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This Grocery Item Is Expected to Fly Off Shelves in 2022

It’s versatile, healthy, and nut free!
FACT CHECKED BY Amanda McDonald

Sunflower seeds are no longer just for baseball games—these little seeds are slowly sneaking into snacks, salads, and other recipes. Back in July, a TikTok created by @RedleafRanch went viral. It featured him pulling a sunflower head off of its stem, coating it with seasoning, grilling the entire head, and then eating the seeds right off the head, as if he was eating corn on the cob. The video is still going strong, with more than 2.4 million likes and 25 million views.

Eating sunflower seeds is not just a TikTok trend, but something that will become even more popular in 2022.

"This plant-based source of protein, fats, and other nutrients will be a staple ingredient in many grocery items next year. Find it in more crackers, milk alternatives, nut butters, ice creams, and more soon," Eat This, Not That! previously reported.

Related: Supply of These 4 Grocery Items Is Dwindling, Reports Say

So why are sunflower seeds and sunflower seed products expected to boom in 2022? Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Board Member Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and a nutritionist in private practice, explains, "[Sunflower seeds] are high in healthy fats, plant compounds, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. They also contain some plant protein. They may help to decrease inflammation, and chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes."

Sunflower seeds have numerous other health benefits. These nutty-flavored seeds are known for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, For Care and Research Education refers to sunflower seeds as a superfood that can help with reducing anxiety and depression, improving bone health, reducing the risk of stroke, and reducing the risk of cancer, just to name a few.

wooden bowl of sunflower seeds on piece of burlap next to two wooden spoons
Shutterstock / chanwangrong

For parents who pack their children's lunches, nut-free sunflower seed products are a game changer for schools that have banned peanut butter and nut-based products due to allergies, The National News reports. SunButter is a popular alternative to peanut butter, which contains seven grams of protein per two-tablespoon serving.

In addition to being a snack and a peanut butter alternative, the mighty seeds can be enjoyed in salads, vegetable dishes, yogurt, and cereal. But, Young advises people to be aware that sunflower seeds are high in calories, so a small serving goes a long way, but don't be surprised if more options are available at your local supermarket in 2022.

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Sarah Berman
Sarah is a graduate journalism student at Northwestern University and specializes in magazine writing. Read more