How to eat Sunflower Seeds? 6 Best Ways

How to eat Sunflower Seeds
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How to eat sunflower seeds? You might have seen people consuming sunflower seeds as part of their daily diet to maintain good health, like treating hair fall, maintaining a healthy heart, lowering blood pressure, and more. Yes, it’s true.

Plant seeds are edible and hold high nutritional value offering several health benefits. But what are these sunflower seeds? Are sunflower seeds good? In what ways do they contribute to our health? Do they support our human health? How to eat sunflower seeds? We shall discuss eating and adding sunflower seeds to your diet below.

1. Sunflower Plant

Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus) is a plant that blooms during summer in full sun with a daisy-like flower face. They are abundant in healthy fats with gainful and beneficial plant compounds, vitamins, and minerals that help with various health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

How to eat Sunflower Seeds?
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2. What are Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds are healthy and edible tiny seeds reaped from the flower head of the sunflower plant. Sunflower crops are of two types. One type of farmed crop is for the seeds, and another type is for the oil (sunflower oil).

These seeds are the plant’s fruits enclosed in a black-and-white striped shell. These shells are called hulls. Additionally, they have a nutty flavor with a firm but tender texture. The ones utilized for extracting sunflower oil possess a solid black shell.

How to eat Sunflower Seeds?
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Typically, the sunflower plant’s large flower heads measure over 12 inches, equal to 30.5 cm in diameter. A single sunflower head can contain up to 2000 seeds.

Sunflower seeds form a part of a healthy snack in multi-grain bread, trail mix, and nutrition bars. Also, people consume them either raw or roasted. Let us find out the benefits of these seeds.

How to eat Sunflower Seeds?
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3. Nutritional Value of Sunflower Seeds

How to eat Sunflower Seeds?
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How to eat sunflower seeds? Sunflower seeds have high protein content, especially in sunflower seed kernels, and are rich in healthy fats that help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. The primary nutrient serving in 1 ounce equal to 30 grams or 1/4 cup of dry roasted sunflower seeds are as follows:

  • Calories – 165

  • Total fat – 14 grams

  • Saturated fat – 1.5 grams

  • Polyunsaturated fat – 9.2 grams

  • Monounsaturated fat – 2.7 grams

  • Protein – 5.5 grams

  • Carbohydrates – 6.5 grams

  • Fiber – 3 grams

  • Vitamin E – 37% of RDI*

  • Niacin – 10% of RDI*

  • Vitamin B6 – 11% of RDI*

  • Folate – 17% of RDI*

  • Pantothenic Acid – 20% of RDI*

  • Iron – 6% of RDI*

  • Magnesium – 9% of RDI*

  • Zinc – 10% of RDI*

  • Copper – 26% of RDI*

  • Manganese – 30% of RDI*

  • Selenium – 32% of RDI* (*RDI – Reference Daily Intake)

With high calories (165), it is advisable to eat sunflower seeds limited to a quarter cup at a time. Also, we can infer that these seeds are high in Vitamin E (37%) and Selenium (32%), which act as antioxidants and aid against several chronic diseases.

Vitamin E also helps with proper immune function and protects from cell damage. Selenium help supports thyroid function and reproductive health.

The other nutrients, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, and Magnesium, help with immune function and maintaining healthy bones. The B Vitamins like Vitamin B6 and Folate help with metabolism, enzymatic reactions, and other body processes.

The seeds are also a source of other plant compounds like flavonoids and phenolic acids, which act as antioxidants.

4. Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

How good are sunflower seeds for health? Sunflower seeds have several health benefits, so what are they? How to eat sunflower seeds?

4.1. Supports Healthy Heart

Sunflower seeds contain essential nutrients like minerals, vitamins, fibers, and healthy fats to keep the heart healthy. Sunflower seeds of a three-fourths cup serving have 14 grams of fat.

Studies show that a healthy diet with sunflower seeds reduces the risk of heart disease. It also lowers the rate of high blood pressure and cholesterol, as they lead to heart attacks. A study from the National Library of Medicine (NIH) shows that women who have type-2 diabetes suffered lowered risk factors of cardiovascular disease with daily consumption of sunflower seeds.

How to eat Sunflower Seeds?
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Unsaturated fatty acids like Linoleic Acid make a compound that helps to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Magnesium in the seeds also assists with blood sugar regulation. Other nutrients like proteins and fibers help to maintain blood sugar levels.

4.2. Reduces inflammation

Sunflower seeds offer anti-inflammatory benefits with Vitamin E, Chlorogenic Acid, flavonoids, and other plant compounds that help reduce chronic inflammation.

Research conducted by of the National Library of Medicine (NIH) on 6000 US adults reports that those who ate sunflower seeds and other seeds five times a week experienced lower inflammation.

4.3. Uplifts Energy Levels

As proteins in the seeds boost energy levels, the B vitamins like Folate (B9) and Vitamin B6 keep the body energized and active during the day. Selenium also helps improve blood flow and transfer more oxygen into the body.

4.4. Supports Immune System

With a high source of vitamins and minerals like Zinc and Selenium, sunflower seeds support the immune system and improve the ability to fight viruses. Zinc aids the body, maintaining and helping develop immune cells. Selenium helps fight infection and boosts immunity.

Suggested Reading: Benefits of Black Sesame Seeds 

5. How to eat Sunflower Seeds?

Based on the above discussion, we understood well about sunflower seeds and their benefits. Then how about eating sunflower seeds? What are the ways to add sunflower seeds to meals? Sunflower seeds are available in the form of shells and shelled kernels in the market. How to eat sunflower seeds? Let us get started knowing how to eat a sunflower seed.

How to eat Sunflower Seeds?
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5.1. Eating Raw

Sunflower seeds get sold with their shells unbroken. The outer layer of the shelled sunflower seed looks black. It is not preferable to eat shelled seeds.

To consume them raw, you crack open the shelled sunflower seeds with your teeth. Then separate the seeds in the shell. Spit out the shell and eat the seeds.

5.2. Eating Roasted or Flavored

If you wish to have some taste or flavor, you can consume roasted sunflower seeds. Some people love consuming salted seeds. You can buy flavored and roasted seeds from authentic food and spice shops.

5.3. Eating in Powder form

If you love baking, you can make a sunflower seed powder. Grate the sunflower seeds until it becomes fine powder. Mix this powder in the flour and baked goods like muffins, bread batters, cakes, and more. It thereby improves the nutritional benefits of baked goods.

5.4. Adding to dishes

How to eat Sunflower Seeds?
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You can have a tasty diet by adding shelled sunflower seeds for lunch, snacks, and dinner in plenty of ways, as follows:

  • Sprinkling over a stir-fry or mixed vegetables.

  • Sprinkling on top of salads and pasta.

  • Stirring it into an oatmeal sprinkle.

  • Adding to veggie burgers mix.

  • Replacing peanut butter with sunflower butter.

  • Using sunflower oil instead of coconut oil.

  • Adding to a trail mix.

How to eat Sunflower Seeds?
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5.5. Adding to Eggs

While preparing the batter for an omelet or scrambled eggs, add dill pickle or parmesan with sunflower seeds. It gives more crunchiness and adds more flavor to the batter.

5.6. Eating Butter form

You can make hands-on sunflower seed butter. The three ingredients required for its preparation – are sunflower seeds, sea salt, and sugar. To make it more buttery and creamy, add sunflower oil to it. Then apply it to slices of bread, or add it to sauces and smoothies.

How to eat Sunflower Seeds?
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6. Downsides of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds have high calories and sodium content. Consume about 30 grams in a day to maintain weight. Also, with high sodium, the salt intake becomes higher. Also, unshelled sunflower seeds are high in added salt. Instead of salted sunflower seeds, eat shelled unsalted ones.

Another reason for moderate consumption is that the sunflower seeds have a high amount of cadmium that can harm kidneys.

Sprouted seeds are one popular method of preparation that contain harmful bacteria and cause food poisoning.

Allergies to sunflower seed pollen during harvest or bird feed are a common issue in people.

Suggested Reading: Sunflower Oil For Skin: Captivating Facts You Must Know

7. Final Note – How to eat Sunflower Seeds?

How to eat sunflower seeds? Sunflower seeds are excellent nutrients as part of a healthy diet. Incorporating them into your daily diet will maintain a balanced life free of health issues. On the other hand, also check for its downsides and consume it wisely in a required proportion.

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Hey, I am Bhagyashree, a B.E. graduate from the University of Mumbai residing in Mumbai. I am a Blogger and love reading and writing blogs on WordPress.
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