The nutty taste and firm, tender texture of sunflower seeds makes them an excellent snack food. They are also loaded with many health and nutritional benefits and are available all throughout the year. Sunflower seeds come from sunflowers, have a high oil content, and are one of the main sources of polyunsaturated oil. Sunflower seeds are tear-drop shaped and have gray or black shells with white stripes.
Seeds are sold both shelled and unshelled and originate from Mexico and Peru. Sunflower seeds have been used by Native Americans for over 5,000 years. Native Americans not only used the seeds as a source of food and oil, they also used the flowers, roots, and stems for other purposes including a dye pigment for fabrics and garments.