Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

Posted by Fruit Of Spirit on

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds


Sunflower seeds are in use by humans for thousands of years. They are used in different ways like taking oil out of them, used to make bread of multi-grain, eaten straight after sun-dry or after roasting them a little on fire. Nowadays, they are used in many countries as sources of vital vitamins, healthy fats, and minerals. These seeds are exceptionally good for your overall health, and especially they are good for the patients of diabetes and heart.

Basic Information about sunflower seeds

Helianthus annuus is the biological name of the parent plant of sunflower seeds. They grow on sunflower plants and are basically termed as fruits. They are found on the head of the sunflower; the usual size of the sunflower is about between 12 to 13 inches in diameter. You can have more than two thousand sunflower seeds on the head of the sunflower.

In general, most of the people do not know the fact that sunflower seeds are of two different types, and each type is used for a different purpose. One type of sunflower is grown to produce edible seeds, while another type is grown to extract oil. There is also a difference in appearance in these two types. The type of sunflower seeds used for the extraction of edible oil has a hard black shell. The sunflower seeds that we eat are black in color and have white lines on their shell, which are also called hulls. Moreover, the eating taste of seeds that we eat are like nuts, and sometimes they are also roasted with salt to have a delicious taste.

Nutritional Info

Taking about the nutritional value of sunflower seeds, we can say that these small grains are full of natural nutrition. But the most abundant nutrition found in them are selenium and vitamin E, and both materials are antioxidants and make your body healthy to find against diseases, especially chronic diseases.

Sunflower seeds are a complete package of nutrition. The following table will illustrate the constituents of the sunflower seeds of one ounce:




Monounsaturated Fat

2.70 grams

Polyunsaturated Fat

9.20 grams

Saturated Fat

1.50 grams

Total Fat

14.00 grams




6.50 grams


5.50 grams


3.00 grams


10% of RDI value


Vitamin E

38% of RDI value

Vitamin B6

10% of RDI value



5% of RDI value


18% of RDI value


9% of RDI value

Pantothenic acid

20% of RDI value


32% of RDI value


26% of RDI value


10% of RDI value


30% of RDI value

Moreover, sunflower seeds also contain some special materials like flavonoids and phenolic acid, both these materials are extremely beneficial, and when grown and germinated fully.

Daily Recommended Intake

As from the above table, you can see that they contain a high number of calories in them, so they should be consumed in a moderate way. As suggested by the nutritionists, almost 30 to 35 grams of sunflower seeds are advised for per day consumption. This consumption is considered to be the best enough to take maximum health benefits from the sunflower seeds. The patients of high blood pressure should keep in mind that the shells of the sunflower seeds are full of salt, so these patients should buy those sunflower seeds from the market that do not have shells.

Overdose of Sunflower Seeds

As discussed above, the best recommended daily intake is about 30 to 35 grams a day, so you should not overdose because of their high density of calories, magnesium, and sodium. Their overdose can cause serious digestion issues, especially if consumed with shells. They will cause stool blockage. So, it is always better to take sunflower seeds without shells.

Best Way to Eat Sunflower Seeds

As we discussed, edible sunflower seeds are in shells, so before eating, the nut of it shell should be cracked with your teeth or with any other object. The sunflower seeds are used as snacks, especially watching movies or any game in the stadium. There are some different healthy ways that can be used for eating sunflower seeds, including:

  • It can be used on green leaves salad by sprinkling them on the salad.
  • It can be sprinkled on tuna salad.
  • Sprinkle over the yogurt.
  • Crushed sunflower seeds can also be sprinkled on fruits.
  • It can be added to trail mix
  • You can add them to hot cereals.
  • You can also make homemade granola bars with them.
  • They can also be added to cold cereals.
  • Crushed roasted sunflower seeds can be added to chicken salad.
  • They can also be added to stir-fries.
  • They are like pine nuts, so they can be used in pesto.
  • If you have sautéed vegetables, then you can sprinkle roasted sunflowers.
  • It can be used as top casseroles.
  • They can also enhance the taste of veg burgers.
  • In baking items like bread and muffins, they can be added.
  • Fish can also be coated with them and then fry.
  • You can also find sunflower seed butter that can be used with fruits.

Precaution of use

Sunflower seeds are susceptible to turn into rancid. This is done because they contain a high value of fat in them. This problem can be rectified by storing them in some airtight containers in the refrigerator to avoid the rancidity. When you use sunflower seeds in some baked items, then they may come blue-green in color. This is the result of the chemical reaction between chlorogenic acid in sunflower seeds and baking soda. This problem is controllable by reducing the amount of baking soda in cakes or muffins.

Side Effects


Cadmium is a heavy mineral and can cause kidneys dysfunction. This metal of cadmium is extracted by sunflower plants from the soil and stores it in the seeds. If you take more than nine ounces of sunflower within a week, then it means that cadmium is increased to 175 mcg per week, which should be 65 mcg. This increase creates problems of kidneys and sometimes failure.

Sodium and Calories

Sunflower seeds are nutritious, but they are also full of calories. It takes time to eat one seed because you have to first crack it and then to eat nut in it. This will reduce the speed of eating and calorie intake. Moreover, the shells are coated with the salt of sodium, almost 108% of RDI, and this is enough to increase your blood pressure. This is a serious problem for those people who already are patients of hypertension.

Sprouted Seeds

Sometimes sunflower seeds are infected with dangerous bacteria. To kill these bacteria, sunflower seeds are heated more than 118F. Drying sunflower seeds at higher temperatures annihilates unsafe microbes. On the off chance that bacterial defilement is found in specific items, they might be reviewed — as has occurred with crude grown sunflower seeds. Never eat elicited sunflower seeds.


Sunflower seeds are not commonly causing allergies. But very few people have experienced the problem of mouth swelling, asthma, itching in the mouth, skin problems, and anaphylaxis. These allergies are caused by the proteins of the sunflower. It is remarkably interesting to know the fact that sunflower oil is far less allergic than edible sunflower seeds. This is due to the reason that oil contains less amount of proteins as compared with edible sunflower seeds. The people who are in the process of sunflower oil manufacturing, cultivation of sunflower plants, and people who breed birds are more sensitive to the allergies caused by the sunflower. Taking care of pet feathered creatures, sunflower seeds can deliver these allergens into the air, which you breathe in. Little youngsters may get sharpened to sunflower seeds by an introduction to the proteins through harmed skin. Notwithstanding food hypersensitivities, a few people have created sensitivities to contacting sunflower seeds, for example, when making yeast bread with sunflower seeds, bringing about responses, for example, irritated, aroused hands.

Stool Blockage

Over Consuming of sunflower seeds can cause digestion problems. If you consume over quantity of sunflower seeds, then you can face the problem of stool blockage. This problem can be seen in adult people as well as in children. The stool blockage is done due to the consumption of shells of the sunflower seeds. These shells will not be digested by the digestive system and will increase the toxins. If this problem persists for a longer time then your blockage will be removed by the operation. If the operation is not carried out, then there are chances of leakage of stool liquid inside the body, and you will feel nausea and severe pain in the abdominal part of the body.

Final Words

Sunflower seeds are healthy and can enhance the taste of your food. They are helpful in building a healthy body in general and especially for heart diseases and diabetes. They are also beneficial to the body for fighting against different diseases and inflammation. They can be used as snacks and also for making many dishes. Besides all these benefits, they also have some limitations, mostly if they are consumed more than 30 to 35 grams a day.





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