Sunflower seeds make a perfect snack. They are delicious, are quite entertaining to eat, and are full of nutrients like phytosterols which are plant chemicals that help lower cholesterol, magnesium and vitamin E. A common way to eat sunflower seeds is to crack their hulls open with your teeth and eat the kernel, the flesh inside.
However, it must have occurred to you whether it is okay to just chew the whole thing, kernel and hulls, and you want to know what the worst that could happen? Well, here’s your answer….
The Ugly Truth
Like all nuts, sunflower seeds have shells to protect the interior contents long enough to germinate and be ready to become beautiful sunflower plants. Birds find no problem eating sunflower seeds whole, and you would make less litter if you chewed these snacks whole; but like it or not, swallowing the rather tasty salty hulls of these seeds is a nasty habit that will give you several digestive problems.
First of all, the shells of sunflower seeds will have sharp edges once you crush them with your teeth. This can result in cuts in different places in your digestive tract starting from the esophagus. Moreover, if you eat too much whole seeds, you may end up with a terrible constipation and suffer from agonizing blockage. Hence, save your digestive tract and spare yourself the pain by sticking to eating the kernels alone.
If you are not a great fan of removing the hulls off in-shell sunflower seeds before eating them, you can find kernels with the hulls removed in supermarkets usually next to spices.