Eating Sunflower Seeds During Pregnancy – Benefits and Risks

Eating Sunflower Seeds During Pregnancy - Benefits and Risks
Sunflower seeds have gained popularity all over the world as a nutritious and delectable snack. Even though they seem to be negligible, Sunflower seeds should be consumed by pregnant women since they contain all of the additional nutrients they need. As a mother, you must be questioning, “are sunflower seeds good for pregnancy?” or “are sunflower seeds harmful to your unborn child’s developing brain?” 

As a result, you must be aware of the potential risks, benefits, and uses of sunflower seeds while you are pregnant.

What Are Sunflower Seeds? 

The sunflower seed is the sunflower’s actual seed (Helianthus annuus). Sunflower seeds come in various varieties, including linoleic, high oleic, and sunflower oil seeds. Each kind of fat has three distinct types: monounsaturated fats, saturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. 

Are Sunflower Seeds Safe in Pregnancy? 

When it comes to their diets, pregnant women must be particularly vigilant, both for their well-being and for the well-being of their unborn child. In particular, sunflower seeds are a good source of folic acid, necessary for a healthy pregnancy. It is also beneficial to consume nuts and seeds, which are high in fiber and healthy for digestion. 

Because of the presence of Omega-3 fatty acids in nuts and seeds, they may aid in the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system throughout the early stages of development. In between meals, snacking on some nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds is a terrific method to keep yourself satisfied.

Nutritional Facts of Sunflower Seeds

Regular sunflower seeds intake includes vitamins E and selenium and vital plant compounds, which may help prevent chronic medical diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Nutritional Facts Sunflower Seeds
Calories 163
Total fat 14-15gms
  • Fat (saturated)
1.5-2 gms
  • Fat (polyunsaturated)
9.2 – 9.3 gms
  • Fat (Monounsaturated)
2.7 – 2.8 gms
Proteins 5.5 – 6 gms
Carbohydrates 6 gms
Fiber 3.5 gms
Vit E 36% (RDI)
Niacin 11% (RDI)
Vit B6 15% (RDI)
Folate 21% (RDI)
Pantothenic Acid 7% (RDI)
Iron 8% (RDI)
Magnesium 11% (RDI)
Zinc 25% (RDI)
Copper 27% (RDI)
Manganese  31% (RDI)
Selenium 33% (RDI)

Health Benefits of Eating Sunflower Seeds in Pregnancy 

Sunflower seeds have become a must-have element in the diets of pregnant women. Read the hidden benefits and tips to eat sunflower seeds in pregnancy:

1. A Storehouse of Minerals and Vitamins 

Sunflower seeds are believed to contain more than 90% of all vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients found in the human diet.

2. Protects the Body Against Radical Changes 

Roasted sunflower seeds include a variety of minerals, including vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the body against free radical damage. 

3. Prevents Blood Clots 

This supplement is good in preventing the formation of blood clots in the veins.

4. Contains Phosphorous

Sunflower seeds include phosphorus and healthy nutrients to both you and your unborn child’s bones.

5. Maintains Blood Pressure 

The critical role of potassium in maintaining a healthy sodium-to-potassium ratio is well established. This helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure level.

6. Strengthens Immune System 

Anti-infective phytochemicals included in the seeds assist in maintaining your immune system throughout pregnancy, preparing your body to accept the developing baby more readily.

7. Prevents Heart Ailments 

Sunflower seeds may aid in the prevention and treatment of illness and the improvement of cardiorespiratory fitness.

Risks of Eating Sunflower Seeds When Pregnant

Sunflower seeds are indeed a good source of protein. But how are sunflower seeds bad for pregnancy? Below are several side effects of sunflower seeds during pregnancy.

  • Allergic Conditions: A high proportion of individuals are allergic to sunflower seeds. Pollen from sunflower seeds or bird feed containing sunflower seeds may be present during harvesting the sunflowers, which may cause allergic reactions in certain people. Sunflower seeds may provide a risk of allergic response for certain people. 
  • Bacteria: Even if you buy sprouted seeds from a food store, the seeds may be contaminated with potentially hazardous germs that might turn into deadly plants. There have been cases of food illness linked to these kinds of sprouted grains.
  • Calorie-Heavy:  As part of a well-balanced diet, sunflower seeds may provide a variety of health advantages. A high-calorie dinner since they each weigh in at 165 calories is, nevertheless, an option.

How Much and How to Consume Sunflower Seeds While Pregnant? 

While traditional sprouting increases the number of anti-nutrients that hinder seed digestion, sunflower sprouting increases the number of free amino acids and polyphenols in the seed. If you’d instead not do it on your own, a professional seed sprouting mix may help you as well! Follow the ways to eat sunflower seeds during pregnancy. You may include useful serving tips for sunflower seeds into your regular diets:

  • Nuts and seeds include omega-3 fatty acids, which help the baby’s brain and nervous system grow properly. Dehydrate, or you can use wet sunflower seeds while cooking.
  • Sunflower seeds, almonds, and walnuts are great mid-meal snacks since they’re packed with protein and fiber. 
  • Add a cup of walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds to your morning cereal, salad, or trail mix.
  • Sunflower seeds may be eaten raw or roasted in an oven or stovetop. 
  • As a nutritious and convenient snack, raw seeds may be added to a trail mix or carried as a standalone snack.
  • Cereals, vegetables, and salads are often seasoned with roasted or unroasted seeds.
  • Don’t forget to include seeds while making bread or muffins.
  • Using a high-powered blender, you may quickly and easily make sunflower seed butter from whole seeds.

Simple Sunflower Seeds Recipes 

1. Kale Salad 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of kale
  • Shredded beets
  • Slicing up 1 cup of red cabbage
  • 2/3 cup finely diced garlic
  • One-quarter cup of chopped broccoli florets.
  • Cut the red bell pepper into 1/4-inch pieces and add them to the mixture.
  • 0.5 ounces of sprouting broccoli
  • A total of 14 cups of sprouted seeds of all kinds (peas, lentils, garbanzo beans)
  • A half-cup of finely sliced leeks
  • A quarter of a cup of kernels of sunflower seeds
  • The olive oil is two teaspoons.
  • One garlic clove
  • Salt with kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly squeezed two teaspoons of lemon juice
  • Apple cider vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)

How to Make 

  1. Season the greens and lemon juice with salt and olive oil before serving. Knead the mixture for about 2 to 3 minutes until the kale has softened.
  2. Mix all of the vegetables in a large mixing basin until thoroughly combined.
  3. Combine the vinegar and the remaining olive oil in a small bowl and set aside. 
  4. Using a garlic press, mince the clove and add it to the olive oil and vinegar mixture, mixing well to incorporate. Make sure that all of the vegetables are covered with the sauce equally before serving. 
  5. Season with salt and pepper to your desire.
  6. To serve the salad, divide it into two parts and place them on excellent plates. 
  7. To decorate the salads, sprouts, sprouted seeds, and sunflower seed kernels should be placed on the lettuce and tomato slices. Serve fresh!

2. No-bake Granola Bar 

Ingredients 

  • Brown sugar with a hint of butter
  • Vanilla – a drop
  • Honeys Oats – combine them
  • Frozen or canned fruits
  • Almond pieces
  • Peanuts – a handful
  • Seeds from sunflowers
  • Crispy Rice Treats – few bits

How to Make 

  1. After removing the baking dish from the oven, brush the inside with melted butter to finish it off.
  2. Brown sugar, vanilla, and honey combine in a saucepan with melted butter to make a delicious dessert.
  3. Before using the components, they must be thoroughly combined to ensure the complete dissolution of the mixture.
  4. Combine the oats, dried fruits, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and rice crisps in a large mixing bowl until everything is well-combined, about 10 minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the butter mixture and the remaining ingredients until everything is thoroughly combined.
  6. Make a bar out of the remaining ingredients.
  7. If possible, place the granola bars in the refrigerator for at least an hour before eating them.
  8. To finish it off, you can sprinkle some chocolate chips on top if you so desire.

3. Cashew Nut Cookies 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut meal
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter 
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened vanilla extract
  • 2/3 oz vanilla bean extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Stevia extract or a mixture of 3/4 green stevia powder 
  • 1 cup uncooked, finely chopped sunflower seeds

How to Make 

  1. Put the coconut meal in a shallow bowl and set it aside. 
  2. To make the dressing, add the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl in the following order: For best results, chill the mixture for a few minutes if it is too mushy to mold into little balls.
  3. For each little cookie, two teaspoons of cookie mixture should be used to make it.
  4. Coconut meals may be rolled into balls and then dipped in the sauce for a tasty treat.
  5. Squeeze the dough to form a one and half inch disc. 
  6. Allow cooling before storing in an airtight container.
  7. Options include omitting the butterscotch flavor and increasing the amount of vanilla essence to one teaspoon.

4. Sunflower Seed Butter  

Ingredients

  • Half cup raw, skinned and hulled sunflower seeds
  • Canola Oil (or similar oils)
  • One tsp of salt to your liking

How to Make 

  1. When it comes to pulverizing items, food processors outperform blenders, according to our testing results. Users of manual grinders are encouraged to make use of their equipment.
  2. Finely grind the seeds into a paste in a food processor until they are entirely smooth. To get the correct consistency, it may be necessary to add a few drops of oil at a time. 
  3. If extra salt is required, adjust the seasoning accordingly (optional).
  4. It’s important to remember that nut butter produced at home may get rancid rapidly, so it should be kept refrigerated at all times. 
  5. It is best to make the butter in small batches to avoid wastage of ingredients.

What Are the Substitutes for Sunflower Seeds? 

You may swap sunflower seeds with any of the following alternatives:

  • In place of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds might be used. Pumpkin seeds are flexible and tasty, whether used as a garnish for salads or soups for preparing pumpkin seed butter.
  • Pine nuts, which have a delicate flavor but are often more expensive, may also be used instead of almonds.
  • Hazelnuts or walnuts are other good options for snacking throughout the day.

Sunflower seeds and pregnancy are very healthy choices. And these healthful gems may be eaten raw, roasted, or sprouted by anybody.

Also Read:

Eating Sesame Seeds While Pregnancy- Safe Or Unsafe?
Eating Fennel Seeds (Saunf) During Pregnancy: Benefits & Side Effects
Eating Chia Seeds During Pregnancy: Benefits, Side Effects

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