Are Sunflower Seeds Healthy? Get the 411


Sunflower seeds are a staple in baseball dugouts and the unsung heroes of path combine. (No offense, raisins.)

However there are such a lot of different artistic methods to get pleasure from these edible seeds.

Add them to salads or as a frozen dessert topper — they work properly with each candy and savory dishes, says Dana Ellis Hunnes, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., a senior dietitian at RR-UCLA Medical Middle and writer of the upcoming guide, “Recipe for Survival.”

Sunflower seeds can be blended into smoothies, combined into oatmeal, baked into energy bars, floor into an addictive dessert known as halva, sprinkled on avocado toast, added to a superfood bowl, or simply eaten alone.

In different phrases, they’re fairly versatile. However, like different nuts and seeds, they’re not a low-calorie meals.

So are sunflower seeds wholesome? How does the common-or-garden sunflower seed match right into a balanced food regimen?

Right here’s what it’s worthwhile to know.

The Advantages of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds on a saucer

Is consuming sunflower seeds good for you? It may be!

Seeds are nutritionally dense, which implies they are often a straightforward option to get a number of macro and micronutrients you want.

As with every different meals, the energy in sunflower seeds can add up rapidly in case you don’t watch your portion sizes. However there are a number of advantages to working them into your food regimen.

They’re dietary powerhouses

Sunflower seeds boast a laundry list of nutrients.

“Sunflower seeds are excessive in vitamin E, thiamine (vitamin B1), vitamin B6, iron, copper, selenium, manganese, and zinc — nutritional vitamins and hint minerals the physique wants for good well being,” Hunnes says.

They supply antioxidants

Antioxidants — just like the vitamin E in sunflower seeds — assist counter oxidative stress, which analysis suggests might contribute to sure persistent well being situations.

Sunflower seeds are additionally rich in selenium, which acts as an antioxidant within the physique, says Beachbody vitamin knowledgeable Quyen Vu.

They’re a supply of wholesome fat

Though sunflower seeds do supply some plant-based protein, the majority of their energy comes from heart-healthy fats.

Will Sunflower Seeds Make You Acquire Weight?

Nutritious sunflower seeds in a wood bowl.

“Something will make you achieve weight in case you eat an excessive amount of of it,” Hunnes notes, and sunflower seeds aren’t any totally different.

Sunflower seeds are calorie-dense, and a few individuals discover it difficult to stay to a single serving — which is one ounce of hulled seeds, or ¼ cup.

“You wouldn’t need to overeat sunflower seeds in case your aim is weight reduction,” Vu says.

However so long as you pay attention to portions, sunflower seeds gained’t inherently make you achieve weight.

“It takes about an additional 3,500 energy to achieve one pound of physique weight,” Vu explains — so simply be sure you’re not constantly overdoing it.

Likewise, there’s no particular compound in sunflower seeds that may allow you to shed extra pounds, however they could be a welcome boost to a balanced food regimen.

How Many Sunflower Seeds Ought to You Eat in a Day?

Homemade Granola bars with sunflower seeds

As a result of sunflower seeds are calorically dense, Vu suggests limiting your consumption to a few teaspoons — or as much as two tablespoons — of the hulled seeds per day for salad toppings or garnishes.

As a snack, ¼ cup of hulled seeds “is an efficient portion measurement that may positively assist maintain you satiated,” says Hunnes.

That is the usual serving measurement, which gives roughly 200 energy.

You possibly can get pleasure from this all of sudden as a snack — both plain or in our Maple Cinnamon Seeds recipe — or break it up all through the day.

Simply be aware that these energy are largely from fats, so it’s possible you’ll need to use them in a recipe that balances sunflower seeds with satiating protein, like our sunflower shake.

However so long as you don’t overdo it, “they will positively be part of a food regimen supposed for weight reduction,” Vu says.

In search of extra knowledgeable vitamin data? Head over to and discover ways to eat wholesome for the long run with the assistance of our two vitamin packages, 2B Mindset and Portion Fix.


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