A pile of sunflower seeds against a white background

Sunflower Seeds

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Story by Brian Rossiter - Fruit-Powered

The fruit of the sunflower, nutty and crunchy sunflower seeds are a nutrient-dense food that’s often eaten as a snack but may also be enjoyed as a salad dressing, dip or spread when processed in a blender or food processor. Sunflower seeds are native to Middle America and were spread all over the world. Sunflower seeds score a 90 out of 100 in Dr. T.C. Fry’s “A General Guide to Food Selection.”

A cup of sunflower seeds weighs 140 grams. Each seed measures 6 to 10 millimeters.

Sunflower seeds belong to the family Asteraceae.

Sunflower seeds are a rich source of fat, protein, B vitamins and minerals. They contain just 0.3 percent water by weight.

The Ukraine produces the most sunflower seeds, with 8.39 metric tons produced in 2012. Russia, Argentina, China and France round out the list of the leading five producers.

Stats for 100 Grams of Sunflower Seeds (Kernels, Dried)

  • 584 calories

Notable Nutrients

Percentages based on the Reference Daily Intake for a 2,000-calorie diet

  • Fiber: 34.4%
  • Fat: 79.2%
  • Protein: 41.6%
  • Vitamin B1: 98.7%
  • Vitamin B2: 20.9%
  • Vitamin B3: 41.7%
  • Vitamin B5: 11.3%
  • Vitamin B6: 67.3%
  • Vitamin E: 174.7%
  • Folate: 56.8%
  • Copper: 90%
  • Iron: 29.2%
  • Magnesium: 81.3%
  • Manganese: 97.5%
  • Phosphorus: 66%
  • Potassium: 18.4%
  • Selenium: 75.7%
  • Zinc: 33.3%


  • Carbohydrates: 13.9%
  • Protein: 12.3%
  • Fat: 73.7%

Food Type

  • Seed

Closeup of a sunflower


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