- Sunflower seeds are a member of the Asteraceae botanical family, otherwise known as the Compositae botanical family. This botanical family is one of the largest in the world, with over 24,000 different species. Other edible members of this botanical family include artichoke, chicory, dandelion, endive, Jerusalem artichoke, lettuce and radicchio.
- The sunflower seed, otherwise known as the kernel, is encased in a hard shell.
- Hulled or shelled sunflower seeds are void of the hard outer shell, while unhulled or in-shell sunflower seeds contain the hard outer shell.
- Unhulled or in-shell sunflower seeds are typically roasted and seasoned, then eaten by cracking the outer shell with one’s teeth and discarding the shell by spitting them out.
- Sunflower kernels are processed by a machine mechanically removing the hull or outer shell. The kernel or seeds are then sold raw or roasted as a snack.
- Sunflower seeds are also pressed and sold as oil.
- Sunflower seeds contain health promoting properties including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, wound healing and cardiovascular benefits.
- Sunflower seeds also contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
- Vegans, vegetarians and nut allergic individuals will benefit from incorporating sunflower seeds in their diet due to the high protein content.
- Sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that may protect against heart disease.
- Selenium, another antioxidant found in sunflower seeds, may protect our cells from damage by reducing free
radicals in our body, leading to reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
Calories: 190 | Protein: 8.0 g | Fat: 15.0 g | Carbohydrate: 5.0 g | Fiber: 2.0 g | Calcium: 0 mg | Iron: 1.0 mg
1 Tbsp. sunflower seed butter
Calories: 98 | Protein: 2.8 g | Fat: 8.8 g | Carbohydrate: 3.7 g | Fiber: 0.9 g | Calcium: 10 mg | Magnesium: 50 mg | Potassium: 92 mg | Zinc: 0.8 mg | Vitamin E: 3.6 mg