Lecithin is a fatty substance that has a brown or yellowish color. It is found in many different plants and animals. The first time lecithin was ever identified it was found in an egg yolk. Sources of lecithin other than egg yolk, sunflower, and soy include, for example: fish, corn and some other vegetable oils, milk, cauliflower, organ meat, and wheat germ. You may wonder: is sunflower lecithin bad for you?
Lecithin is used as a supplement to help boost the function of the circulatory and nervous systems, as well as control cholesterol levels (reducing bad LDL cholesterol). It is believed that lecithin benefits the heart, as well as the liver and perhaps the brain. The substance has antioxidant properties, and helps with blood pressure. It also promotes faster wound healing, and can even help with arthritis. The cells of the body need lecithin. Without it, the cell membranes would harden. While our bodies do produce a certain amount of lecithin naturally, it is highly beneficial to take a lecithin supplement.
- 1 Is Sunflower Lecithin Good Or Bad For You?
- 2 Why is Sunflower Lecithin Superior to Soy Lecithin?
- 3 What are Sunflower Lecithin’s Health Benefits?
- 4 What are Sunflower Lecithin’s Possible Negative Effects?
- 5 More Details on Sunflower Lecithin’s Positive Effects on Health
Is Sunflower Lecithin Good Or Bad For You?
Sunflower lecithin is very good for you, and very few negative side effects have ever been reported. You should not confuse sunflower lecithin with soy lecithin. Sunflower lecithin does not have the same potential negative effects as the soy variety. If you have heard anything negative about lecithin, chances are good that it was lecithin derived from soy.
Why is Sunflower Lecithin Superior to Soy Lecithin?
Sunflower lecithin has several advantages over the other popular variety, soy lecithin. Choosing sunflower lecithin over soy helps you avoid soy’s possible ability to raise estrogen levels in the human body.
Soy crops are frequently genetically modified, which worries many consumers. Additionally, soy allergies are much more common than sunflower ones, and hexane and other dangerous chemicals are used in deriving lecithin from soy. Sunflower lecithin has an especially high level of essential fatty acids and a substance called choline. Also, sunflower lecithin is the only kind of lecithin you will find available in raw form and free of chemicals, and it is derived from sunflowers using a cold press system (like the ones used in making olive oil).
Some researchers believe that soy lecithin might lead and contribute to problems such as: dermatological problems, bloating, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, low blood pressure, and allergic reactions.
Let’s discuss some of the possible health effects of regular or excessive soy consumption generally. This will help you better understand why sunflower lecithin is a much better choice.
Possible Negative Effects of Soy
- The isoflavones in soy might act as endocrine disrupters in the human body. They can mimic estrogen so closely that it activates estrogen receptors in the nuclei of cells.
- This is a problem because when more estrogen receptors are activated than ought to be, there can be physiological effects. This is true in both women and men.
- Thyroid function might be disrupted by soy intake. This is because of the isoflavones in soy. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include enlargement of the thyroid, sleepiness and fatigue, constipation, and a general feeling of being unwell.
- It is possible that soy’s isoflavones could increase your risk of developing breast cancer. There have been studies on animals that have established a link between intake of the isoflavones in soy and increased incidence of breast cancer. Perhaps even more alarming, there have been studies on humans demonstrating that the cells of the breasts can change in characteristics and number as a result of intake of soy isoflavones. Also, the cells of the breast that generally have the highest probability of eventually becoming cancerous are epithelial cells. It has been established that intake of soy increases the number of these cells in the breasts.
- It is possible that soy intake may interfere with the menstrual cycle in a number of different ways.
What are Sunflower Lecithin’s Health Benefits?
Sunflower lecithin controls cholesterol and promotes heart health. Indeed, it is thought to be able to reverse some of the damage that tends to be caused by coronary disease. Sunflower lecithin is also able to reduce the excess fat in your bloodstream, and it offers a large amount of linoleic acid (an omega 6 fatty acid).
Sunflower lecithin has essential phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, and phosphatidylinositol. The body can use these substances to repair and strengthen brain and nerve cells, as well as create new cells. They can also help to boost memory and focus, as well as general brain function.
Good for Liver
Sunflower lecithin’s phospholipids also have a positive effect on the liver. It helps to rid the liver of excess fats, and assists in preventing fatty liver (non-alcoholic). Fatty liver is a condition that can lead to problems like cancer, cirrhosis, and type 2 diabetes. Sunflower lecithin also has antioxidant properties.
Contains Vitamins and Minerals
It makes sense that sunflower lecithin is so healthy when you remember the many substantial benefits offered in the sunflower seed. Sunflower seeds contain minerals such as copper and manganese that the body needs for bone, cartridge, and connective tissue synthesis. They also contain magnesium, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6. Folate is another essential nutrient available in these seeds. Sunflower seeds as an excellent source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is important for fighting inflammation and is beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Vitamin E is also needed for aspects of bone health. Not only that, vitamin E is believed to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Sunflower lecithin can sometimes be found as an ingredient in certain spreads, chocolates, sauces, and baked goods. Sunflower lecithin is creamy and smooth. Some people like using it as a butter substitute for a healthier diet. You can purchase sunflower lecithin in a number of different formats, including powder, capsule, and liquid. The one you choose depends on your preference and on how you are planning to use or take the lecithin.
When lecithin is extracted from sunflower seeds, it is dehydrated. After that, the solids, gum, and oil components of the lecithin are separated. When a cold-pressing procedure is used, chemical solvents are simply not needed. In 2009, the FDA declared that the only genuinely raw form of lecithin one could obtain was the lecithin taken from sunflower.
What are Sunflower Lecithin’s Possible Negative Effects?
Sunflower lecithin has very few possible negative effects, and the ones that do exist are seldom reported. These include:
- Feeling of fullness (people trying to lose weight might sometimes find this to be a positive feature)
- Abdominal pain
More Details on Sunflower Lecithin’s Positive Effects on Health
- Sunflower lecithin is useful for people with arthritis. Sunflower lecithin helps to lubricate the joints. If you have a lecithin deficiency, you might find that your joints are stiff. If you suffer from such a deficiency over a long period of time, you might find that rheumatism results.
- It is able to help promote better wound healing because of the fatty acids (such as linoleic acid) that it contains. Some people even directly apply sunflower lecithin to minor wounds.
- The fatty acids in sunflower lecithin help to support good functioning of the nervous system. These substances can boost the activity of neurotransmitters and improve the quality of nerve tissue.
- Sunflower lecithin can help with high blood pressure. This is because excess fats in the body like triglycerides and cholesterol can be broken down by linoleic acid.
- The phosphatidycholine in sunflower lecithin is an excellent antioxidant. Antioxidants help to prevent damage to the cells. This can assist in the prevention of dangerous conditions such as cancer.
- The ability of sunflower lecithin to break down excess fats is beneficial to the liver.
- Sunflower lecithin helps the body in the repair and strengthening of brain cells as well as nerve cells.
- The ability of sunflower lecithin to eliminate excess fats is what makes it so beneficial for heart health. The linoleic acid levels in sunflower lecithin is comparable to those of olive oil, which is legendarily good for heart health.
- The body’s blood circulation can be improved by sunflower lecithin intake, and this can help to prevent dangerous problems like blood clots.
What Have We Learned About Sunflower Lecithin?
While sunflower seeds are just one source of lecithin available, there is no question it is one of the best. Far superior to soy lecithin and the possible health concerns that it presents, sunflower lecithin has a number of health benefits that are unique to it.
Sunflower lecithin is widely believed to benefit many different aspects of health, such as cardiovascular health, blood circulation, joint health, liver health, brain health, and the well-being of the nervous system. Sunflower lecithin might also help with high blood pressure, making it a good food choice for anyone suffering from that problem. It also has antioxidant properties that make it an effective way of achieving and maintain optimal health overall.
“9 Surprising Sunflower Lecithin Benefits”, https://healthyfocus.org/9-surprising-sunflower-lecithin-benefits
“Is Soy Bad for You or Good?” https://authoritynutrition.com/is-soy-bad-for-you-or-good
“Sunflower Lecithin”, https://www.thehealthyapron.com/sunflower-lecithin
“Sunflower Seeds: The Bone and the Brain Food”, https://saveourbones.com/sunflower-seeds-the-bone-and-brain-food