Sunflower seeds come from the sunflower plant. Many people favor just the kernel of the seed, even though whole sunflower seeds can be consumed. On the outside of the core is a sturdy hull that is hard to digest. These seeds are abundant in vitamins but low in carbs. Because they’re available year-round, you are welcome to enjoy a healthy snack and create wholesome salads and other dishes.
The USDA provides the following nutrition information for 1/4 cup (34g) of dry roasted sunflower seed kernels without salt. Carbohydrates A quarter of a cup of these seed contains about 207 calories and 7 grams of carbs. Nearly half of the carbs come from fiber, and the rest is starch. Considering there is little to no sugar in sunflower seeds, they are in a category of low-glycemic food. Fats & Protein You’ll get most of the calories in sunflower seeds come from fat. However, most of it is a healthy fat, and there are only 2grm of the saturated one in a serving of sunflower seed kernels. Besides, you’ll get almost 6 grams of protein in a quarter of a cup serving. Vitamins and Minerals Sunflower seeds are a mineral and vitamin powerhouse. They are an outstanding vitamin E source, providing about just under 50% of your daily intake. They are also an invaluable source of thiamin and a good source of vitamin B6 and folate. Minerals in sunflower seeds contain copper, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, and selenium.
Supports Healthy Digestion Foods with fiber support and maintain a healthy digestive system. Fiber is the hard part of carbohydrates to digest, better say its indigestible. It helps to improve bowels by digestion, absorption, regulating food ingestion, and metabolism. The kernel of a sunflower seed gives some fiber, but if you eat the whole seed, you will benefit more as the hull is entirely fiber. Eases Constipation Studies show that increasing your dietary fiber intake increases stool frequency in people with constipation. If you consume foods with fiber, you may get a laxative effect. It may be a health benefit for many people. Healthy Weight Maintenance Fiber helps in satiety (feeling full). A feeling of fullness helps avoid mindless eating, which leads to overeating and, therefore, weight gain. Limits Cell Damage Vitamin E is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that helps in normal nerve function and boosts immunity. Moreover, it is also known to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect the body from cellular damage that is caused by free radicals. Experts recommend that you get antioxidants from food sources rather than supplements. Foods like vegetables, fruits, and seeds provide antioxidants along with other nutrients. Allergies If you might have a seed allergy or if you suspect an allergy to sunflower seeds, consult with your healthcare provider or family doctor for personalized advice. Adverse Effects You may encounter unfavorable effects from eating whole sunflower seeds, mainly if you eat a lot. The hull—or outer shell—might be sharp and hard to digest. Additionally, consuming too many hulls can cause fecal impaction (FI), a severe form of constipation, since fiber is only helpful with large amounts of water. Please be mindful when eating sunflower seeds in hulls, every food has health benefits when consumed in moderation and with intention.