Sunflower Lecithin: 10 Health Benefits and Side Effects You Should Know
Sunflower lecithin benefits your body in many ways. It can help you improve blood circulation, manage cholesterol levels, improve nervous system and many more.
Your body is made up of trillions of cells and each has its own function. These cells are surrounded by a semi-permeable membrane.
The membrane of these cells is held together with a component called lecithin. But what is lecithin? Lecithin is a yellowish or brown compound which is present in plants and animals.
Lecithin has become a favorite supplement to improve cholesterol levels, improve functions of the nervous system, and help the circulatory system.
Sunflower lecithin and soy are well-known lecithin supplements. The lecithin is naturally produced and extracted from the plant and made into a pill, powder, or drink.
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What is Lecithin?
Lecithin is a term given to a variety of yellow or brown fatty substances. It naturally occurs in animals and plants; and was secluded from egg yolk. This material is a vital component of each cell and helps prevent the membrane from hardening. Sunflower is one of the best sources of this substance.
Sunflower seeds are cold-pressed to extract oil which is chemical free and retains all nutritional value. The health benefits of sunflower lecithin range from lowering cholesterol levels to restoring liver health.
The best part about sunflower lecithin is that the extraction process of the lecithin itself leaves the compound undamaged. You can reap maximum sunflower lecithin benefits by adding it to your daily diet.
Sunflower Lecithin Benefits
Sunflower lecithin benefits stem from the chemical makeup. Lecithin can break down fatty acids and clean out your immune system.
Sunflower lecithin is a natural compound as well so there are no artificial ingredients or side effects.
Mentioned below are just a handful of the various benefits of sunflower lecithin:
1. Heart Health and Cholesterol
Excess fats in your daily diet can lead to plaque build-up in your arteries and veins.
This plaque is called cholesterol and can lead to heart attacks and other circulatory issues. Sunflower lecithin is an emulsifier which cuts through the excess fat in your veins and arteries.
2. Keeps the Liver Healthy
Phospholipids in sunflower lecithin keep the liver healthy. Overeating fat in your diet will cause it to build-up in your liver causing a condition called fatty liver disease.
This usually turns into type 2 diabetes or cirrhosis. The lecithin can break through this fatty layer and allow your liver to process the fat.
3. Blood Pressure
Sunflower lecithin contains linoleic acid which works to break down excess fats in your body. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels increase and cause your blood pressure to increase as well.
Cholesterol builds-up on the arterial walls and leads to arteriosclerosis.Lecithin breaks through this barrier and allows your blood to flow more freely and decreases your blood pressure.
Lecithin acts as a lubricator for your joints. Arthritis causes the stiffening of joints and bones.When lecithin is added to the diet the joints will be able to move with less resistance and ease the symptoms of arthritis.
Lecithin has also been found to alleviate permanent joint disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. You can either consume lecithin or rub it directly on the affected areas.
5. Promotes Faster Healing
Sunflower lecithin contains oleic and linoleic acids. These are critical components for the release of cytokines, which decrease inflammation.
You can apply lecithin directly to the wounded area. Lecithin can also destroy any bacteria or germs in injuries. However, this should not be the only treatment option, and a medical advice should be sought.
6. Antioxidant Benefits
Phosphatidylcholine is one of the most potent antioxidants, and it is in sunflower lecithin. Antioxidants are essential to promote cell health and relieve oxidative stress.
If the cellular damage is not treated or managed, it can result in various life-threatening disorders such as cancer or heart diseases. This may also develop premature aging internally and externally.
7. Improves the Quality of Sleep
Sunflower lecithin contains choline which can help with various sleep disorders. Choline, when consumed, gets easily converted to acetylcholine. Acetylcholine allows the body to enter regular sleep patterns.
8. Estrogen Free
There is entirely no estrogen in this supplement. This means that it will not affect your body’s natural hormonal rhythm.
Soy lecithin does contain some phytoestrogens and can cause autoimmune disorders and thyroid. These side effects do not occur due to sunflower lecithin consumption.
9. Nervous System
Sunflower lecithin contains a lot of fatty acids, and this increases overall neurotransmitter activity.
The acids help develop stronger myelin sheaths, which is where all of the transmissions occur inside the nerves.
This treatment cannot fix all nerve damage, but it can help relieve some issues.
10. Wound Healing
Linoleic acid and other essential fatty acids it is possible for the lecithin to promote the release of cytokines. You can apply sunflower lecithin to small wounds and see an almost immediate effect.
The lecithin will cause the swelling to go down and allow for a faster healing time. This is just one of the many benefits of sunflower lecithin.
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Soy Lecithin vs. Sunflower Lecithin
These are both viable sources of the compound lecithin. But what are the differences between soy lecithin vs. sunflower lecithin? Soy lecithin is extracted from soybean oil.
This means that it will most likely be genetically modified. More people in the world have soy allergies. The intake of soy can increase estrogen levels which may cause unwanted changes in your body.
Sunflower lecithin does not have estrogen and is a reasonably uncommon allergy. You can also find more non-genetically modified sunflowers than you can find soybeans.
This is due to the high demand for soybeans. The benefits of sunflower lecithin and soy lecithin are similar, but sunflower is the best way to go.
Possible Side Effects of Sunflower Lecithin
How to use sunflower lecithin is the first step in knowing the side effects. You can either consume it or rub the oil directly. Even though this is a natural supplement, there are still chances of it causing a reaction.
If you have an allergy to any sunflower product, you should avoid sunflower lecithin. Symptoms of a reaction include but are not limited to:
After using the lecithin if you experience any of these you should seek medical attention.
You may also experience mild gastrointestinal symptoms at the beginning of your treatment. This includes:
- Loose stools
- Lost appetite
- Mild nausea or diarrhea
They will gradually decrease as your tolerance to the lecithin builds.
Talk to your doctor before taking lecithin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should also talk to your doctor before beginning treatment if you are taking any other medication as there may be negative interactions.
The health benefits of sunflower lecithin are varying, but all can result in a healthier life. How to use sunflower lecithin depends on what you want it to help with.
Whether you want it to reduce the cholesterol in your system, or maybe relieve some joint pain, sunflower lecithin is a natural and healthy supplement that will provide you ample benefits.
Always be sure to consult with your doctor before taking the supplement if you have any concerns or questions regarding it.