We most commonly hear about Brazil nuts for their high amounts of selenium, but sunflower seeds are an affordable choice that also lend themselves to balancing hormones as well. Sunflower seeds are high in selenium, a trace mineral that is essential for liver detoxification, which aids in many other functions including hormone regulation. They can be eaten during the second stage of a woman’s monthly cycle to help balance the hormones estrogen and progesterone over time.
Selenium is also a nutrient that has been shown in a large placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study to cut the death rate from cancer in half. The results of this dramatic study were published in the medical profession’s own journal: The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Eating an ounce or two of sunflower seeds a day can also cut your risk of colon cancer as much as 55%, according to a recent studies. Researchers explain that his is at least in part due to the high amount of Magnesium contained in the seeds. Magnesium helps heal damaged intestinal cells. Other foods rich in this essential mineral include pumpkin seeds, beans, avocados, spinach, almonds, peanuts and cashews.
Sunflower seeds are also high in various other minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin E and zinc which are excellent for skin and connective tissue health and the immune system. They contain a good amount of folate and B12 which help to form hemoglobin in red blood cells. To get the greatest benefit from these seeds they should be eaten raw, and stored in an airtight container in a cool place to stay fresh.