Sunflower Microgreens Nutrition – Including 5 Awesome Health Benefits

Sunflower microgreens have a wonderful nutty flavor and a crunchy texture, and are awesome on sandwiches, in soups, salads, scrambled eggs, and wraps.

Taste and texture aside, what are the nutritional benefits to eating sunflower microgreens?

Research shows that sunflower microgreens offer excellent nutritional and medicinal benefits.

Furthermore, sunflower microgreens are a substantial source of complete protein, meaning that they contain all building blocks needed to form the essential amino acids.

Studies indicate that sunflower microgreens offer a better functional food source than eating raw sunflower seeds, especially for the absorption of magnesium and zinc.

sunflower seeds

Before We Get Into Sunflower Microgreens Nutrition

Before we get into all of the sunflower microgreens nutrition and health benefits, let us know what sunflower microgreens are. After all, sunflowers are more known as flowers and seeds than as a vegetable.

Sunflower microgreens are most often grown from black oil sunflower seeds.

Be sure the seeds are sold for the purpose of growing as sunflower microgreens or shoots. Do not use sunflower seeds sold as bird food, as these are generally treated.

Sunflower shoots are sunflower seedlings that take between 7 to 12 days to grow. They are harvested before or right after the first true leaves form. Let them grow much longer, and they will be very bitter.

What Do Sunflower Microgreens Taste Like?

In addition to packing a wealth of nutrition (see below), sunflower microgreens are delicious. They have a nutty, slightly sweet flavor with a pleasing, crunchy texture.

Sunflower microgreens can be used in salads, soups, wraps, sandwiches, and baked goods, enhancing these dishes' favor. Unlike most microgreens, sunnies have some bulk to them and can be used as a base to a salad in place of lettuce.

You can even juice them and add them to wheatgrass shots or even smoothies.

There is even a sunflower shoot guacamole! To see sunflower shoot recipes and other microgreen recipes, check out our microgreen recipe board on Pinterest.

We like to eat sunflower microgreens as a snack. We harvest a handful of sunflower microgreens before our favorite shows come on and eat them like popcorn.

Also, because they can be eaten raw, they retain their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content.

For these reasons, sunflower microgreens are among the most popular. We sell a lot of them to our health stores and at farmers, markets.

Besides Nutrition, Do Sunflower Microgreens Offer Medical Benefits?

Sunflower microgreens are among the most complete foods you can add to your diet to improve nutrition.

In fact, sunflower shoots are a great source of protein for vegetarians.

Sunflower microgreens are low in calories and high in nutrition, making them ideal for any natural and healthy fat loss program.

A quarter cup of sunflower microgreens contains about 160 calories. That same quarter cup contains about 12-grams of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are the good fats, not the unhealthy ones.

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical or nutritional advice.

The information and material contained on this website are for informational purposes only.

No material on this site is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek your physicians' or qualified nutritionists' advice before undertaking a new health care regimen or using any information you have read on this website to treat or prevent any condition.

As mentioned previously, many peer-reviewed studies have shown that sunflower microgreens nutritional components provide many antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and cardiovascular benefits.

For example, in some European and Asian countries, sunflower microgreens are now used medicinally to treat several conditions, including pulmonary and laryngeal infections, heart disease, colds, and coughs.

Which Vitamins are Provided by Sunflower Microgreens?

Sunflower microgreens are an excellent source of vitamins, including vitamin A, B complex, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble retinoid group (i.e., retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters). Vitamin A plays a role in cellular communication, vision, reproduction, and immune function. In the body, retinol converts to retinoic acid, which serves as a hormone-like growth factor for epithelial cells, including skin and blood vessels.

Sunflower microgreens include up to 2% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.

sprouting sunflower seeds

Vitamin B Complex

Sunflower microgreens are a rich source of B vitamins, particularly folate. Sufficient folate levels are crucial for pregnant women since folate helps prevent severe congenital disabilities of the developing brain and spine (known as neural tube defects).

B vitamins also assist a pregnant woman's blood circulation. Importantly, in addition to folate, sunflower microgreens also have high levels of additional nutrients that are crucial during pregnancy, including calcium, iron, and essential fats.

Sunflower microgreens include up to 8% or more of the recommended daily allowance for B vitamins.

Vitamin D

Sunflower microgreens also contain vitamin D, which regulates the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body. Therefore, it is crucial for strong bones and plays a vital role in building healthy muscles and controlling blood pressure. Proper levels of vitamin D also help protect against certain conditions, such as infections, immune systems disorders, and some cancer types, including skin cancer.

We could not find an RDA for vitamin D in sunflower microgreens. We will add it when we do.

Vitamin E

Sunflower microgreens have high amounts of vitamin E, one of the body's primary antioxidants.

They include up to 15% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E.

As described above, antioxidants, including vitamin E, serve to neutralize or reduce free radicals, protecting molecular and cellular components. Vitamin E, therefore, provides anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce conditions and diseases characterized by inflammation, including arthritis and asthma.

Working together with selenium and vitamin C, vitamin E helps increase arterial elasticity, lower blood pressure, and prevent heart disease.

Vitamin E helps to prevent free radicals from oxygenating cholesterol. Because cholesterol only adheres to blood vessels when oxidized, eating sunflower microgreens can lower the risk of developing blocked arteries and reduce heart attack or stroke risk.

Vitamin K

Sunflower microgreens also provide a small amount of vitamin K, contributing about 0.9% of the recommended daily allowance.

Vitamin K plays a vital role in cardiovascular health, strengthening bones and teeth, and preventing osteoporosis.

Which Minerals Are Provided by Sunflower Microgreens?

Sunflower microgreens nutrition also includes a rich supply of minerals that are key in any healthy diet, including calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Calcium

Sunflower microgreens are an excellent source of calcium, with one serving containing approximately 2% of a person's calcium needs (based on a quarter cup of microgreens).

As you know, your body requires calcium to build and maintain strong, healthy bones. Also, the body's nerves, muscles, and heart need calcium.

Copper

Sunflowers are also a rich source of copper, providing up to 22% of a person's daily copper requirements.

Copper reduces the production of free radicals and helps cellular respiration, a process via which cells convert fuel into nutrients and energy.

Copper is also crucial for neurotransmitter function and tissue biosynthesis.

Iron

Sunflower microgreens are rich in iron, containing up to 8% of a person's daily requirements.

It's crucial for the proper functioning of hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen in the blood. It also has multiple additional functions, including maintaining healthy cells, hair, skin, and nails.

Magnesium

Sunflower microgreens are a potent magnesium source, providing up to 15% of a person's daily magnesium requirements.

Magnesium helps to maintain healthy immune, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. Magnesium is also critical for energy production and strong, healthy bones.

It serves to counterbalance excess calcium, serving as a calcium channel blocker by preventing calcium from activating nerve cells, thereby relaxing nerves. 

sunflower first true leaves

Manganese

Sunflower microgreens provide a large source of manganese, fulfilling up to 22% of a person's manganese needs.

This mineral has multiple functions, including serving as an antioxidant. It also plays a role in bone development and maintenance, helps reduce inflammation, aids in regulating blood sugar, and activates multiple enzymes in metabolism.

Phosphorus

Sunflower microgreens provide up to 15% of an individual's daily phosphorus requirements. This mineral is also necessary for strong, healthy bones as well as additional body functions.

Potassium

One of the body's most essential minerals, potassium, regulates fluid balance, nerve signaling, and muscle contraction.

Sunflower microgreens are a source of potassium, providing more than 5% of the recommended daily allowance.

Selenium

Sunflowers are a selenium source, which promotes DNA repair in damaged cells, inhibits or decreases cancer cell proliferation, and increases apoptosis. Basically enabling the body to eliminate abnormal cells.

Sunflower microgreens provide nearly 7% of an individual's daily selenium requirements.

Zinc

This mineral is necessary for immune cell function and signaling, aids in metabolism, and is vital in wound repair.

Zinc also plays a role in sperm and testosterone levels in males.

Sunflower microgreens provide up to nearly 6% of a person's daily zinc requirements.

sunflower microgreens

Here's What Else Sunflower Microgreens Contain

Sunflower microgreens are high in lecithin, which helps eliminate accumulated deposits in arterial walls and breaks down fatty acids into an easily digestible water-soluble form.

Of course, sunflower micros also include chlorophyll which benefits many functions within the body, such as increasing the blood supply, building tissue, reducing inflammation, and activating enzymes.

home microgreens

Home Microgreens Store

All the supplies and microgreen seeds you need to grow beautiful and nutritious microgreens at home!

Our prices are as competitive as the larger seed sellers. We also have our own soil, microgreen kits, and trays!

Essential Amino Acids in Sunflower Microgreens

Sunflower microgreens contains compounds critical to building the neurotransmitters tyrosine, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These are used in the production of the amino acids described below.

  • Valine is a branched-chain amino acid that stimulates muscle growth and energy production.
  • Threonine builds proteins such as collagen and elastin, which are essential components of the skin and connective tissue. It also helps metabolize fat and boosts immunity.
  • Tryptophan is needed to maintain proper nitrogen balance and build serotonin to regulate your appetite, sleep, and mood.
  • Methionine controls your metabolism and improves detoxification. It also is vital to help you absorb zinc and selenium.
  • Leucine is critical for protein synthesis, muscle repair, and producing natural growth hormones. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Isoleucine helps with muscle metabolism and energy regulation, improves immunity and hemoglobin production.
  • Lysine is vital for synthesizing proteins, hormones, enzymes, and the absorption of calcium. Like threonine, it helps in the production of collagen and elastin. 
  • Histidine produces histamine, which is a transmitter for immune response, digestion, sexual function, and sleep-wake cycles. It also helps maintain the myelin sheaths around nerve cells. Thus, it could help those with tendonitis. 

Sunflower seeds and most likely sunflower shoots contain all of the essential amino acids. 

Sunflower Microgreens Contain Healthy Fats and Protein

A quarter-cup of sunflower microgreens or shoots contains about 12 grams of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. 

That same quarter-cup contains 2-grams of fiber and 6-grams of protein. 

What are Phytosterols, and How Do They Add to Sunflower Microgreens Nutrition?

Sunflowers contain a compound called phytosterol. As the name implies, phytosterols are plant compounds with chemical structures similar to cholesterol. 

Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated that daily consumption of foods enriched with at least 1.3 g of plant sterols or stanols lowers serum LDL (bad cholesterol). 

The above-linked article is a bit misleading. As it mentions ingesting "vegetable oils" containing phytosterols. We don't want you using any seed oils. 

Prepared seed oils are some of the worst things you can use in your cooking. The "Hateful Eight" are our worst food enemy. 

However, ingesting non-processed vegetable oils (from fresh vegetables) is much better for us.

Decreasing "bad cholesterol decreases the risk of certain types of cancer and enhances immunity. 

Other Reports

Eat This Much reports that a serving of sunflower microgreens (90-grams - seems like a lot) provides the following nutritional facts. 

A bit different than our researched values and a bit limiting.

sunflower microgreens nutrition

Values Will Differ

We believe that growing and eating microgreens are some of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. 

After all, study after study has reported that microgreens contain a fantastic amount of nutritional value, The fresher a food is fewer vitamins and minerals are lost.

And you can't get much fresher than harvesting food grown in your home! Making microgreens a a precious asset to your health.

We find it hard to believe the precise nutritional values that a site lists, like the numbers in the above article. Yes, we did our best to research and accurately list sunflower microgreens nutrition.

But it would seem to us that environmental factors such as the amount of light, growing substrate, temperature, seed genetics, and even the growing conditions of the parent plant will affect the nutrition of any plant.

Please don't get hung up on the values as much as the relative portions of nutritional elements in each microgreen.

Sunflower Microgreens Nutrition Wrap-up

Our research shows that sunflower microgreens contain beneficial amounts of the following.

Vitamin A

Vitamin B (complex)

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

Vitamin C

Complete protein builders

Lecithin

Chlorophyll

Phytosterols

Calcium

Copper

Manganese

Magnesium

Phosphorus

Potassium

Iron

Selenium

Zinc

Despite the growing demand for sunflower microgreens due to their yummy flavor and versatile nutritional and medicinal benefits, many researchers suggest that these microgreens remain under-researched.

They stress that further study should validate multiple untapped health benefits. Such benefits will fulfill dietary nutritional needs and prevent and treat many conditions, infections, and diseases. 

Sunflower Microgreen Seeds

Start growing your sunflower microgreens now! The Home Microgreens Store supply seeds in the perfect quantity for a variety of tray sizes, as well as by the ounce, quarter pound, and pound bags. At very competitive prices.

sunflower seeds

If you use sunflower microgreens, please consider sharing the different, creative ways you've made them a part of your dishes, drinks, or snacks.

New readers of our article will undoubtedly appreciate your tips! 

Do You Have a Pinterest Microgreen Board?

If not, why not start one! Use this pin as the first or add to your existing boards.

sunflower microgreens nutrition pinterest

Author of this Article is Todd

Todd is the founder of Home Microgreens & the Home Microgreens store. He also writes for several other websites, including MakeGardeningEasy.com. Todd worked at a large farm market, garden & nursery center for 20-years. Somehow he snuck off to become a geologist and professor before coming back to his senses to write & lecture about microgreens and gardening. When not at the computer, he can be found in the garden, trout stream, or mountain trail with his new Springer Spaniel Caden.

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Home Microgreens Also Offers the Following

Microgreen eBook

A comprehensive microgreen ebook that details the principals of growing microgreens at home. Several different methods and processes are detailed.

The ebook comes in two versions, one version includes instructions to grow the most commonly grown microgreens. The second includes access the microgreen vault, a database containing more varieties and information with images taken throughout the stages of growth.

Video Courses for the Home Grower

The Home Microgreens Video Course is perfect for the person that wants to grow one or more trays of microgreens for home use. Trays of microgreens also make great gifts! 

The course includes short, easy to follow videos and checklist for each step along the way.

Step-by-step video instructions are included for the most commonly grown microgreen varieties. 

Grow for Profit Course

Do you want to learn how to grow microgreens for profit? Grow microgreens as a side hustle, retirement income, or maybe even as an occupation. 

It's possible to earn a few hundred to thousands of dollars a month. 

The Grow for Profit Video Course shows you what is involved to set up a microgreens business, how to setup your grow area, and instructions on how to grow many different varieties. 

The Home Microgreens Store

The Home Microgreen Store has all the supplies you need to grow microgreens at home. 

We stock complete microgreen kits, trays, professional potting soil, miscellaneous equipment and of course microgreens seeds.

Microgreen kits make great gifts, home school or rainy day projects, and are fun for the whole family.

Instructions are included as well as email support.

Our kit and seed prices are very competitive if not the lowest on the internet.

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