When you think of softball you think of the big yellow ball, the unique (and often intimidating) underhand pitching technique, the impressive choreographed dugout celebrationsthat will be sorely missed, and, of course, sunflower seeds.
Softball and sunflower seeds are a combination that will bring back the fondest of memories for those who played the game growing up, and the munching of sunflower seeds both in the dugout and in the hands of anxious parents in the stands, continues to be a tradition that is embraced and loved across the United States.
So, what is it about sunflower seeds that goes so perfectly hand-in-glove with softball? Perhaps the biggest contender when it comes to the popularity of sunflower seeds and ball games in the first place was started by softball’s cousin, baseball. MLB players (Reggie Jackson, we’re looking at you!) popularized sunflower seeds during ball games in the 50s and 60s, and its stuck around in both sports ever since for good reason, including the following:
Calm the Nerves
Not going to lie, a close softball game can get even the coolest cat in the dugout a little nervous, and with a lot of that time between up-to-bat and playing outfield spent in the dugout, players need something to help them keep them calm and focused on the game! Sunflower seeds offer the perfect distraction due to the methodical way they are cracked open, and handfuls of sunflower seeds keep both fingers and mouths busy while the mind is completely fixated on the game.
Did you know sunflower seeds also contain an essential amino acid called tryptophan that your body changes into serotonin? This means that sunflower seeds can actually help relieve stress, making them a perfect snack option when you’re tied with the other team at the bottom of the 7thinning. Crack open a bag and let that tension out!
Fuel Up with Flavor
The best part about snacking on sunflower seeds for the reason we mentioned above, includes the fact that low-salt sunflower seedsare an excellent source of fuel to keep you at the top of your game, the entire game.
Sunflower seeds are not only low in carbohydrates, but are an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, and plenty of healthy fats (meaning you can snack in the dugout without feeling guilty).
When it comes to flavor, Chinook Seederysunflower seeds are low-salt, which helps enhance the taste of the seeds and replenish electrolytes you sweat out during the game. Plus, they come in six unique and delicious flavors from real foods and spices, including Smokehouse BBQ, Dill Pickle, and more!
Good Luck (or Maybe Superstition)
It’s no secret that superstition, ahem “rituals”, play a big part in both softball and baseball, and some players claim that sunflower seeds, and their accompanying rituals, are an important part of walking off the field with a win under their belt (or at least helps them release some tension).