Sunflower seeds are a staple in baseball hideouts and unsung arcade heroes. (No offense, raisin.)
But there are many other creative ways to enjoy these edible seeds.
Add them to salads Or as a frozen dessert—it works well with both sweet and savory dishes, he says Dana Ellis Hoeness, Ph.D., MPH, RDD., a senior dietitian at RR-UCLA Medical Center and author of the forthcoming book, “Prescription for Survival.”
Sunflower seeds can also be blended into smoothies, mixed into oatmeal, Bread in energy barsIt is ground into an addictive dessert called halva. Sprinkle on avocado toast, added to a Superfood bowl, or eaten alone.
In other words, it is very versatile. But, like other nuts and seeds, they are Not Low calorie food.
Are sunflower seeds healthy? How do humble sunflower seeds fit into a balanced diet?
Here’s what you need to know.
Benefits of sunflower seeds
Is eating sunflower seeds good for you? Maybe!
The seeds are nutritionally dense, which means they can be an easy way to get many of the micro and macro nutrients you need.
As with any other food, the calories in sunflower seeds can build up quickly if you don’t watch your portion sizes. But there are many benefits to including it in your diet.
It’s nutritional power
sunflower seeds Boast a list of nutrients.
“Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B6, iron, copper, selenium, manganese, and zinc—vitamins and minerals that the body needs for good health,” Huns says.
They provide antioxidants
Antioxidants — like the vitamin E in sunflower seeds — help combat oxidative stress, which research suggests may contribute to some chronic health conditions.
It is a source of healthy fats
Although sunflower seeds offer some vegetable protein, the bulk of their calories come from Heart healthy fats.
Do sunflower seeds make you gain weight?
“Anything will make you gain weight if you eat too much of it,” Hunnes notes, and sunflower seeds are no different.
Sunflower seeds are calorie-dense, and some people find it difficult to stick to one serving—one ounce of the shelled seeds, or ½ cup.
“You won’t want to overindulge in sunflower seeds if your goal is to lose weight,” Fu says.
But as long as you Pay attention to the partsSunflower seeds will not naturally make you gain weight.
“It takes about 3,500 extra calories to gain one pound of body weight” — so make sure you don’t constantly overdo it, explains Fu.
Likewise, there is no special compound in sunflower seeds that helps you lose weight, but they can be a great addition to a balanced diet.
How many sunflower seeds should you eat per day?
Since sunflower seeds are calorie-dense, Foo suggests limiting your intake to a few teaspoons — or up to two tablespoons — of the hulled seeds per day for salad dressing or garnish.
As a snack, 1/2 cup of the peeled seeds “a good portion size will definitely help keep you feeling full,” Hoeness says.
This is a standard serving size, which provides approximately 200 calories.
You can enjoy all this at once as a snack – whether it is a regular or in our restaurant maple seeds Recipe – or divide it throughout the day.
Just keep in mind that these calories mostly come from fat, so you may want to use them in a recipe that balances sunflower seeds and saturated protein, such as sunflower shake.
But as long as you don’t overdo it, “it can definitely be part of a diet meant for weight loss,” says Foo.
Looking for more specialized nutrition information? head over to BODNutrition.com and learn how to eat healthy for the long term with the help of our two nutrition programs, 2B mentality And Fix part.