Flax and chia are nutritious seeds packed withmagnesium, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids. Theyare commonly added to different dishes due to their health benefits.
Generally, seeds are healthy and make delicious additions to salads, cereals, and smoothies. Seeds exist in different kinds, each offering its unique wellness to humans. Populartypesinclude sunflower, basil, pumpkin, hemp,chia,andflax seeds.
What areChia Seeds?
Thesearefavorite bitesfor athletes, distance runners, adventure enthusiasts, and health seekersand help enhance endurance. It originates in Guatemala and Mexico but is popular around the world. They come in white, brown, and black varieties. These seeds are tiny, flat, oval-shaped, and shiny withsmooth skin. In addition to their versatility, they have a nutty flavor that complements sweet and savory dishes. Their taste is close to an alfalfa sprout or poppy seed. Their raw version hasa crunchy and dense texture. In gel form,they’re soft,similar to pearls of tapioca.
What areFlax Seeds?
They are small oil seeds that originated from the middle east. Whole flaxseedshave a silky texture that’s comfortable to touch, and whenadded to water, they becomesilkier.They turn more slippery if they settle for a long time. Grounded flaxseed is powdery and light, which when let sit in water,become thicker and somehow gelatinous. The taste of flax seeds is mild. The brown version is earthy and has a strong nutty flavor, while golden flaxseed has a nuttierflavor. Most individuals find whole flaxseed tasteless.The grounded version is more potent in flavor due to the grinding process, which releases oils that boost taste. Grounded flax seeds tend to be easier to digest and more nutritious. Whole flax seeds are difficult to break, denying you some of their nutritional benefits.
Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds
100 grams of chia seeds contain;
- Protein-16.5 grams
- Carbs-42.1 grams
- Polyunsaturated fats-23.67grams
- Monounsaturatedfats-2.31 grams
- Saturated fats-3.33grams
- Trans fats-0.14
- Omega 3-17.83 grams
- Omega 6-5.84 grams
Nutritional Value of Flax Seeds
When comparing the nutritional value of flaxseeds, we used a tablespoon and not 100 grams as we did with chia seeds. One hundred grams of flaxseeds has 534 calories, corresponding to 55 calories in 10 grams (one tablespoon) of whole flax seeds.
One tablespoon of whole flaxseeds contains;
- Protein -1.9grams
- Carbs-3 grams
- Fat-4.3 grams
Which Minerals and VitaminsDo Chia Seeds Have?
Chia seeds offer high amounts of minerals, though they’re poor sources of vitamins. Minerals you’ll find in abundance in chia seeds include;
Which Minerals and Vitamins Do Flax Seeds Have?
Flaxseed is a good source of vitamins and minerals, unlike chia seeds which are poor in vitamins. Essential minerals and vitamins you’ll find from flax seeds include;
Unique Plant Compounds Found in Chia Seeds
Chia seeds contain certain useful plant compounds, and they include;
- Kaempferol.This antioxidantreducesthe risks of chronic illnesses and certain types of cancer.
- Caffeic acid helps fight inflammation.
- Chlorogenic acidhelps lower blood pressure.
- Quercetinreduces the risks of certain cancer types, osteoporosis, and heart diseases.
Unique Plant Compounds Found in Flax Seeds
Flax seeds contain unique compounds which are not found in chia seeds. These elements include;
- Lignans. It acts as phytoestrogen and antioxidants. Flaxseeds have about 800 times more than the amount found in other food types.
- P-Coumaric acid. It’s one of the most powerful antioxidants present in flax seeds.
- Cyanogenic glycosides, beneficial to health in various ways.
- Ferulic acid assists in preventing certain chronic diseases.
- Phytosterols, found in cell membranes of flax seeds and has cholesterol-lowering abilities.
How Will ChiaSeeds Benefit Your Health?
The main health gains chia seeds provide include;
ImprovedBlood Sugar Levels
Chia seeds improve blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance. These two factors are crucialrisk factors for type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and metabolic syndrome.
Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is associated with chronic diseases like heart conditions. Taking chia seeds will help you control your blood pressure to the right levels.
Omega 3 fatty acid is useful to your brain and body, and chia seeds are a rich source of ALA omega 3.
Maximizes Your Fiber Intake
Most individuals don’t get enough fiber from their diet. Adequate fiber intake improves gut health and protects you from various diseases. Extreme water-absorbing properties of chia seeds increase fullness, thus decreasing food intake.
Flax Seeds Health Gains
Improves Digestive Health
Constipation and diarrhea can cause unpleasant health effects. The insoluble fiber content in flax seeds relieves constipation and acts as a laxative. Also, it increases your stool’s bulk and prevents diarrhea.
Improves Cholesterol Levels
High blood cholesterol is unhealthy especiallyoxidizedbad cholesterol.Consumption of flaxseed lowers bad cholesterol by about 11%.
Helps in Cancer Prevention
Flax seeds helpprevent cancer cells like lungs, skin, breast, and colon formation. Extreme blood levels of some sex hormones have been associated with several cancers. Flax seeds significantly reduce these hormones, thus reducing cancer risks in individuals.
How Can You Add Flax Seeds and Chia Seeds to Your Diet?
These two seeds are small in size with pleasant flavors, making them great additions to most meals. You can eat them groundedor whole. Grounded variety is easier to digest and offers more nutrients thanwhole seeds. You can add chia and flax seeds to rice dishes, cereals, salads, smoothies, stews and soups, oatmeal, baked goods, yogurt, and pasta dishes.
Chia andflax seeds have excellent nutritional profiles and are healthy. None of them can be regarded better than the other. However, individuals looking for seeds to relieve constipation may choose flax seeds over chia due to theirhigher effectiveness in digestive health. They help improve digestion, stabilize blood levels, and reduce the risks of heart conditions.