Last updated: August 17, 2021

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Seeds are an essential part of plants. When they fall on fertile soil or are sown, they germinate into a plant of the same species. However, they are also an indispensable part of the human diet, as they provide elements necessary for good development, such as vitamins, iron and calcium. Sunflower seeds, on the other hand, are some of the most demanded and consumed due to their high level of fatty acids, vitamin B and E, antioxidants, iron, magnesium, potassium, among other properties.

They can be eaten in salads, bread or biscuits, although they can also be present in some more elaborate dishes. As these foods represent a key part of a healthy and balanced diet, they are in high demand. To get the best sunflower seeds, you will have to consider what your needs and preferences really are, as you will surely find them in different quantities, presentations and prices.




Summary

  • Sunflower seeds, also known as sunflower seeds, are edible seeds from the sunflower. They are renowned for their nutritional properties, being high in fatty acids, micronutrients, vitamins B and E, as well as antioxidants and mineral salts.
  • Nowadays they are very popular and can be found in different presentations. They are usually sold in their natural form or with some seasoning added, which are commonly sugar to make them sweet or salt, lemon and chilli to give them a more intense flavour.
  • In order to purchase the sunflower seeds that best suit your tastes and needs, you should take into account certain factors such as portions, how they are consumed and their nutritional values.

The Best Sunflower Seeds: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about sunflower seeds

Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet has become a basic necessity, which is why sunflower seeds have become so important in human eating habits, as they provide key properties. Below, we will show you different sections with relevant information about these products.

Add sunflower seeds to your dietary routine. Photo: Antonio Guillem /123rf.com)

What are sunflower seeds and what are their benefits?

Sunflower seeds, also known as sunflower seeds, are edible seeds from the Helianthus annus plant, or sunflower. They are renowned for their nutritional properties, as they are high in fatty acids, micronutrients, vitamins B and E, as well as antioxidants and mineral salts. In addition, these seeds are usually eaten without the shell, also called pericarp. They are often used as a sweet or savoury snack or as a complement to more elaborate dishes. They are also not exclusive to the human diet, but are used in animal feed, especially for poultry.

Sunflower seeds have become a very popular food because they are totally natural and healthy. They can be found in different presentations, but also in different proportions that can range from a few grams to kilos of product. Although they are a good alternative, they can also have some disadvantages.

Advantages
  • They are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc.
  • They help to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • They contribute to improve the digestion process
  • When consumed responsibly, they can help to reduce the user's weight
Disadvantages
  • They can cause allergies
  • Excessive consumption can increase cholesterol levels
  • Consuming more than the recommended dose can increase the user's weight

Natural sunflower seeds or spiced sunflower seeds - what to look out for?

Sunflower seeds are nowadays more popular and can be found in different forms. Sunflower seeds are usually sold in their natural form or with some seasoning added, most commonly sugar for a nutty taste or salt and chilli for a more intense flavour.

  • Natural sunflower seeds. This type of product is usually sold as they are harvested or shelled, however, they are not intervened with any other ingredient to modify their flavour or appearance. They are commonly used to complement dishes such as salads, soups and meats.
  • Spiced sunflower seeds. These seeds undergo a modification process after harvesting. They are usually shelled and then various ingredients are added to modify their flavour. These products are mainly consumed as a snack.
Natural sunflower seeds Seasoned sunflower seeds
Ingredients No additional ingredients Sugar, salt, lemon and chilli mainly
Benefits Provides fatty acids, micronutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and mineral salts Provides fatty acids, micronutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and mineral salts
Ideal meal More elaborate dishes Snack or snack

Purchasing criteria

In order to purchase the sunflower seeds that best suit your tastes and needs, you will need to take into account certain factors such as portions, how they are consumed and their nutritional values. To help you make the best purchasing decision, we have developed the most relevant information about their key characteristics.

Servings

The portions of sunflower seeds you wish to purchase should be determined according to their intended use. That is, if you are going to use them to prepare a special soup or to add them to a specific main dish, then the serving size will be different from the seeds you want to consume as a lunch or daily snack.

  • Snack. If you want to use sunflower seeds as a daily snack or lunch, then we recommend that you buy a box with multiple 100g bags of sunflower seeds, or bars with other natural ingredients added, so that the quantity is ideal.
  • Dishes. If you want to start including sunflower seeds in your dishes, then we recommend that you buy a bag or box with 250 grams of sunflower seeds, as this is a quantity that will be enough before they spoil.

How to use

Sunflower seeds, as mentioned above, can be consumed in two ways, shelled and unshelled, however, each of these two alternatives has its reason for being, therefore, you should read the following to assess your needs.

  • Shelled. Sunflower seeds that come with the shell integrated, although they can be used for human consumption by removing the outer layer, are mostly purchased for the purpose of feeding poultry or other animals.
  • Shelled. Sunflower seeds, on the other hand, are distributed and purchased with the purpose of providing greater ease to those who wish to consume them immediately or use them in their stews, avoiding the part of separating them from their natural wrapping.

Nutritional values

Something you should also consider before purchasing sunflower seeds is their nutritional values. You will have to find a way to integrate these foods into your diet in a way that takes advantage of their full potential and does not harm your body.

It is best to ask your nutritionist to assign you the right portion size. Each 100 grams of product contains 49.57 grams of lipids, 8.76 grams of carbohydrates and 22.78 grams of protein. In addition, its energy value is approximately 580 kilocalories, or 2,390 kilojoules. In addition, within this certain amount, there is a high content of phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin E.

(Featured image source: Sommai Larkjit / 123rf.com)

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