Today, we will make a comparison of chia seeds vs. flaxseed. These are both popular health foods. While we will be comparing and contrasting the two, know that both are healthy foods, and you may choose to add both to your diet by the end of the article. However, for our purposes, we will pit these two tiny seeds against one another to see which one holds up better to the hype that they both receive.
First, let’s start by doing a nutritional breakdown of both seeds.
Chia Seeds Vs. Flaxseed: A Nutritional Comparison
What can you get from just one ounce of these potent seeds?
- Chia: Chia seeds contain 137 calories per ounce. The calories come from 12 grams of carbohydrates, four grams of protein, and nine grams of fat.
- Flax: Flaxseed contains 150 calories per ounce. The caloric breakdown includes 8 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fat.
So we already begin to see the difference depending on what you need in your diet. Flax can get you some extra calories, include some fats (healthy ones, as we will discuss in a few moments). On the other hand, chia has fewer calories, but more carbs.
The other thing to consider is that nearly all of those carbs are in the form of dietary fiber. So both will help your digestive tract, and chia has the edge in this department with 11 of those 12 grams of carbs being fiber.
Flax, on the other hand, has more omega-3 fatty acids, and that is why they have a higher fat content. These healthy fats are necessary for nervous system function. There are many studies that reveal the efficacy of omega-3s for depression and anxiety, inflammation, sleep, eye problems, dementia, and more.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds Vs. Flaxseed
There are many astounding benefits to both chia and flax. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.
- Cardiovascular health: Omega-3s are also good for your heart. In particular, both flax and chia contain alpha-linolenic acid. This is a type of fat that your body cannot produce on its own, so you have to secure it from an external source. While both types of seed contain this vital fat, flax has a slight edge in the amount you get per ounce, so it may be the better option for heart health.
- Gastrointestinal health: Both flax and chia contain high amounts of dietary fiber. However, this time chia has a slight advantage. In fact, just two ounces of chia put a woman over the daily fiber requirement and get a man 80% of what he needs. Fiber also helps to nourish the healthy bacteria in your gut. Therefore, both seeds can help with constipation, diarrhea, may even boost energy levels and mental health (thanks to the healthy bacteria support).
- Cancer prevention: Once again, this benefit is related to fiber. A healthy digestive tract can help to prevent colon cancer. On the other hand, going back to the Omega 3s, you may also get benefits in the prevention of prostate and breast cancer.
- Blood sugar regulation: Fiber controls the digestion of carbs. Therefore, eating fiber along with a meal may help prevent a spike in blood sugar when you are digesting carbohydrates. This may reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. It may also help you to make it between meals without that “crash” people go through when blood sugar drops after spiking.
Can Chia Seeds Help You Lose Weight?
The Internet is always promoting some sort of superfood as a weight-loss miracle. Interestingly enough, there is actually some scientific evidence when it comes to chia helping a person lose weight. This is likely due to the high amounts of fiber that can help keep the gut clean and healthy.
Chia Seeds Vs. Flaxseed: Which One Is Right for You?
As you can see, there are amazing benefits to both of these tiny seeds. Which one you decide to take advantage of may come down to the benefits you are looking for and which seed is more likely to produce those results. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with adding both flax and chia to your diet. Between the fiber, healthy fats, and plant proteins, you get a cocktail of beneficial nutrients from both flax and chia with little to no downside. In reality, the only negative would be consuming exceedingly high amounts of fiber, which could cause bloating and gas.
How to Add Chia and Flax to Your Diet
Chia seeds are usually added whole to foods. You can put it in your yogurt or cereal. You can use it to thicken liquids. It can even produce an egg substitute for vegans since it has a gelatinizing effect.
Flax seeds typically end up ground to produce flour. Keep in mind that while chia doesn’t really taste like anything, it can change the consistency of your food. Flax, on the other hand, has a bit of a nutty taste. So with flaxseed, expect a different flavor, but one you should find edible or even appealing.
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We hope today’s article helped you see the benefits of chia and flax. Keep up with our blog for more health tips and visit the shop for health supplements that can help you to look and feel your best.