Sunflower seeds are no longer just for baseball games—these little seeds are slowly sneaking into snacks, salads, and other recipes. Back in July, a TikTok created by @RedleafRanch went viral. It featured him pulling a sunflower head off of its stem, coating it with seasoning, grilling the entire head, and then eating the seeds right off the head, as if he was eating corn on the cob. The video is still going strong, with more than 2.4 million likes and 25 million views. Videos like his or @smackinsunflowerseeds showcase the large and growing interest in sunflower seeds.
Eating sunflower seeds is not just a TikTok trend, but something that will become even more popular in 2022.
So why are sunflower seeds and sunflower seed products expected to boom in 2022? Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Board Member Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and a nutritionist in private practice, explains, "[Sunflower seeds] are high in healthy fats, plant compounds, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. They also contain some plant protein. They may help to decrease inflammation, and chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes."
Sunflower seeds have numerous other health benefits. These nutty-flavored seeds are known for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, For Care and Research Education refers to sunflower seeds as a superfood that can help with reducing anxiety and depression, improving bone health, reducing the risk of stroke, and reducing the risk of cancer, just to name a few.