With the conscious and healthy eating fad taking over our lives, a lot of us are going back to eating whole grains, unprocessed foods and healthy nuts and seeds in order to get the right nutrients in our daily diet. Two such ingredients that are most popular among the healthy eaters are chia seeds and flax seeds. Both the seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are essential fatty acids, required for our body. They also contain a whole lot of fiber and essential minerals. If you want to jump onto the health food bandwagon, then should you go for flax seeds or chia seeds? We tell you about these superfoods and demystify the flax seeds vs chia seeds battle for you.
Flax Seeds vs Chia Seeds – Nutrition Information
There has been a lot of research conducted to find and compare the nutritional value of flax and chia seeds. Both of them are high in dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. However, they do differ in their composition when it comes to the amount of fat, proteins and minerals in them. Lets study these differences in detail as we see how the seeds fare in this battle. All the values here are for 1 ounce of dry seeds.
Fiber – Flax seeds contain 7.6 grams dietary fiber while chia seeds contain 10.6 grams of dietary fiber. The soluble fiber in chia seeds helps in easing bowel movement too. Chia- 1, flax- 0
Fats – Flax seeds contain 11.8 grams of fat while chia seeds contain 8.6 grams of fat. But we give this round to flax seeds since most of that fat is healthy fat that is essential for the body, so the more the better. Chia – 1, Flax -1
Proteins – 1 ounce of flax seeds have 5.1 grams of protein while chia seeds have 4.4 grams of protein. Though the quantity of proteins in flax seeds is higher, the range of proteins in chia seeds is better, since it contains all the essential amino acids. Chia – 2 , Flax – 1
Lignans – Lignans are chemicals in food that reduce the risk of contracting cancer. Flax seeds have a higher percentage of lignans when compared to chia seeds. Chia – 2, Flax -2
Calcium – An ounce of chia seeds can give you 18% of your daily calcium requirement which is 177 mg since they are loaded with calcium while flax seeds have only 71 mg. Chia -3 , flax -2
Phosphorous – Again, chia seeds are a richer source of phosphorous when compared to flax seeds. They have 265 mg per ounce while flax seeds have only 180 mg. Another win for chia seeds!
While we could still go over every remaining nutrient to get a picture of which is the better source of nutrition, we’d like to stop here to say that both the seeds are great sources, but Chia seeds certainly have the edge when it comes to the essential nutrients.
Flax Seeds vs Chia Seeds – Ease of incorporation into diet
For flax seeds to be absorbed into the system, they need to be milled or ground before consumption. The powder can be added to your smoothies, bakes, cereal or food. On the other hand, chia seeds can be consumed as is. You can also soak some in water or milk and add to your smoothies and shakes or grind them and add them to your bakes. They take time to be digested and keep you full for a longer time. That way, the possibility of you reaching out for your untimely snack is really less!
Read more about how to lose weight by adding chia seeds to your diet here
Conclusion – what to go in for?
Both flax seeds and chia seeds are great sources of nutrients. They can easily be incorporated into your diet. The scales however are slightly tilted in the favor of chia seeds, since they are a richer source of some vital nutrients and also have the ability to curb hunger. So the next time you are in the health food section of your supermarket, don’t forget to pick up a bag of chia seeds to start your journey towards great health!
Read more about benefits of flax oil here