Sunflowers are oh-so-pretty additions to many homes across the country. They grow and twist to face the sun, and then when they wilt and die, they yield hard and flavorful little sunflower seeds. You’ll find them roasted and salted in their shells at baseball games, or shucked and mixed into granola and other cereals. Let’s find out: are sunflower seeds Paleo?
What Are Sunflower Seeds?
The flower is part of the daisy family, and sunflower seeds are exactly what they sound like – the seeds of the sunflower plant. (Well, technically it’s an achene, but seed is close enough.) They are encased in an inedible shell, and fall to the ground when the plant wilts and dries out. They are a good source of selenium, magnesium, and Vitamin E, but much like other nuts and seeds, they contain phytic acid and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Are Sunflower Seeds Paleo?
Yes, sunflower seeds are completely Paleo, but due to the high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the form of Omega-6, you should consume them in moderation. Additionally, these chemicals are found in high concentrations in sunflower seed oil, which is why the oil isnot considered Paleo and should be avoided. You should also consume the sunflower seed butter in moderation to avoid high concentrations of PUFAs. Roast them to remove some of the phytic acid, and consume in moderation in things like Paleo granola, or as a small addition to your trail mix or salad and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: