Publication date October 31, 2023
Chia Seed Vs Flax Seed: Which Seed is Better For You?
In the last few years, healthy seeds have become a major player in the world of healthy foods. There are multiple types of seeds but chia seeds and flax seeds are among the most popular ones.
Source: The Leaf Nutrisystem Blog
Chia seeds and flax seeds are both concentrated sources of nutrients that can help you increase your overall health.
But how will you find out which one is the best as a new addition to your everyday diet?
So you don’t need to worry about it because, of course, we will help you. Below after conducting thorough research, we have collected all the necessary information that you need to know about chia seed vs flax seed.
Additionally, we have also compared them with each other so you can make the best decision for yourself when it comes to healthy seeds.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started with understanding what are chia seeds and flax seeds exactly.
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds also known as Salba chia or Mexica chia, are the edible seeds of a flowering plant from the mint family. These seeds have a long history.
They were one of the vital crops in ancient Aztec and Mesoamerican cultures. Because the seeds had medicinal properties and made up an important part of the people‘s diets.
But, today chia grows commercially in several different countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Argentina, Australia, and the United States.
Chia seeds are widely recognized as a nutrient-dense addition to healthy diets.
What are Flax Seeds?
Flax seed comes from the flax plant which is also known as Linum usitatissimum. This plant grows to be about 2 feet tall. Flax plant was first grown in Egypt but has been cultivated all around the world.
When it first came to North America, the plant was primarily grown to produce clothing. However, in the mid-20th century, cotton took over as the United States fiber of choice, so later most places in North America that grow flax do so to produce seeds.
These flax seeds can be eaten on their own or crushed and cold pressed to release flaxseed oil.
For several years, it was common to find flaxseed, used in things like cereal or bread, but it has also developed its own separate identity in the health food scene.
Difference Between Chia Seed vs Flax seed
Here are a few main differences between these two seeds to help you decide which one is a better option for you:
Amount of Fiber: Chia Seeds vs. Flaxseeds
Both chia seeds and flaxseeds are rich in fiber. Chia seeds contain 11 g of fiber in one ounce while flax seeds contain 8 g of fiber for the same amount.
If your diet contains a high fiber content it has been shown to prevent many critical diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Also, fiber is a great nutrient for stomach and digestive health, helping with the flow of food from the stomach to the intestines and keeping everything in that area smooth and painless.
Chia seeds form a gel during digestion, which blocks the fiber from releasing sugars and makes this seed a great carbohydrate option for diabetic people.
So clearly, Chia seeds are the winner here, but if you are going with flaxseeds then it will not be wrong either.
Antioxidants: Chia Seeds vs. Flaxseeds
Chia seeds are higher in antioxidants than other sources like blueberries and acai.
Some researchers have found that the darker chia seeds are about as rich in antioxidants as the white chia seeds, but a few experts still believe that a mix of the two colors is for the most balanced diet.
Chia seeds are a major source of calcium, while flax seeds are not. As a bonus, chia seeds are rich in minerals like phosphorus, manganese, and zinc, which also improve bone health over time.
So for healthy bones, we will give another point to the chia seed team!
Flaxseeds are also a significant source of lignans, an antioxidant also known as phytochemicals. These antioxidants help the skin and a reduction in blood pressure.
Although chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, only flaxseeds contain high levels of lignans, so that's a point for flax!
Amount of Protein: Chia Seeds and Flaxseeds
When it comes to protein, both chia seeds and flaxseeds are significant sources of protein. Protein is an ideal option for weight loss, as it helps you feel fuller after a meal and not crave any fast food, especially snacks between meals.
In fact, one study has proved that protein-rich diets cut down on midnight snack cravings by over 50%. Additionally, Protein helps you build muscle and is a boost of energy to keep you going through your workout and the rest of your hectic day.
Chia and flax seeds both help with this, but flaxseeds are slightly higher at 8 g of protein per ounce, compared to chia’s 6 g of protein per ounce. For this, we will give the point to flaxseed.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Chia Seeds vs. Flaxseeds
Flax seeds are the number 1 plant-based food for omega-3 fatty acids because only one ounce of flaxseed contains over 6,000 mg of ALA, a common omega-3.
Omega-3s play an important role in the prevention of inflammation, diabetes, and autoimmune disease, that’s the reason why Omega-3 is important to our health.
In comparison, the same amount of chia seeds has only 4,900 mg of ALA. But, remember 4,900 mg is still a huge source of Omega-3s and compares to around 6 ounces of salmon.
Both seeds contain mostly ALA when compared with other sources. While flaxseeds win slightly in this category, you really cannot go wrong with either seed when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids.
Vitamin and Mineral Content: Flax seed vs chia seed
Chia seeds are full of minerals and vitamins. In these seeds, you will find many vital minerals including Zinc, copper, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.
Flaxseeds have an almost similar profile, with high amounts of B6 vitamins, iron, manganese, and iron. Chia seeds are still slightly better, but this will hugely depend somewhat on the vitamins and minerals that you are consuming in the rest of your diet.
If you have an iron deficiency, it would be ideal to go with the flax seeds. And in case you are looking for more calcium, chia seeds are for you!
How to Eat Chia Seeds
- Smoothies: This is my favorite way to eat chia seeds! Just blend chia seeds into your favorite smoothie for a nutritional boost. The seeds add thickness and offer extra fiber and nutrients.
- Overnight Oats: Add chia seeds with rolled oats, milk, and other toppings like fruits, nuts, and honey. Leave it in the refrigerator overnight for a yummy and nutritious breakfast.
- Baked Goods: Add chia seeds to cookies, muffins, or bread dough for an extra nutritional punch.
- Chia Water: Mix chia seeds with water, and leave them until they form a gel-like drink. For additional sweeteners for flavor, you can add lemon or lime juice.
How to East Flax Seeds
- Ground Flaxseed: Make a flax seed into a fine powder form, it will improve nutrient absorption. You can also add seeds to yogurt, smoothies, or oatmeal.
- Flaxseed Oil: You can use flaxseed oil as a salad dressing or drizzle over cooked vegetables to benefit from its healthy fats and nutrients.
- Baked Goods: Add ground flaxseed into baked muffins, pancakes, and bread for added fiber and nutrients.
- Flaxseed Yogurt Topping: Sprinkle whole or ground flax seeds over yogurt for a crunchy and nutritious topping.
Should You Eat Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds Together?
If you are wondering, should you eat Chia seeds and Flax seeds together? So the answer is Yes!
Eating chia seeds and flax seeds together will offer a variety of nutrients. To add the seeds to your daily diet, you can start by eating one tablespoon of each type of seed daily.
Source: Vibrant Plate
There are multiple benefits of flax and chia seed and are very easy to introduce into your diet.
Both seeds taste relatively bland, so you can add them to almost anything. They can be sprinkled on top of yogurts or incorporated into your favorite smoothies, porridge, or baked goods.
Both chia and flax seeds provide a plethora of health benefits and can be valuable additions to your balanced diet.
Whether you choose chia seeds, flax seeds, or even both, incorporating these tiny yet mighty seeds into your meals can improve your overall well-being and can add a nutritional boost to your favorite dishes.