Sunflower seeds: Benefits, Nutrients, and Precautions

Sunflower seeds: Benefits, Nutrients, and Precautions

Sunflower seeds are the fruits of the sunflower plant. They appear in different dimensions, they can be more than 12 inches in diameter. Sunflower is in great demand, because of its seeds and for the oil extracted. As a matter of fact we can differentiate between them by their appearances, one has black-and-white striped shells, called hull. The other variety has solid black shells.  Roasting these seeds can increase flavor.

Sunflower Nutritional value:

The sunflower seeds have moderate contents of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fat. They are also a good source of natural protein. The portions of carbohydrates are decent as well. It is good for ensuring proper digestion because of high fibre content. As a matter of fact, vitamins like E, B6, niacin, and folate are in majority. Minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium are also present in high amount.


Anti-inflammatory property:

Chronic inflammation is harmful as it increases the blood levels of the marker C-reactive protein, main cause for heart diseases and diabetes. Consumption of these seeds in daily diet can lower the levels of this protein by a significant amount. In addition to Vitamin C , vitamin E also reduce C-reactive protein levels. Flavonoids present in these seeds are also good for the treatment of inflammation.

Heart Health:

The magnesium present in sunflower is useful for the prevention of blood vessel constriction. Moreover if our blood vessels constrict, the levels of blood pressure rise. Thus, sunflower seeds are good for the relaxation of vessels. Presence of linoleic acid allows the formation of a particular compound that relaxes blood vessels. Furthermore, individuals with high linolenic acid intake experience a fall in the risk of heart diseases by 15% or more.


Sunflower seeds fast blood sugar by 10% within a few months of intake. As a matter of fact, chlorogenic acid is the main blood sugar lowering agent in these seeds. Adding them to daily diet help us ensure a gradual release of sugar from carbohydrates.  


  1. The shells have a high content of sodium. They are often coated with 2500 mg of sodium. Thus, it is inappropriate to consume for individuals, who want to reduce salt intake in diet.
  2. Cadmium is a mineral present in high amount in these seeds. This mineral is not good for our kidneys and might damage it in the long run.
  3. Raw, newly sprouted sunflower seeds if not exposed to the right temperature might give rise to bacteria. Thus, the bacterial contamination should be taken into consideration before consumption.
  4. The shells of these seeds are not digested by our body. Large consumption of these seeds can lead to fecal impaction in children and adults.

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