Chanie Kirschner is a writer, advice columnist, and educator who has covered topics ranging from parenting to fashion come sustainability.

You are watching: Are sunflower seed shells bad for you


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Why can’t we eat sunflower seeds whole? great question. Ns know about this one firsthand since I ended up being hooked top top sunflower seeds (and your hulls, together the shells space technically called), earlier in the summer after fourth grade. Mine summer camp took a field trip come a minor organization baseball game, and as a distinct treat, provided out sunflower seed to every one of us to eat in ~ the game. I thought chewing and spitting out the sunflower seed was so gross the I determined to eat the sunflower seed whole — kernel, hull, everything. Besides, the external is the part that’s salted and also tastes the ideal to a kid prefer me anyway. Good idea, right?


Where carry out Sunflower seeds Come From?

Before i tell friend what happened to me the weekend adhering to the sunflower seed incident, let’s speak a little about these nifty little creations. Sunflower seeds are the fruit indigenous — surprise! — sunflowers. The outside shell of the sunflower particle is actually referred to as the hull. Once the hull is left intact, the seeds are dubbed in-shell sunflower seeds. When the hull is removed, the seeds themselves are dubbed kernels. The former is usually discovered in the grocery store aisle next to the nuts, when the latter is usually uncovered next come the various other seeds offered as seasonings or toppings, such as poppy seed or sesame seeds.


Eating sunflower seeds has long to be an American pastime, particularly at baseball games. Together anyone who has been to a baseball video game can phone call you, the floor the the bleachers is usually littered (and in some stadiums, covered) with the hulls that sunflower seeds.


for this reason Why Can’t us Eat the Shell?

The truth is, like plenty of things in nature roughly us, you have the right to eat it, however you might not like the results. The result of mine trying come eat the shells the the sunflower seed at the ball game that fateful summer? A weekend at residence in discomfort. Though i was fortunate to experience just mild stomach pain, eating many sunflower seeds shells has actually been known to reason constipation the can an outcome in ache blockage. Additionally, the sharp edges the the shells can reason tears in her esophagus or elsewhere along her digestive tract. Another reason to spit the shells instead of eat them.


Why do sunflower seeds have actually shells in the very first place, you might ask? i have heard that the sunflower seeds shells are there for the same reason that nuts have hard shells too; the shells safeguard the fruit inside once the nut or seed has fallen indigenous the plant. The nut enables the seed to stay undamaged long enough to germinate and produce one more nut tree or seed plant.

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Though you might not have the ability to eat the hull of a sunflower seed, the kernel itself packs a nutritious punch, offering you with an useful nutrients choose vitamin E and magnesium. Bonus: Sunflower seeds space rich in phytosterols, a tree chemical that has been presented to help reduce cholesterol. Sunflower seeds additionally contain vitamin C, iron, and even fiber, among many other nutrients.