Sunflower Seeds – A Tiny Yet Nutritious Snack!

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

Whenever my family and I go on road trips or to livestock shows, one snack that we usually always have with us is sunflower seeds. My brothers and I love trying all the different flavors of seeds that come in those little bags from the convenience stores, and so far, our two favorite flavors are dill pickle and black pepper.

Photo by João Jesus:

Whether you like the flavored seeds or the plain and salted ones, there are a surprising number of health benefits packed into each little seed.

According to MindBodyGreen, sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E and antioxidants, fiber, and selenium, and they are also a great source of plant-based protein, containing about 5 grams per handful. Registered dieticians Abby Cannon and Molly Knudsen note that sunflower seeds also provide the following health benefits:

  • Help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Are a source of plant-based protein
  • They keep your immune system healthy
  • Help to reduce inflammation

Luckily, these little seeds are super versatile, so it’s easy to use them in different recipes and reap the health benefits that they offer. Obviously, you can snack on them by themselves, either plain or seasoned like my brothers and I do, or you can use them in various recipes. Toss them on top of salads or grain bowls for a crunchy topping. Or you can use them in place of pine nuts in pesto or mix them into granola or cereal. So, consider choosing sunflower seeds as a midday snack, or using them in your next recipe! They’re delicious!

Did you know that sunflower oil is also incredibly healthy? Check out this related article from Fill Your Plate!

Should You Incorporate Sunflower Oil Into Your Cooking?

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