SUN­FLOWER SEEDS

Herbs & Superfoods - - Top 25 Super Foods -

These tasty seeds are an ex­cel­lent source of vi­ta­mins E, B1, B3 and B6 as well as folic acid, cop­per, se­le­nium, phos­pho­rus and mag­ne­sium. Vi­ta­min E neu­tralises free rad­i­cals that would oth­er­wise dam­age cell mem­branes. It is thought to help re­duce symp­toms of os­teoarthri­tis, rheuma­toid arthri­tis and asthma. Vi­ta­min E has also been shown to re­duce the risk of colon can­cer, menopausal symp­toms and di­a­betic com­pli­ca­tions.

Sow seeds di­rectly in late spring or sum­mer in a sunny, free-drain­ing spot. Choose a va­ri­ety bred specif­i­cally for har­vest­ing, such as ‘Golden Toasted’ (Kings Seeds), which pro­duces large sin­gle heads with big, nu­tri­tious seeds.

As soon as the petals start to fade, cover the flower head with a pil­low­case or some­thing sim­i­lar so the seeds can ripen fully pro­tected from hun­gry birds.

When fully ripe, the seeds will be dark and swollen and the seed head brown. Flex the seed head to re­move the seeds. The hard part is get­ting the seeds out of the husks, which have to be in­di­vid­u­ally cracked. Try us­ing pli­ers!

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