harmful fat from adipose tissues and protect red cells. It prevents the development of a fatty liver, reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and lowers the risk of developing high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis. Furthermore, it improves memory, cognition and neurological degeneration.
And last but not least, it also strengthens the immune system thanks to its antioxidant effect and it helps alleviate the symptoms of arthritis given its anti-inflammatory properties.