Sunflower seeds are a staple in baseball dugouts and the unsung heroes of path combine. (No offense, raisins.)
However there are such a lot of different artistic methods to take pleasure in these edible seeds.
Add them to salads or as a frozen dessert topper — they work nicely with each candy and savory dishes, says Dana Ellis Hunnes, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., a senior dietitian at RR-UCLA Medical Middle and creator of the upcoming e book, “Recipe for Survival.”
Sunflower seeds can be blended into smoothies, blended into oatmeal, baked into energy bars, floor into an addictive dessert known as halva, sprinkled on avocado toast, added to a superfood bowl, or simply eaten alone.
In different phrases, they’re fairly versatile. However, like different nuts and seeds, they’re not a low-calorie meals.
So are sunflower seeds wholesome? How does the standard sunflower seed match right into a balanced weight-reduction plan?
Right here’s what it is advisable to know.
The Advantages of Sunflower Seeds
Is consuming sunflower seeds good for you? It may be!
Seeds are nutritionally dense, which suggests they are often a straightforward technique to get a number of macro and micronutrients you want.
As with every different meals, the energy in sunflower seeds can add up rapidly should you don’t watch your portion sizes. However there are a number of advantages to working them into your weight-reduction plan.
They’re dietary powerhouses
Sunflower seeds boast a laundry list of nutrients.
“Sunflower seeds are excessive in vitamin E, thiamine (vitamin B1), vitamin B6, iron, copper, selenium, manganese, and zinc — nutritional vitamins and hint minerals the physique wants for good well being,” Hunnes says.
They supply antioxidants
Antioxidants — just like the vitamin E in sunflower seeds — assist counter oxidative stress, which analysis suggests might contribute to sure continual well being situations.
They’re a supply of wholesome fat
Though sunflower seeds do provide some plant-based protein, the majority of their energy comes from heart-healthy fats.
Will Sunflower Seeds Make You Acquire Weight?
“Something will make you achieve weight should you eat an excessive amount of of it,” Hunnes notes, and sunflower seeds aren’t any completely different.
Sunflower seeds are calorie-dense, and a few individuals discover it difficult to stay to a single serving — which is one ounce of hulled seeds, or ¼ cup.
“You wouldn’t wish to overeat sunflower seeds in case your aim is weight reduction,” Vu says.
However so long as you pay attention to portions, sunflower seeds gained’t inherently make you achieve weight.
“It takes about an additional 3,500 energy to achieve one pound of physique weight,” Vu explains — so simply ensure you’re not constantly overdoing it.
Likewise, there’s no particular compound in sunflower seeds that may show you how to shed pounds, however they could be a welcome addition to a balanced weight-reduction plan.
How Many Sunflower Seeds Ought to You Eat in a Day?
As a result of sunflower seeds are calorically dense, Vu suggests limiting your consumption to a few teaspoons — or as much as two tablespoons — of the hulled seeds per day for salad toppings or garnishes.
As a snack, ¼ cup of hulled seeds “is an effective portion dimension that may undoubtedly assist maintain you satiated,” says Hunnes.
That is the usual serving dimension, which supplies roughly 200 energy.
You might take pleasure in this abruptly as a snack — both plain or in our Maple Cinnamon Seeds recipe — or break it up all through the day.
Simply be aware that these energy are principally from fats, so it’s possible you’ll wish to use them in a recipe that balances sunflower seeds with satiating protein, like our sunflower shake.
However so long as you don’t overdo it, “they will undoubtedly be part of a weight-reduction plan meant for weight reduction,” Vu says.
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