They’re rich in healthy fats, beneficial plant compounds and several vitamins and minerals.
These nutrients may play a role in reducing your risk of common health problems, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Here’s everything you need to know about sunflower seeds, including their nutrition, benefits and how to eat them.
What Are Sunflower Seeds?
Sunflower seeds are technically the fruits of the sunflower plant (Helianthus annuus)
The seed are harvested from the plant’s large flower heads, which can measure more than 12 inches (30.5 cm) in diameter. A single sunflower head may contain up to 2,000 seeds
There are two main types of sunflower crops. One type is grown for the seeds you eat, while the other — which is the majority farmed — is grown for the oil
The sunflower seeds you eat are encased in inedible black-and-white striped shells, also called hulls. Those used for extracting sunflower oil have solid black shells.
Sunflower seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and a firm but tender texture. They’re often roasted to enhance the flavor, though you can also buy them raw.