Yes, Sunflower Seeds are Paleo!
What Are Sunflower Seeds?
Sunflower seeds are edible seeds which are the fruits of the sunflower. Its husks normally have a black and white stripes pattern with a tender texture. It has a crunchy, nutty taste similar to peanuts with a lighter flavor.
Like other edible seeds, sunflower seeds are nutrient-dense too. They are excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and vitamin E. They contain high levels of minerals such as iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.
Sunflower seeds are usually eaten as a snack and not a meal replacement. It can also be used as garnish or ingredient to various recipes. Sunflower seeds are sold by bag and are eaten plain, roasted, salted or flavored.
Benefits of Sunflower Seeds
Aside from being a rich source of vitamin E and other minerals, sunflower seeds offer a lot of health benefits too:
- The vitamin E in sunflower seeds act as an antioxidant fighting against free radicals and protecting the fat in cell membranes from oxidative damage.
- Sunflower seeds have phytosterols which are plant compounds that may contribute to lower levels of blood cholesterol, enhance immune response and decrease certain cancer risks
- Magnesium content of sunflower seeds help in reducing blood pressure, prevent migraine and lower the risk of stroke and heart attack
- Unlike other nuts and seeds, sunflower seeds are not commonly allergenic food and are not known to contain oxalates and purines
- 1 ounce of sunflower seeds contains about 5-10 grams of both soluble and insoluble fiber which can be beneficial to cardiovascular and gut health. Fiber helps in clearing out gut toxins.
- Sunflower seeds are good source of selenium too. Selenium has been linked to decreased risk of cancer
How About Phytic Acid and Omega 6?
Sunflower seeds are high in polyunsaturated fats which makes it easily turn rancid. The ratio of omega to omega 6 in sunflower seeds is highly imbalanced.
Phytic acids, which block mineral absorption, are also present in sunflower seeds. It is advisable to soak and roast sesame seeds to lower or eliminate the toxins in sunflower seeds.
Moderate Amounts of Sunflower Seeds Won’t Hurt!
Sunflower seeds are Paleo and are good to be incorporated in your Paleo diet. Though they may have high amounts of Omega 6 fatty acids, they are only eaten as snack and not a replacement to a meal. They are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which can provide health benefits to the body.
So do not worry about eating sunflower seeds once in a while. Just make sure not to consume a bag of it in one sitting. :)
What Experts Say About Sunflower Seeds… Is It Paleo?
“Sunflower seeds are incredibly popular. Baseball players chew them, truck stops stock them, and bird watchers use them to lure their subjects. Who doesn’t like sunflower seeds? They’re delicious, fun to eat (removing the shell with your tongue is an art), and full of vitamin E (one of our favorite antioxidants and a strong ally in the fight against free radicals). They’re loaded with minerals like magnesium and manganese (actually, most seeds have good amounts of minerals), but a word of caution: sunflower seeds have a fair amount of PUFAs.” – Mark Sisson
All you ever wanted to know about Sunflower Seeds and Paleo
The Paleo Diet. Seed Fatty Acid Composition
Chris Kresser. Ask the RD: Are Seeds Healthy and Animal Foods for Vegetarians
Mark’s Daily Apple. A Quick Guide to Edible Seeds
Paleo Leap. Are Nuts and Seeds Healthy?
The Paleo List. Are Sunflower Seeds Paleo?
Original Eating. Sunflower Seeds
Paleo Grubs. Foods You Can Eat on the Paleo Diet
The Paleo mom. The WHYs behind the Autoimmune Protocol: Nuts and Seeds
The World’s Healthiest Foods. Sunflower Seeds
Did we miss anything?
Comment below and let us know what you think. Do you agree with our conclusion?
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