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Acorns vs Sunflower Seeds: How To Choose?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between acorns and sunflower seeds, foods from the nuts and seeds group. Read on to learn more about the acorns vs sunflower seeds comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on December 31, 2022.

Acorns and sunflower seeds belong to the nuts and seeds food group, an important group for a healthy diet, as they provide a wide range of essential nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, dietary fiber, and vitamins and minerals.

In this article, we’ll put a spotlight on acorns and sunflower seeds and compare their similarities and differences.

They both provide a variety of nutrients and are relatively high in calories, like other nuts and seeds.


Acorns (Quercus spp.) are the seeds of oak trees and have been used as a food source by humans for centuries. Acorns have a slightly bitter and nutty flavor and are often ground into flour or meal for use in baking or as a thickening agent in soups and stews.

Acorns are a good source of nutrients, including protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. They are also a sustainable and renewable food source, as oak trees are widely distributed, and acorns are abundant in many areas.

In some cultures, acorns have been used as a coffee substitute and can also be roasted and eaten as a snack. Acorns can be prepared in various ways, including boiling, roasting, or grinding into flour.

However, it is important to note that acorns contain tannins, which can give them a bitter flavor and can also cause digestive issues if consumed in large quantities. Therefore, it is important to properly prepare and leach acorns before consuming them in large amounts.

Overall, acorns are a unique and nutritious food that can be valuable to a plant-based diet. If you’re looking to try something new, consider incorporating acorns into your cooking!

Acorns are an excellent source of Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds (Helianthus annuus) are the seeds of the sunflower plant, which is native to North America and is now grown in many parts of the world.

These seeds have a slightly nutty and slightly earthy flavor, and are often used in a variety of dishes, including breads, cereals, and granolas.

Sunflower seeds are a good source of nutrients, including protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.

They are also a good source of healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

There are many ways to incorporate sunflower seeds into your diet.

They can be eaten raw or roasted, and are often used as a topping for salads and other dishes.

Sunflower seeds are also available in a variety of forms, including whole, chopped, and ground into flour.

Sunflower seeds are widely available and can be found at most grocery stores.

If you’re looking for a tasty and nutritious seed to add to your diet, consider giving sunflower seeds a try.

They are flavorful, versatile, and have a variety of health benefits.

Sunflower Seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin E.

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

Acorns vs Sunflower Seeds Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing acorns vs sunflower seeds.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of acorns and sunflower seeds and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral contents.

AcornsSunflower Seeds
Energy387 kcal612 kcal
Carbs40.8 g17.1 g
Fiber10.3 g
Protein6.15 g21 g
Fat23.9 g56.1 g
Saturated Fat3.1 g5.36 g

Acorns vs Sunflower Seeds Calories

Nuts and seeds are generally high in calories; the same goes for acorns and sunflower seeds, so you should consume them in moderation.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a proper serving is one ounce, which is roughly equal to 1/4 cup or 28 grams.

To keep the portions under control, the amounts correspond to one serving size: 14 walnut halves, 16 cashews, 24 almonds, 28 peanuts, or 45 pistachios.

Comparing acorns vs sunflower seeds for weight loss, acorns are slightly lower in calories, with 108 calories per serving, compared to 171 calories per serving of sunflower seeds.

However, both acorns and sunflower seeds can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight. It’s just important to eat them in moderation.

Acorns vs Sunflower Seeds Protein

Nuts and seeds, including acorns and sunflower seeds, are an important source of plant-based protein.

Sunflower Seeds offer around 71% more protein than acorns.

Sunflower Seeds have 21 grams of protein per 100 grams (or 5.9g per serving), while acorns have 6.2 grams of protein per 100 grams (or 1.7g per serving).

Acorns vs Sunflower Seeds Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in acorns and sunflower seeds.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 58% higher in acorns than in sunflower seeds. They have 40.8 grams per 100 grams, compared to 17.1 grams in sunflower seeds.

One handful of acorns and sunflower seeds (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, the same amount.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in acorns and sunflower seeds.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 2.9 grams of fiber per portion, sunflower seeds are a better source of fiber than acorns which offer 0 grams per portion.

Acorns vs Sunflower Seeds Fats

Like the other nuts and seeds, fats in acorns and sunflower seeds are a great source of healthy unsaturated fats, naturally cholesterol free, and free of trans fats.

Total fat in acorns and sunflower seeds:

  • Acorns: 23.9 grams per 100 grams
  • Sunflower Seeds: 56.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, acorns are 43% lower in saturated fats.

Acorns and sunflower seeds contain 3.1 grams and 5.4 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Acorns vs Sunflower Seeds Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of acorns and sunflower seeds.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Acorns have a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, sunflower seeds have a higher amount of vitamin A.

Acorns and sunflower seeds contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins acorns and sunflower seeds contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

AcornsSunflower Seeds
Vitamin A39 IU0
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.112 mg0.473 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.118 mg0.507 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.83 mg6.96 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.715 mg0.84 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.528 mg0.76 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)87 µg169 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E019.6 mg
Vitamin K01.2 µg

Acorns vs Sunflower Seeds Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the acorns and sunflower seeds comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Acorns are a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc than sunflower seeds.

Acorns and sunflower seeds contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how acorns and sunflower seeds compare when it comes to mineral contents.

AcornsSunflower Seeds
Calcium41 mg78 mg
Copper0.621 mg1.83 mg
Iron0.79 mg5.21 mg
Magnesium62 mg358 mg
Manganese1.34 mg2.89 mg
Phosphorus79 mg750 mg
Potassium539 mg689 mg
Selenium080.4 µg
Sodium0532 mg
Zinc0.51 mg6 mg

The Final Word

Acorns and sunflower seeds are highly nutritious and excellent sources of plant-based protein and healthy fats.

Although they are relatively high in calories, they are essential to a healthy, plant-based diet and are linked to many health benefits.

Both acorns and sunflower seeds are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Nuts and seeds are versatile foods, and can be part of any meal or salad, just be sure to eat them moderately, as they are loaded with calories.

Nuts and seeds are versatile foods and can be part of any meal or salad, just be sure to eat them moderately, as they are loaded with calories.


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