Read about the nutrition facts, health benefits, nutritional value and calories found in Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds Nutrition

Viewing vast sunflower fields on highways while traveling to holiday destinations is a common sight. The pleasant view of the sunflowers presents a whole bright yellow appearance to one’s eyes. While the sunflowers please us with their beautiful appearances, their seeds are delightful due to their nutty texture and gorgeous taste. The seeds are widely used as snacks. Dried, roasted or baked, sunflower seeds make a healthy snack option or a great substitute for high-calorie candy bars. A handful of these crunchy and lip-smacking seeds can be easily replaced with a package of unhealthy potato chips. They are often used as garnishes for cereals, soups, salads, or ingredients in various recipes including desserts. The oil extracted from them is one of the most popular and widely used oils in the world. These sunflower seeds that we often end up supplying to our pet parrots or chickens are power-packed with some healthy nutrients and wholesome benefits. Steer through the next sections to find out some healthy properties of sunflower seeds that can be conveniently accommodated into the diets of people who are looking for some easily digestible youth-protecting proteins.



It is believed that sunflowers originated in Mexico and Peru. They were amongst the first plants cultivated in the United States. For more than 5000 years, sunflowers have been in use in the kitchens of the Native Americans. Not just the seeds, but even the flowers, roots and stems of sunflowers were used for varied purposes, including dye pigments. Sunflowers were brought to Europe by the Spanish explorers, and were first grown in Spain. From Spain, sunflowers were subsequently introduced to other neighboring countries. Currently, sunflower oil is amongst the most popular and widely used oils in the world. Today, the major commercial cultivators of sunflower seeds include the Russia Federation, Ukraine, Argentina, Peru, Spain, France and India.


Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds


  • Sunflowers seeds are widely known for their delicious, nutty and crunchy flavor. They provide high amount of energy and also contain many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for the body.

  • Sunflower seeds are a great source of proteins with fine quality amino acids, such as tryptophan that are essential for growth, especially in children.

  • They contain monounsaturated oleic acid which helps in lowering LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’ and increase HDL or ‘good cholesterol’ in the blood. Studies prove that regular intake of sunflower seeds helps in preventing coronary artery disease and stroke by favoring a healthy lipid profile.

  • Sunflower seeds possess health benefiting poly-phenol compounds, such as chlorgenic acid, quinic acid and caffeic acids. These natural antioxidants are very effective in removing harmful oxidant molecules from the body. Antioxidants, like chlorgenic acid, helps in reducing blood sugar levels by reducing the breakdown of glycogen in the liver.

  • A rich source of vitamin E, a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, sunflower seeds maintain the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.

  • Sunflower seeds are major sources of folic acid. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and is given to expectant mothers during peri-conception periods to prevent neural tube defects in the baby.

  • Sunflower seeds are one of the finest sources of B-complex vitamins, such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), pantothenic acid and riboflavin. These vitamins help in reducing LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and lowering anxiety and neurosis.

  • With sufficient amount of dietary fiber present, sunflower seeds promote easy digestion, prevent constipation, lower bad cholesterol levels and monitor blood sugar levels. Additionally, the fiber is also helpful for controlling weight and preventing obesity.

  • Calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium and copper are present in significant amounts in sunflower seeds, which are important for bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone production, and regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.

  • Enriched with selenium, sunflower seeds promote DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells, inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and induce their apoptosis, thereby eliminating worn out or abnormal cells.

  • Magnesium present in sunflower seeds helps in the severity of asthma, lowering high blood pressure, preventing migraine headaches and reducing the risk of heart attack, asthma attacks and stroke. Magnesium is also important for healthy bones and energy production.


Sunflower Seeds Nutrition Facts

Amount: 1 cup

Weight: 140 g

Basic Components

29 g


6.6 g


4.2 g


748 mg


Total Calories


Calories From Carbohydrates


Calories From Fats


Calories From Proteins


Total Carbohydrates

28 g

Dietary Fiber

12 g


3.7 g

Fats & Fatty Acids

Total Fat

72 g

Saturated Fat

6.2 g

Monounsaturated Fat

26 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

32 g

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

104 mg

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

32 g


Vitamin A

70 IU

Vitamin C

2 mg

Vitamin E

49 mg


2.1 mg


497 mcg


12 mg

Vitamin B6

1.9 mg


318 mcg

Pantothenic Acid

1.6 mg


77.1 mg


49.6 mg


109 mg


7.4 mg


455 mg


924 mg


903 mg


13 mg


7 mg


2.5 mg


2.7 mg


74 mcg


How many calories in sunflower seeds (per 100 gm)

Sunflower seeds have about 584 calories per 100 gm of weight.


How to Buy Sunflower Seeds


  • Sunflower seeds are generally available shelled or unshelled in prepackaged containers and bulk bins. While buying sunflower seeds in bulk, always check if the bins are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure the maximal freshness of seeds.

  • While purchasing unshelled seeds, make sure that the shells are not broken or dirty. Remember that they should be firm and not have a limp texture.

  • If you are buying shelled seeds, avoid those that appear yellowish in color as they have probably gone rancid.

  • If you are purchasing sunflower seeds from a bulk bin, always smell them to ensure that they are still fresh and have not spoiled.


Sunflower Seeds Storage Tips

  • Sunflower seeds have a high fat content and easily go rancid; hence, they should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  • Sunflower seeds can also be stored in the freezer for a longer duration as the cold temperature doesn’t affect their texture or flavor.

More About Sunflower Seeds