Sunflower seeds come from the sunflower (Helianthus annuus), which is a plant that has large bright yellow petals and a seed-filled center. The shells of the seeds are black with white or gray stripes, and contain edible seeds that are black or gray-green in color.
Sunflower seeds yield a great amount of oil, which is why they are one of the primary sources used to manufacture polyunsaturated oil. Dried sunflower seeds are highly nutritious and believed to offer many health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, lowering the risk of a stroke or heart attack and strengthening the body against cancer. Sunflower seeds should be stored in a sealed container in a refrigerator or freezer.