There are an increasing number of options when it comes to vegan protein powders. One of the newest to the market is sunflower protein powder.
In addition to providing a great source of protein, sunflower protein powder has a plethora of other health benefits.
Continue reading this article to learn more about the benefits of sunflower protein, as well as tips on how to add it into your diet.
The top 5 sunflower powder benefits
Here are five reasons why you should add sunflower protein to your diet.
1. Helps manage weight
Consuming protein powder is an easy way to help meet daily protein needs.
In fact, protein is perhaps the most important macronutrient for weight loss as it helps with satiety and increases metabolism (1).
Consuming anywhere from 10-35% of calories in the form of protein is appropriate to support overall health and weight loss (2).
Just ¼ cup of sunflower seed protein powder provides 13 grams of protein. What’s more, sunflower protein powder is low in calories, with just about 90 calories per serving.
2. Supports muscle growth
Sunflower seed protein is fantastic for supporting muscle growth.
In part due to its branched chain amino acid (BCAA) content, sunflower seed protein supports muscle growth and recovery – especially after a workout (3).
Branched chain amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – have been shown to likely increase muscle protein synthesis after resistance exercise (4).
In addition to the BCAAs, sunflower seed protein also contains magnesium, an essential nutrient for muscle recovery and proper muscle functioning.
To optimize muscle growth, it’s important to consume protein consistently throughout the day. Sunflower protein powder can be a great protein option on-the-go to help meet daily protein needs.
3. Sunflower protein powder can improve skin health
Did you know that a protein powder can do more than simply provide protein?
Sunflower protein powder can improve the appearance and health of your skin, too.
Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants, found in foods and supplements, protect our cells – such as skin cells – from damage.
In fact, sunscreens often contain vitamin E because of the vitamin’s ability to protect the skin from damage from UV light.
In addition to vitamin E, sunflower seed protein also contains zinc, which is an important mineral for our skin. Zinc helps reduce inflammation, which can be helpful for reducing acne and scarring (5).
4. May reduce cholesterol and improve heart health
Thanks to sunflower’s phytosterol content, consuming sunflower seeds or sunflower powder can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Phytosterols are substances found in plants that have been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease (6).
In fact, studies show that consuming 2 grams of phytosterols per day is associated with a 10% reduction in LDL cholesterol (6).
In addition to the phytosterols, sunflower seeds are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that help to reduce inflammation, which in itself can be a risk factor for heart disease.
5. Suitable for most diets
Since sunflower powder is made from just ground sunflower seeds – and nothing else – it’s suitable for people with dietary sensitivities and allergies.
Sunflower seeds are a rare source of allergy, making them a great alternative to nut based protein sources.
What’s more, sunflower powder is 100% gluten free, so it’s a good option for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivities.
Is sunflower a complete protein?
Similar to other seeds, sunflower seeds are low in the amino acid lysine.
To ensure you are consuming a complete protein – one with adequate amounts of all 9 essential amino acids – it’s best to combine sunflower protein powder with other lysine-containing foods.
For example, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, beans, and soy milk contain lysine.
You might consider adding pumpkin seeds to your protein shake or using soy milk as the base of your smoothie to ensure the protein you are consuming is complete.
In fact, Naked Seed contains other nutrient-dense ingredients, one of which being pumpkin seeds. When you consume a serving a Naked Seed you can be sure you are getting all essential amino acids.
But, why are complete proteins important?
Complete proteins are necessary to carry out the functions of muscle repair, muscle growth, and essentially every protein-requiring body function. If one or more amino acids is missing from our diet, our body’s ability to perform optimally is impaired.
How to use sunflower seed protein powder?
It’s great that sunflower seed protein powder has a mild flavor, allowing it to be easily added to a variety of food and drinks.
You can easily add sunflower seed protein powder or Naked Seed to smoothies, shakes, oatmeal, baked goods, and more.
Naked Seed contains a combination of four sources of seed proteins: watermelon, chia, pumpkin, and sunflower. All four of these seeds are nutrient-powerhouses, with each containing slightly different nutrient profiles.
When consumed together in the Naked Seed blend, they complement each other quite well. For only 100 calories per serving, Naked Seed provides 20 grams of (complete) protein, and 2.8 grams of BCAAs.
Here is a protein-rich shake, containing all 9 essential amino acids, using Naked Seed:
Almond Peach Vegan Protein Shake
- ½ cup frozen peaches
- ½ frozen banana
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 serving of Naked Seed
Directions: Blend all ingredients together and enjoy!
Sunflower protein powder is a highly nutritious vegan protein option that has several health benefits such as helping to manage a healthy weight, supporting muscle growth, improving skin, and reducing the risk for heart disease.
It’s best to pair sunflower seed powder with other vegan protein sources such as soy or pumpkin seeds to ensure you are getting a complete protein. Naked Seed is a great vegan protein source that contains all 9 essential amino acids.
Plus, it’s easily added to a variety of foods and beverages, making it a versatile and tasty vegan protein option.