Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds are one of the most consumed foods and the favourite snack of many adults and children in many mediterranean countries like Spain. They are a healthy snack and provide great nutritional value. Of course if you eat a lot of them you may wonder if these seeds are a fattening food and what are their benefits or negative effects on our health may be when eating them very regularly.
In this article we outline the health benefits and effects that Sunflower and pumpkin seeds may have on our bodies, as well as their calorie content and the risks or side effects that this food can cause on our health if consumed in excess.
Can a lot of seeds in your diet make you fat and how many calories do they contain?
Do sunflower seeds make you fat?
If you include this seed as part of a balanced diet and consume them in small quantities, they will not cause you to gain weight. This type of seed is actually rich in fibre, minerals and has a high content of vitamins such as vitamin E which help to keep you healthy as well as sunflower seeds helping weight loss.
If you overeat Sunflower seeds or buy salt coated seeds, it is very likely that this will have negative effects on your health. As we know adding a large amount of salt, or sodium and calories to your body can be harfmful to your health including blood sugar levels, diabetes and your heart as well as other issues.
To give you an idea, for every 25 grams of Sunflower seeds, you consume approximately 150 Kcal.
You could say that sunflower seeds are a type of dried fruit, with a high omega content that is recommend for our diet and eating them raw as an aperitif is a great way to eat this food in a healthy way. They can also be used in a lot of recipes such as salads or for dressing any meal you wish.
What about pumpkin seeds?
Pumpkin seeds have great nutritional value for the body, as they are recognised for their medicinal properties, antioxidants and the benefits they have for digestive health.
These seeds are rich in omega fats, essential for good health. They are however high in calories due to the oil the seeds contain which means it is always a good idea to eat them in moderation.
Benefits of these Seeds
Thanks to their antioxidants, minerals and proteins, these seeds are great to help keep your body fit and healthy. We want to highlight the following health benefits of including these seeds in your diet:
- These seeds reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood thanks to the unsaturated fats they contain.
- The seeds high content of vitamin B9 helps growth in children, as well as development of the baby during pregnancy.
- They help fight cardiovascular and heart disease.
- Sunflower and pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants that fight free radicals and help delay the signs of ageing.
- Thanks to their high content of minerals such as phosphorus, iron and magnesium, these seeds provide a large amount of energy and also help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer's.
- They are used as a natural relaxant thanks to the Linoleic acid that reduces stress.
- Regulates digestion.
Risks of eating too many Sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
As you can see, these seeds have multiple benefits which are good fro our health. Consumption in excess can be counterproductive for your health though. Here are the risks of eating too many of this type of seed.
- Weight gain: due to its high calorie content, for every 100 grams, you will be ingesting about 600 Kcal. About 25 grams per day if really enough.
- Risk of cardiovascular accident: this is associated with weight gain and the high salt content of some seeds with added salt and flavourings
- Inflammation: consuming too many seeds can cause fluid retention due to the high levels of Linoleic acid, omega 3 and omega 6, the latter can cause inflammatory in the body.
The consumption of pipes can be good for our overall health in many ways, but this depends on the way in which you include this food in your daily diet. Remember: eating healthy allows you to take full advantage of the nutritional benefits of food, in addition to helping you prevent disease.