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Sunflower or Pumpkin: Which Is the Better Seed?

By Brandi Goodman

Seeds make a popular snack. Though there's many options, two types tend to be consumed most often. Sunflower seeds are great for summer while pumpkin seeds are enjoyed in the fall. Both have their benefits to offer, but which is really the better choice?

Sunflower Seeds

A 1-ounce serving of sunflower seeds provides 164 calories. You're also getting more than 2 grams of fiber and nearly 6 grams of protein. Vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium are also prevalent. You can enjoy these seeds when you're looking to reduce inflammation. This in turn can reduce your risk of heart disease.

One chemical involved with inflammation is a C-reactive protein. The consumption of sunflower seeds several times per week can actually reduce levels of CRP. You may find lower levels of cholesterol as well. Many people eat seeds plain, but you can always add them to a salad, oatmeal, smoothie, or yogurt for an added crunch.

The high amount of antioxidants in sunflower seeds is also something to brag about. Antioxidants are necessary for protecting our cells. This portable snack is capable of encouraging a healthier immune system, and improving the health of hair, skin, and nails.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds have fewer calories than sunflower seeds -- but not by much. A 1-ounce serving contains roughly 151 calories. You do get a bit more protein with 7 grams offered. The fiber content is less with 1.7 grams included. The omega-6 fats are nearly the same, yet pumpkin seeds provide a higher daily value of magnesium and phosphorus. 

When you're looking to lower your blood cholesterol levels, reduce your risk of breast cancer, and lower your risk of developing bladder stones, pumpkin seeds should be your snack of choice. The nutritional value of this seed type offers these benefits and more. They can even help with menopause symptoms.

Sleep is easier to come by after pumpkin seed consumption. They contain zinc and tryptophan, both of which are necessary for creating serotonin. A good night's rest is advantageous to good health. If eating seeds helps, why not try it?

Overall, one type of seed isn't really better compared to another. Both sunflower and pumpkin seeds provide nutrients and vitamins necessary for a healthy mind and body. You can enjoy either as a nutritious snack you don't have to feel guilty about eating.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Windermere, Fla.

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