In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat sunflower seeds raw?” and discuss what is its health benefits?
Can you eat sunflower seeds raw?
Yes, you can eat sunflower seeds raw. There are a few advantages to purchasing raw sunflower seeds as opposed to roasted ones. As a result, they’re as useful as they possibly can be. Toasted and salted sunflower seeds make a great savory snack, but you can also use them in baked goods, pesto, sunflower seed butter, and even pesto in lieu of pine nuts.
Some people like raw sunflower seeds because they want to experiment with a raw food/raw vegan diet. Adherents of this philosophy consume only uncooked, unpasteurized foods (heated at most to temperatures of less than 118 degrees Fahrenheit).
Cooking destroys nutrients and enzymes, thus eating just raw foods will keep you healthy, according to this school of thought. Those assertions aren’t backed by much research, but that can be true for many other diets as well.
Seeds from Sunflowers, Unprocessed and Unrefined
You may be hesitant to consume sunflower seeds for two major reasons. One is that they may be infected with germs like Listeria monocytogenes or the bacteria family that causes salmonella, just like any other raw food. Bacteria are normally killed during cooking, but handling them thereafter poses a risk (a big recall in 2016 affected roasted seeds, not raw seeds).
Second, there’s the matter of how long something will stay fresh on the shelf. Sunflower seeds don’t deteriorate as quickly as eggs or meat because of their high protein content. Keeping them in a cold, dry, dark spot will allow them to last for two to three months without the need for a refrigerator.
The more time they sit out, the more likely they are to get rancid due to the oxidation and breakdown of their natural fat content. The problem here is one of taste, not of safety; you won’t consume enough to have an impact on your health if you eat these things because they’re so disgusting. In the fridge or freezer, they’ll keep for up to a year if bagged tightly.
Sunflower Seeds Nutritional Values When Raw
You may be wondering why you’d want to consume raw sunflower seeds now that you know they’re safe to eat. Raw sunflower seeds, like other nuts and seeds, are loaded with nutrients.
They have a protein content of 20.8 grams per 100 grams of kernels, making them comparable to lean meats and poultry. There are 41.6 grams of beneficial unsaturated fats in addition to the 4.46 grams of saturated fat (nearly half of their total weight).
This makes them an excellent supplement to any diet whether you’re following a raw food or weight-loss regimen or considering “diet” broadly as “anything you consume.” Do not let them become rancid before using, so consume or store them right away in the fridge.
Sunflower seeds have a good nutritional profile when compared to other types of seeds.
Some seeds, such as sesame, offer a nutritional edge over sunflowers. A single-ounce serving of chia seeds contains 5 grams of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and fiber (10 grams per serving). Omega-3 fatty acids are more abundant in hemp and flax seeds than in sunflower seeds.
Sunflower seeds, on the other hand, are higher in vitamins and minerals and have a more flavorful profile than the more neutral chia seed, according to St. Pierre. Phytosterols, plant compounds beneficial for lowering cholesterol and boosting heart health, are abundant in sunflower seeds, according to Yeung.
All seeds, however, contain a balanced combination of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, thus including a wide range of seeds in your diet is critical.
The healthiest method to consume sunflower seeds is in their raw form.
Sunflower kernels may be roasted with or without their shells, although most people prefer to consume them after they have been stripped of their outer covering. Although shells contain a lot of fiber, they are also quite hard and may cause damage to the digestive system if not digested properly, explains Yeung.
Sunflower seeds may be eaten raw or dry roasted, with or without the shell, depending on your preference. There are various flavored versions available. According to Yeung, raw, unsalted kernels are the least processed form of the seeds but choose a seed that you prefer to consume. Yeung recommends eating them on their own or with salads, oats, yogurt, and soups.
Just keep in mind that they are heavy in fat. According to Yeung, portion management is essential for reaping the health advantages of a healthy diet without consuming too many calories. The high-fat content of sunflower seeds means that they may get rancid quickly, so keep them in an airtight container to avoid this.
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In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat sunflower seed raw?” and we discussed what is its health benefits?