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Varad Shenoy

ThankYou Precious Dr Prachi Garg

You Are Very helpful

God Bless You



Shantanu Sodhi

Thank you, glad you liked it.

Amit Patil

Very useful information. Thank you.

Ashir Sahal

You are most welcome. Glad you found it useful.


Please advise me How to eat this seed, because I am a diabetic and bp patient


Can sunflower seeds revive low brain memory?

k o. kalu

Thanks for the information.


Thank you so much for your information trying to get my cholesterol and triglycerides under control.

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13 Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds You Should Know!

By Dr Prachi Garg +2 more

Packed with loads of nutrients, sunflower seeds are actually fruits of sunflower (Helianthus annuus). These tiny white coloured seeds are encased in greyish black shells.

These soft seeds have a mild nutty flavour. You can roast them to increase their taste or have them as it is.

sunflower seeds benefits

Nutritional Value of Sunflower Seeds

  • Sunflower seeds are rich in calories. 100 grams of these seeds give around 585 calories of energy. They have a good amount of fibre (8.5 g) and fats (51.5 g). Fats present are mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated; which are good fats. They are also rich in protein (20.77 g).
  • They are loaded with vitamins like Thiamine,   Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Folate, Choline, vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin E.
  • Contain minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc etc.
  • Sunflower seeds when consumed, also provide us with plant compounds like flavonoids and phenolic acids that are strong antioxidants.
  • Sunflower seeds nutrition is a well-rounded package, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, making them a nutritious and versatile snack.
  • Sunflower seeds protein content helps in muscle building which make a value addition to our diet

However if you’re mindful of your calorie intake, it’s important to know the calories in sunflower seeds while appreciating their overall nutritional benefits.

Did You Know?

  • Sunflower seeds are a good source of plant-based protein for vegetarians and vegans. source: usda.
  • Sunflower seeds are low in carbohydrates, with only 20 grams per 100 grams. source: usda.
  • Sunflower seeds are a rich source of folate, providing 227 micrograms per 100 grams. source: usda.
  • Consuming sunflower seeds may help lower cholesterol levels due to their high phytosterol content. source: usda.

Comparison of Sunflower Seeds with Pumpkin Seeds

While both are extremely healthy and packed with nutrients, sunflower seeds win on many more levels.

Sunflower SeedsPumpkin Seeds
They are the fruit of the sunflower (not technically the seeds!)They are the edible seeds of different pumpkins and squash
Flat and oval, smaller and thickerFlat and oval, thinner and larger than sunflower seeds
Can range from white to blackLight green in colour with a white husk outside
4.7% water content4.5% water content
584 calories per 100g446 calories per 100g
21g of high-quality protein per 100g19g of protein per 100g
2 times the fat content of pumpkin seeds (healthy fats)Ample fat content (most healthy fats)
Lower dietary fibre contentHigher dietary fibre content
Higher in most other vitamins including B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin EHigher in Vitamin A, also contains Vitamin K
Higher in iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, copperHigher in zinc, potassium, choline
Low glycemic indexLow glycemic index

Recently, I came across a study that states Sunflower seed might promote healthy bones. Sunflower seeds are said to have a rich source of minerals such as Magnesium, Phosphorus and Calcium that might maintain healthy bones.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also read: The Truth about Sunflower Oil: Is it Really Bad for You?

Types Of Sunflower Seeds:

  • Sunflower Seeds that we eat
  • Sunflower Seeds used to extract oil.

Around 2000 seeds are obtained from large sunflower heads. These seeds can be eaten as a snack or they can be added to :

  • Mukhwas
  • Nutrition bars
  • Bread
  • Muffins
  • Yoghurt
  • Stir-fries
  • Salads

You can even have sunflower butter made using these seeds.

Read More: Health Benefits & Uses of Sabja Seeds

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

1. Immunity Booster

  • Immunity boosting effects of sunflower seeds are due to the presence of vitamin E, zinc and selenium in them.
  • Vitamin E enhances immune responses and protects against several infectious diseases. It is also a powerful antioxidant and prevents free radicals from damaging healthy cells in our body.
  • Zinc protects our body from inflammation, allergies and invading pathogens, thus preventing infections and increasing overall immunity.
  • Selenium reduces inflammation and enhances immunity. It also helps to reduce oxidative stress from free radicals.

2. Reduces Cholesterol

  • The fibre content of sunflower seeds benefits by decreasing the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
  • Niacin or vitamin B3 present in sunflower seeds reduces total cholesterol levels and risk of heart diseases.
  • Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid in sunflower seeds increases HDL cholesterol and reduces total serum cholesterol levels.

Also Read: High Cholesterol Diet – Foods To Eat & Avoid

3. Cardioprotective Effects

  • Sunflower seeds are rich in oleic and linoleic acid and low in saturated fats and sodium. They also contain magnesium, potassium and fibre.
  • They help to lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. Consuming them also reduces the occurrence of arrhythmias. All these effects help to protect our body from occurrence of cardiovascular disorders.

4. Reduces Risk of Cancer

  • Beta-sitosterol, a phytosterol present in sunflower seeds helps to prevent breast cancer. [9] It inhibits the growth of tumour cells, decreases the size of the tumour and also prevents metastasis.
  • Presence of strong antioxidants in sunflower seeds also reduces the risk of cancer.
  • Consumption of these seeds also reduces the chances of colon cancer.

Also Read: Honeynut Squash: A Deep Dive Into Its Nutritional Benefits And Culinary Uses

5. Management of Diabetes

Sunflower seeds are useful in reducing blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. What is type 2 diabetes? It is a chronic condition that leads to high levels of blood sugar in your body as the cells do not respond to insulin as well as they should. A few of the symptoms include increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and blurred vision.    

Read More: 10 Best Food For Diabetes

6. Boosts the Function of the Brain

  • Sunflower seeds contain vitamin B6. It improves mood and concentration and enhances memory.  It releases serotonin and norepinephrine in our body.
  • Sunflower seeds also help to ease symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Also Read: 5 Foods That Are Good For Brain

7. Helps in Weight Loss

Sunflower seeds are rich in proteins and fibre. They make us feel full for a long time, reduce our food intake and finally reduce the number of calories consumed. This helps in reduction of weight.

8. A Powerhouse of Energy

  • Sunflower seeds are a good source of thiamine ( vitamin B1 ). Thiamine helps to breakdown carbohydrates, proteins and fats present in our food into energy. They also help in muscle building.
  • A handful of sunflower seeds can give you instant energy when consumed.

Also Read: 9 Energy Giving Foods to Solve Your Energy Woes

9. Helps in the Treatment of Anaemia

  • Sunflower seeds are a good source of iron. Consuming these seeds helps to up our iron levels; thus helping people suffering from anaemia.

Read More: 7 Home Remedies for Anaemia

10. Helps to Detox our Body

  • Sunflower seeds have potent antibacterial activity. They help in effectively removing bacteria and germs from cells.
  • They also help to flush out toxins from our body.

11. Good for our Skin

  • Consuming sunflower seeds benefits the skin as it makes our skin glow, and the antibacterial and antifungal activity of these seeds also prevents infections, thus keeping our skin clear.
  • Oleic and linoleic acids, present in sunflower seeds help in the formation of collagen and elastin, speeding up wound healing. They also prevent the formation of scars.

12. Helpful During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the benefits of eating sunflower seeds are many as they are loaded with Vitamine E, which is a nutrient known to be extremely beneficial for prenatal health. This means, Vitamin E helps in the development of the baby inside the womb. Therefore, sunflower seeds are an effective source of nutrition for pregnant women and their babies.

13. Reduces Inflammation

People suffering from chronic inflammation can find relief by consuming sunflower seeds either as part of trail mix or by adding them to their breakfast cereal or even by sprinkling some on their soup or salad. The health benefits of sunflower seeds include anti-inflammatory properties such as flavonoids, Vitamin E and other compounds. Experts have found that consuming sunflower seeds as part of any of your meals 3-5 times a week significantly lowered vulnerability to chronic conditions such as arthritis or joint pain.  

Sunflower seeds are a proven source of minerals, such as magnesium. I recently read in an article that Sunflower seeds may help maintain muscle tone, strengthen them and avoid muscle cramps because they are a source of magnesium.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Other Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds:

1. Sunflower seeds benefits for male:

 Sunflower seeds provide numerous health benefits for men. Packed with vitamin E, they promote prostate health and support reproductive function. The presence of zinc contributes to testosterone production, crucial for male fertility. Additionally, the selenium content aids in protecting sperm cells from oxidative damage. Including sunflower seeds in the diet can enhance cardiovascular health, boost immunity, and offer a nutrient-rich snack for overall well-being in men.

2. Sunflower seeds benefits for female:

Sunflower seeds offer various health benefits for females. Rich in vitamin E, they promote healthy skin, and the presence of folate is beneficial for reproductive health. The magnesium content supports bone density and alleviates PMS symptoms. Additionally, sunflower seeds provide essential fatty acids that contribute to hormonal balance. Including these seeds in the diet can be a nutritious way for women to support overall well-being, hormonal health, and nutrient intake.

From my knowledge, Sunflower seeds might be your ally in treating asthma. Tocopherols found in sunflower seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that may play a significant role in conditions involving chronic inflammation, such as bronchial asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.

Dr. Smita Barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

3. Sunflower seeds benefits for hair:

Rich in essential nutrients, sunflower seeds provide a natural solution for maintaining vibrant and healthy hair. Loaded with vitamin E, these seeds contribute to increased blood flow to the scalp, promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss. The antioxidants in sunflower seeds also play a crucial role in protecting the hair follicles from oxidative stress, thereby reducing the risk of premature graying. Furthermore, the presence of minerals like zinc and selenium supports a nourished scalp, reducing dandruff and enhancing overall hair quality. Including sunflower seeds in your diet can be a simple yet effective way to enhance the strength and luster of your hair.

Also Read: 12 Health Benefits of Poppy Seeds

Side Effects of Sunflower Seeds:

  • Excess consumption of sunflower seeds may cause vomiting, stomach ache and constipation.
  • People allergic to sunflower seeds may show symptoms like vomiting, rashes, breathing problem, swelling and itching around the mouth etc.
  • Sunflower seeds are rich in calories. Consuming too much may lead to weight gain.
  • Sunflower seeds contain traces of cadmium. Eating too many seeds can be harmful to our kidneys.
  • Eating contaminated sprouted seeds may lead to bacterial infection (Salmonella).
  • Excessive intake of sunflower seeds may lead to potential side effects in females, such as weight gain due to their calorie density or allergic reactions in rare cases.

Also Read: 10 Foods That Are Good For Skin

Daily Dose of Sunflower Seeds:

  • Sunflower seeds should not be consumed more than 1 small cup ( around 30 grams ) per day.

Also Read: 14 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Sunflower seed vs sunflower oil, which is better?

Sunflower oil has more quantity of vitamin E than sunflower seeds, whereas, sunflower seeds contain vitamin B6, iron, phosphorus and pantothenic acid. Additionally, sunflower seed is more expensive than sunflower oil. Thus, both have their pros and cons.  

How to incorporate sunflower seeds into our daily diet?

Adding sunflower seeds to one’s diet is really easy like any other seed. You can sprinkle on top of your salad, add to oatmeal or muesli or granola, combine into trail mix, add as one of the ingredients of energy balls for weight loss, add to burgers, stir fry vegetables or even make sunflower butter of it similar to peanut butter.  

How to store sunflower seeds correctly without spoiling them?

You can store sunflower seeds in an airtight container when kept in an environment that is cool and dry such as a refrigerator and freezer for up to 12 months.  

Are sunflower seeds good for you?

Yes, sunflower seeds are a nutritious snack rich in healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients like vitamin E and magnesium, contributing to heart health, skin maintenance, and overall well-being.

Can dogs eat sunflower seeds?

Yes, in moderation, dogs can eat plain, unsalted sunflower seeds as a healthy and nutritious snack. However, it’s crucial to remove the shells to prevent digestive issues, and consulting with a vet is recommended for individual dietary considerations.

Are sunflower seeds good for pregnancy?

Yes, sunflower seeds can be beneficial during pregnancy as they are a rich source of essential nutrients like folate, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids, which support fetal development and maternal health. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice based on individual dietary needs.

Are sunflower seeds good for weight loss?

Yes, sunflower seeds can aid in weight loss as they are a nutrient-dense snack that provides satiety with healthy fats, protein, and fiber. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice based on individual dietary needs.

Are sunflower seeds good for diabetics?

Yes, sunflower seeds can be a healthy choice for diabetics due to their low glycemic index and rich content of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. However, portion control is essential to manage blood sugar levels effectively, and it’s advisable for individuals to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized dietary guidance.

Are sunflower seeds heaty?

In traditional Chinese medicine, sunflower seeds are often considered ‘heaty,’ meaning they may contribute to warmth in the body. However, individual responses vary, so it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized advice based on your health condition and dietary needs regarding sunflower seeds or any specific foods.

Are sunflower seeds good for hypothyroidism?

Sunflower seeds can be beneficial for individuals with hypothyroidism due to their selenium content, which supports thyroid function. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized dietary advice and to ensure they align with an individual’s specific thyroid condition and overall health.

How to eat sunflower seeds?

To eat sunflower seeds, crack open the shell with your teeth, extract the seed, and discard the shell. Enjoy them raw, roasted, or seasoned, and consider adding them to salads, yogurt, or as a wholesome snack for a satisfying crunch.

Does sunflower seeds increase weight?

While sunflower seeds are nutritious, their calorie density may contribute to weight gain if consumed excessively. For personalized advice on incorporating them into a balanced diet, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian.

Does sunflower seeds lower chloesterol?

Sunflower seeds, with their high content of unsaturated fats and phytosterols, may contribute to lowering cholesterol levels. For personalized guidance on incorporating them into a heart-healthy diet, consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable.

Does sunflower seeds have protein?

Yes, sunflower seeds are a good source of protein, making them a nutritious addition to a balanced diet. Including them can contribute to meeting daily protein requirements for overall health.

Does sunflower seeds have vitamin D?

No, sunflower seeds are not a significant source of vitamin D. While they contain various nutrients, vitamin D is typically obtained from sunlight exposure, fortified foods, or other dietary sources.

Does sunflower seeds have omega3?

Yes, sunflower seeds contain a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, but they are not a primary source. Including a variety of foods rich in omega-3s, such as fatty fish and flaxseeds, is advisable for optimal intake.

Does sunflower seeds increase testosterone?

While sunflower seeds offer nutritional benefits, there’s limited evidence supporting a direct impact on testosterone levels. For personalized advice on hormonal health, consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended.

Can you eat the shell of a sunflower seed?

While the outer shell of a sunflower seed is technically edible, it is usually not consumed due to its tough and fibrous texture. Most people prefer to crack the shell open with their teeth, extract the seed, and discard the shell.

Are sunflower seeds keto?

Certainly, sunflower seeds are keto-friendly due to their low net carb content and high healthy fat content. For personalized dietary recommendations, especially in the context of a ketogenic diet, consulting with a healthcare professional or nutritionist is advisable.

 What are sunflower seeds good for?

Sunflower seeds are a nutritious snack, rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, supporting healthy skin, boosting immune function, and promoting heart health. Additionally, their high content of essential minerals contributes to improved bone health and overall well-being.

 Can sunflower seeds be eaten raw?

Yes, sunflower seeds can be consumed raw and offer a healthy snack option. However, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that raw sunflower seeds align with your individual dietary needs and health conditions.

Can sunflower seeds be roasted?

Certainly, sunflower seeds can be roasted to enhance their flavor and texture. Roasting also adds a delightful crunch, making them a popular and enjoyable snack option.

Can sunflower seeds be soaked?

Yes, sunflower seeds can be soaked to enhance their digestibility and nutritional absorption. Soaking can also make them a versatile ingredient for various culinary uses, adding a different texture to dishes.

Can sunflower seeds cause kidney stones?

Sunflower seeds are not typically linked to kidney stone formation and can be part of a healthy diet. However, individuals with a history of kidney stones should consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice on their dietary choices and overall kidney health.

Can sunflower seeds cause acne?

There is no direct evidence linking sunflower seeds to acne. However, individual reactions may vary, and consulting a dermatologist or healthcare professional for personalized advice is recommended, especially for those with specific skin concerns.

Can sunflower seeds cause constipation?

Sunflower seeds are a good source of fiber, which generally aids in digestion. However, excessive consumption may lead to constipation in some individuals. It’s advisable to maintain moderation and ensure an overall balanced diet for digestive health.

Can sunflower seeds cause itching?

In rare cases, individuals may develop an allergic reaction to sunflower seeds, leading to itching. If persistent or severe, it is advisable to seek medical advice to determine the cause and address potential allergies.

Can chickens eat sunflower seeds?

Yes, chickens can eat sunflower seeds as part of their diet, providing a good source of protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients. It’s advisable to offer them in moderation as a treat, alongside a balanced feed, to ensure overall nutritional requirements are met.

Can you eat sunflower seeds?

Absolutely, sunflower seeds are a nutritious and edible snack for humans. Packed with healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients, they make for a delicious and health-conscious addition to various diets.

Can birds eat sunflower seeds?

Yes, many bird species can safely consume sunflower seeds as they are a rich source of energy, healthy fats, and nutrients. Offering these seeds can attract a variety of birds to your garden or feeding area, contributing to their well-being.

Are all sunflower seeds edible?

Yes, all sunflower seeds are generally edible, and they can be consumed once the outer shell is removed. However, it’s essential to choose varieties labeled as “edible” or “confectionery” for the best taste and texture.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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