Let’s Compare Super Seeds: Chia vs. Hemp vs. Flax
Now that you are familiar with the emerging chia seeds and hemp hearts from my past blogs, we are ready to ‘dig in’ and compare these super seeds to the famous flax seed. Today, we will review what these seeds have in common as well as their distinguishing characteristics.
What do Chia, Hemp and Flax all have in Common?
- Plant based, vegetarian, vegan protein sources
- ‘Complete protein’ – all your essential amino acids
- All gluten free * Contain heart healthy polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 & 6), which support immune function and brain functioning, and are cholesterol lowering and anti-inflammatory
- All are a source of both protein and fibre
Per 2 Tbsp Serving
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- Chia seeds win for highest fibre content! In fact, the fibre is mostly the soluble or the cholesterol lowering kind which helps to fill us up until our next meal, adds bulk to stool and helps to control blood sugars.
- Contains 18% of your daily calcium requirement.
- Can be easily digested without a need to grind the seeds (unlike flax seeds).
- Contains the most phosphorus with 27% of daily requirements.
- Hemp wins for the most protein per serving!
- Contains 3X more omega-6 than omega 3’s (Note: Omega 3 fatty acids from fatty fish (ie., EPA & DHA) are associated with the heart health benefits).
- Contains iron and zinc, which are important for body functions.
- Rich source of lignans, a phytochemical which reduces cancer risk by acting as an antioxidant.
- Least expensive to buy compared to hemp hearts and chia seeds.
- Highest source of the plant-based Omega-3 fatty acid (ALA) per serving. Note: ALA fatty acids convert in small amounts to the EPA and DHA form of Omega-3’s that are important for heart health and brain functioning.
- Need to grind flax seeds in order to reap health benefits.
- Can be a substitute for 1 medium egg: 1 medium egg = 1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons water
Aim to eat a more ‘plant-based’ diet that includes super seeds like chia, hemp and flax for alternative protein sources, added vitamins and minerals along with phytochemicals. If you are looking for a fibre boost, your richest source would be the chia seeds. If you are looking for a protein alternative, your hemp hearts are a great option and reach for that flax to get some more omega 3’s. So be adventurous and start adding some seeds to your yogurts, cereals, salads or when cooking or baking!
Enjoy your super seeds 😉