What Prompted My Curiosity To Learn Some Sunflower Facts
Recently, an unexpected phenomenon happened in my little corner of the world. I live in a tiny, quiet little town on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina where life is simple and ordinary. However, one day we were driving down the road and something extraordinary caught our attention. We noticed these expansive fields of sunflowers that just seemed to pop up overnight. Normally these fields go un-noticed with either corn or wheat. Neither of which grab your attention like the beauty of sunflowers.
We were on the wrong side of the road to stop and take pictures so I told my husband that we simply must stop on our way back from going out to dinner so we can capture some pictures to share on Facebook. Well, we weren’t the only ones to do it. It was amazing and we were all in awe of the beauty that surrounded us. It totally made my day and it was definitely the highlight of our weekend.
The next day at church we were all talking about it. As the days went by the word spread throughout our community and into neighboring communities and mobs of people came to take pictures. It was crazy! The whole thing even got the attention of the news stations in Charlotte and the story ran on the nightly news.
The next Sunday at church our pastor even talked about the whole experience and told us that someone asked the farmer who owns these fields why he all of sudden decided to plant sunflowers. He said he just thought it would be nice and make people happy. Well, that it did. Such a simple thing and it became the talk of the town and a reason to take our eyes off our momentary troubles and gripes in life and focus on joyful things.
Well, the whole experience got me curious to learn some sunflower facts and to explore all the things they have to offer us for health and wellbeing. I hadn’t really thought of that before but I was sure there was much to learn.
5 Sunflower Facts That Are Simply Inspirational
Sunflower Fact #1: Did you know that the face of the sunflower follows the sun from dawn until dusk? The French word for sunflower is “tournesol” meaning “turns with the sun.” This trait is known as heliotropism. It is a good reminder to us all to keep our heads lifted up, to focus on the light and the positive things in life. I can attest to the difference it made in the atmosphere of our community. It spread happiness throughout our whole region. Happiness is contagious. Happy people spread happiness everywhere they go. Something to think about for sure.
Sunflower fact #2: Did you know that a sunflower is actually made up of 1000-2000 individual flowers known as disc florets joined by a receptacle base then surrounded by the gold petals on the outside called ray florets? So having just one sunflower is like have a whole bouquet of flowers to enjoy! The best time to harvest sunflowers is in the morning and then put them directly into a large vase of water. If you wait till later in the day they will wilt. Just one simple sunflower can make such a great gift. It is a perfect way to spread a little sunshine and happiness to a friend who needs a pick me up.
Sunflower fact #3: Did you know that each sunflower can contain between 1000-2000 seeds? These seeds produce some wonderful nutritional gifts for us. And the flowers that are left behind produce seeds for birds and other living creatures as well.
Sunflower fact #4: Did you know that sunflowers are really good for absorbing toxins? After the disastrous tsunami in Japan destroyed the Fukushima nuclear power plant, millions of sunflowers were planted in radioactive areas to help absorb the toxic substances from the ground. These amazing flowers did what no man could do in restoring their land, restoring their hope and spreading some happiness and joy during a terrible time. You can read more about it here.
Sunflower fact #5: Did you know that sunflowers are native to North America and have been traced back as far as 3000 BC? Native Americans used them for food, medicine, dye, and oil. There are many stories of how they were used by Cherokees and Dakota’s for healing purposes. Sunflowers were exported around the world starting around 1500 AD.
Sunflower Facts You Should Know And How They Can Benefit Your Health
- Sunflower seeds are a nutrient-rich superfood. They are packed with vitamin A, E, B1, B6, folate, and niacin. They also contain a good supply of copper, manganese, selenium, magnesium, and phosphorus. They are also a good source of protein and amino acids. The nutrition benefits can help with inflammation, lower cancer risk, inhibit diabetes, prevent cardiovascular disease, reduce nervous tension and stress, increase bone density, and improve skin health.
- Sunflower sprouts are high in enzymes and excellent in salads or on sandwiches. They sprout easily within 12-18 hours from hulled sunflower seeds. Just rinse them twice per day and eat them shortly after sprouting.
- Sunflower oil is a healthy vegetable oil option which has many health benefits and is especially beneficial for skin and hair. However, not all sunflower oils are created equal and too much of it your diet could become problematic so it is a good idea to educate yourself a little further. This post is very informative and suggests an organic, unrefined, cold-pressed, high oleic version of sunflower oil as a healthy choice.
- SunFlour is a natural protein and fiber that is an excellent grain-free option for baking and cooking.
- Sunflower butter is a great alternative to peanut butter and almond butter for those who have nut allergies. It is an excellent high protein addition to your sandwiches, toast, bagels, apples, and smoothies.
Just a Little More Sunflower Inspiration Before You Leave
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