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Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus)

A tall annual plant, originating in North America (and cultivated by the Indians there). Sunflowers have bright big yellow flowers - cultivated for its seeds, which are eaten or produce an oil popular for cooking and light dressings.

The seeds themselves are nutritional powerhouses, with 24 per cent protein and good quantities of vitamins A, E, D and several B varieties; as well as calcium fluorine, iodine, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. It's no wonder that pre-revolutionary Russian soldiers received a kilo of sunflower seeds as emergency rations on which to survive if stranded.

The seeds can also be used for sprouting, and are easily digestible in this form. See 'Elecampane'

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