Flax Seeds vs Sunflower Seeds: How Are They Different?
Flax Seeds 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 flax seeds 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.
Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum) are small, golden, or brown seeds that have a nutty and slightly earthy flavor.
These seeds have been used for centuries as food and for their medicinal properties and are now gaining popularity as a health food.
Flax seeds are a good source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, making them a valuable addition to a plant-based diet.
They are also high in lignans, which are plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and estrogen-like effects.
There are many ways to incorporate flax seeds into your diet. They can be eaten raw or ground into a meal and can be added to various dishes, including smoothies, baked goods, and even savory dishes.
Flax seeds are also available in oil form, which can be used as a healthy alternative to vegetable oil in cooking.
It is important to note that flax seeds should be ground before consumption, as the whole seeds may pass through the digestive system undigested.
They should also be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them fresh and prevent them from going rancid.
If you want to add more fiber, protein, and healthy fats to your diet, consider giving flax seeds a try. They are versatile, nutritious, and may have various health benefits.
Flax Seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).
They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin K.
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).
Flax Seeds 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 flax seeds vs sunflower seeds.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of flax seeds and sunflower seeds and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral contents.
Flax Seeds vs Sunflower Seeds Calories
Nuts and seeds are generally high in calories; the same goes for flax seeds 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 flax seeds vs sunflower seeds for weight loss, flax seeds are slightly lower in calories, with 150 calories per serving, compared to 171 calories per serving of sunflower seeds.
However, both flax seeds 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.
Flax Seeds vs Sunflower Seeds Protein
Nuts and seeds, including flax seeds and sunflower seeds, are an important source of plant-based protein.
Sunflower Seeds offer around 14% more protein than flax seeds.
Sunflower Seeds have 21 grams of protein per 100 grams (or 5.9g per serving), while flax seeds have 18.3 grams of protein per 100 grams (or 5.1g per serving).
Flax Seeds 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 flax seeds and sunflower seeds.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 41% higher in flax seeds than in sunflower seeds. They have 28.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 17.1 grams in sunflower seeds.
There’s less sugar in sunflower seeds than in flax seeds, 100% precisely.
One handful of sunflower seeds (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of flax seeds contains 0.4 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in flax seeds and sunflower seeds.
Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.
With 7.6 grams of fiber per portion, flax seeds are a better source of fiber than sunflower seeds which offer 2.9 grams per portion.
Flax Seeds vs Sunflower Seeds Fats
Like the other nuts and seeds, fats in flax seeds and sunflower seeds are a great source of healthy unsaturated fats, naturally cholesterol free, and free of trans fats.
Total fat in flax seeds and sunflower seeds:
- Flax Seeds: 42.2 grams per 100 grams
- Sunflower Seeds: 56.1 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, flax seeds are 31% lower in saturated fats.
Flax Seeds and sunflower seeds contain 3.7 grams and 5.4 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Flax Seeds vs Sunflower Seeds Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of flax seeds and sunflower seeds.
Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.
Flax Seeds have a higher amount of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.
However, sunflower seeds have a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin K.
Flax Seeds and sunflower seeds contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins flax seeds and sunflower seeds contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Flax Seeds 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 flax seeds and sunflower seeds comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Flax Seeds are a better source of copper, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc than sunflower seeds.
On the other hand, sunflower seeds have a higher amount of calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Flax Seeds and sunflower seeds contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how flax seeds and sunflower seeds compare when it comes to mineral contents.
The Final Word
Flax Seeds 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 flax seeds 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.
- It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
- We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
- It's regularly updated.
Read more about our process and team.
- 9 Mistakes Even Seasoned Plant-Based Individuals Make
- Sunflower Seeds vs Broad (Fava) Beans: Which Is Healthier?
- Sunflower Seeds vs White Beans: Difference & Similarities
- Sunflower Seeds vs Pinto Beans: How Are They Different?
- Sunflower Seeds vs Kidney Beans: What’s The Difference?
- Sunflower Seeds vs Chickpea Flour: Which Is Better?