Sunflower seeds are the fruit of the sunflower plant. The seed is edible after the outer shell has been removed. The part that we eat is called the sunflower kernel or heart. There are three varieties of sunflower seeds including linoleic, high oleic and NuSun- however, linoleic is the most common. The varieties differ in their amount of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. You can buy sunflower seeds in several forms. Most often they are eaten as a snack, either already shelled, or dried and seasoned with the shell.
Benefits of Sunflower Seeds:
- An excellent source of soluble fibre. Soluble fibre helps to slow digestion and keeps you feeling full. It also helps to lower cholesterol levels and control blood sugar levels.
- A good source of magnesium. This mineral helps you use energy from food and is important for bone and nerve health.
- A good source of protein, which helps you feel more full!
- An excellent source of vitamin B6, which helps with the production of protein, insulin and red blood cells! It is also very important in immunity and skin health.
- A good source of vitamin B1, which is essential in the proper functioning of the heart, digestive and nervous systems. It also helps the body obtain energy from carbohydrates and fats.
- An excellent source of vitamin E. This antioxidant can help prevent free radical damage to cells in the body.
- An excellent source of polyunsaturated fats, which must be obtained through the diet as the body cannot synthesize them. They have anti-inflammatory effects and are important for healthy skin and hair.
Nutritional Value of 1/4 cup of Sunflower Seeds:
- 204 calories
- 7 g carbohydrate
- 3 g fibre
- 7 g protein
- 18 g fat
- 57% of daily magnesium requirements
- 40% of daily vitamin B1 needs
- 123% of daily vitamin E requirements
Did You Know?
Sunflowers are good for the earth as they are able assist in the removal of harmful toxins and contaminants in the soil! This process, known as phytoremediation, can be used to help reclaim land that has been damaged.