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Sunflower Sprouts: The Ins and Outs

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Sunflower Sprouts: The Ins and Outs

Sunflower, in addition to being the name of my first-born daughter, is a majestic plant native to Central America. The Latin name for this plant, Helianthus annus, is derived from the Greek word helios for sun and anthos, meaning flower, and it is a member of the Asteraceae (Daisy) Family, which includes dandelion, echinacea and calendula.

Sunflowers are known to turn towards the sun, and Aztec priestesses have worn crowns of them. Native Peoples have cultivated the sunflower for at least 3,000 years and made them into “energy cakes” as a staple food. At one time Russian soldiers were given rations of sunflower seeds, which at some times they were expected to solely exist on.

Sunflower seeds are high in B vitamin complex, vitamin E, protein, essential fatty acids, magnesium, selenium and zinc. Sprouting the seeds increases their content of beta-carotene, chlorophyll and vitamin C.

As a medicinal food, sunflower seeds are considered antioxidant, diuretic, expectorant, nutritive and warming. They have been used for thousands of years as a tonic for eyes, helping to decrease light sensitivity, improving energy and fertility. Unlike fruits and vegetables, which stop growing when plucked from their mother plant, sprouts continue growing up until the moment they are digested, and impart a subtle life force to the body. Sprouts are considered excellent anti-aging foods due to their rich supply of enzymes.

Next: Sprouting Sunflower Seeds

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Brigitte Mars

Brigitte Mars, a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, is a nutritional consultant who has been working with Natural Medicine for over 40 years. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University, Boulder College of Massage, and Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts and has a private practice. Brigitte is the author of 12 books, including Rawsome!. Find more healthy living articles, raw food recipes, videos, workshops, books, and more at brigittemars.com. Also check out her international model yogini daughter, Rainbeau at rainbeaumars.com.

117 comments

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10:42AM PDT on May 21, 2011

Incredibly tasty, but who knew they were also a vision tonic! Thanks, Brigitte.

5:56AM PDT on Apr 3, 2011

Thanks!

9:13AM PST on Feb 25, 2011

I've never had sunflower sprouts continue to grow after cutting; suggest it's best just to start a fresh batch right away for 100% results. Also, exposing sprouts to sunlight can cause them to develop a bitter taste. By keeping the tray a few yards away from windows, they grow long succulent stems and do not become bitter. The tops still green up nicely.

2:38AM PST on Feb 25, 2011

I will definitely try this!

2:23AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

Great info. Growing loads of sunflowers this year and will give it a try at harvest time.

12:54AM PDT on May 14, 2010

thankyou

8:47PM PDT on May 3, 2010

AWESOME!!!

8:44PM PDT on May 3, 2010

This is a fantastic idea. I love sunflower seeds and now I can enjoy them even more and in so many ways.

9:52AM PDT on Apr 7, 2010

Thanks for posting. Great article

6:59AM PDT on Apr 5, 2010

Will try sprouting some sunflower seeds

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