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Sunflower Seeds vs Soy: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between sunflower seeds and soy, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the sunflower seeds vs soy comparison.
Esther Bumpus, Health Writer

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on March 22, 2023.

Although sunflower seeds and soy belong to different food groups, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

While sunflower seeds belong to the nuts and seeds group, soy belong to legumes food group.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares sunflower seeds and soy, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from nuts and seeds group are usually higher in healthy fats and lower in carbs than legumes, but both are valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how sunflower seeds and soy compare specifically.

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

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).


Soybeans (Glycine max) are a type of legume native to East Asia.

They are a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to their high protein and fiber content. Soy protein is one of the complete sources of a plant-based protein.

Soybeans can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including tofu, soy milk, and soy-based meat substitutes, and can also be ground into flour and used in baked goods such as bread and cookies.

In addition to being a tasty and nutritious food, soybeans have been shown to have many potential health benefits.

They are a good source of antioxidants and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved blood sugar control.

Soybeans are also a good source of several important minerals, including iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Soy are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin K.

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.

Sunflower Seeds vs Soy Nutrition

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

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

Sunflower SeedsSoy
Energy612 kcal446 kcal
Carbs17.1 g30.2 g
Sugar7.33 g
Fiber10.3 g9.3 g
Protein21 g36.5 g
Fat56.1 g19.9 g
Saturated Fat5.36 g2.88 g

Sunflower Seeds vs Soy Calories

Comparing soy vs sunflower seeds for weight loss, soy are slightly lower in calories, with 446 calories per 100 grams, compared to 612 calories per 100 grams of sunflower seeds.

However, both sunflower seeds and soy can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Sunflower Seeds vs Soy Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including sunflower seeds and soy, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Soy offer around 42% more protein than sunflower seeds.

Soy have 36.5 grams of protein per 100 grams, while sunflower seeds has 21 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Sunflower Seeds vs Soy 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 sunflower seeds and soy.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 43% higher in soy than in sunflower seeds. They have 30.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 17.1 grams in sunflower seeds.


There’s less sugar in sunflower seeds than in soy, 100% precisely.

One handful of sunflower seeds (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of soy contains 2.1 grams.

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

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 is a better source of fiber than soy which sunflower seeds offers 2.6 grams per portion.

Sunflower Seeds vs Soy Fats

Fats in sunflower seeds and soy are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in sunflower seeds and soy:

  • Sunflower Seeds: 56.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Soy: 19.9 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, soy are 46% lower in saturated fats.

Soy and sunflower seeds contain 2.9 grams and 5.4 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Sunflower Seeds vs Soy Vitamins Content

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

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

Sunflower Seeds has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin K.

However, soy have a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin E.

Sunflower Seeds and soy contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

Sunflower SeedsSoy
Vitamin A022 IU
Vitamin C06 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.473 mg0.874 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.507 mg0.87 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.96 mg1.62 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.84 mg0.793 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.76 mg0.377 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)169 µg375 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E19.6 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K1.2 µg47 µg

Sunflower Seeds vs Soy 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 sunflower seeds and soy comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Sunflower Seeds is a better source of calcium, fluoride, iron, and potassium than soy.

On the other hand, soy are a higher amount of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc.

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

Sunflower SeedsSoy
Calcium78 mg277 mg
Copper1.83 mg1.66 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron5.21 mg15.7 mg
Magnesium358 mg280 mg
Manganese2.89 mg2.52 mg
Phosphorus750 mg704 mg
Potassium689 mg1800 mg
Selenium80.4 µg17.8 µg
Sodium532 mg2 mg
Zinc6 mg4.89 mg

The Final Word

Sunflower Seeds and soy are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

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

Antioxidants found in nuts, seeds and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes, nuts and seeds are a versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.


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