Chia seeds and flax seeds are very often incorporated in one’s diet as they have multiple health benefits. The question is, which one of these seeds is better than the other? Can we compare the two?
What are chia seeds and flax seeds?
Chia seeds (not to be confused with basil or sabja seeds) are small edible flattened oval shaped blackish grey coloured seeds got from a flowering plant of the mint family. They are flavourless in terms of taste. These seeds have become quite popular over the years and are often been used in food items or consumed because of its varied health benefits.
Flax seeds, also known as linseed, are flat seeds that typically come in two varieties an are brownish or yellowish golden in colour and are little bigger than sesame seeds. These seeds have a nuttier taste as compared to chia seeds. These seeds have similar nutritional characteristics and contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Let’s look into the benefits of these seeds:
1. High in fibre:
Both these seeds are high in their fibre content and consuming a diet which is rich in fibre can help in the prevention of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart diseases etc. Fibre is extremely beneficial for digestive health and can assist smooth digestion. Chia seeds form a gel like mucilaginous coating around them which can further aid digestion.
Conclusion: If you are looking for a digestive aid, then chia seeds maybe more preferable.
2. Protein content:
Protein is a critical part of our diet focused on weight loss or weight maintenance. The reason being, higher the fibre and protein content, the fuller a person feels after its consumption. This can help a person reduce the calorie intake between meals (by snacking) or even reduce the intake of food for those people who tend to overeat. Protein can help boost energy and keep you energized for longer hours. Both these seeds are rich in protein, but chia seeds are known to offer more protein than flax seeds.
Conclusion: Chia seeds can offer more proteins than flax seeds, but very marginally more, which makes it more or less similar. So, consuming either one should be able to provide the same benefits.
3. Antioxidants in these seeds:
Antioxidants are compounds produced in the body and are found in the foods we intake. They can help defend and protect the cells from damage which are usually caused by unstable molecules that can affect the healthy cells. These unstable molecules are known as ‘free radicals’. The higher the free radicals in the body, the higher the changes of developing a state called as oxidative stress.
Both these seeds are high in antioxidants of various types and the darker chia seeds are known to have higher levels of antioxidants compared to the lighter coloured ones, but consuming both, mixed, is ideal for a balanced diet.
Flax seeds contain an antioxidant called lignans, which is particularly the richest known source of lignans. Lignans can help protect the body against diseases like cancer, heart diseases etc.
Conclusion: Flax seeds can be considered slightly more beneficial in terms of antioxidants, but again very marginally more. READ MORE – MORNING ELIXIR – CHIA WATER FOR GLOWING SKIN
4. Mineral and vitamin content:
Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and have essential minerals which include calcium, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium. Flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids along with high levels of protein, dietary fibres and dietary minerals, types of vitamin B, iron, magnesium and potassium.
Conclusion: The choice of seed you wish to intake depends on your personal requirement and your personal nutritional needs.
5. Beauty seeds:
Chia seeds contain antioxidants which are helpful for age-related wrinkles and its anti-inflammatory properties help treat acne. Chia seeds also have omega-3s, which keep the skin hydrated at all times.
Flax seeds contain a good amount of vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron and Potassium that strengthen the hair and also promote faster hair growth.
The Nutrition facts in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of chia seeds are :
- Calories: 486
- Protein: 16.5 grams
- Carbs: 42.1 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Fiber: 34.4 grams
- Fat: 30.7 grams
The Nutrition facts in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of flax seeds are :
- Calories: 534
- Protein: 18.25 grams
- Carbs: 28.88 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Fiber: 27.3 grams
- Fat: 42.16 grams
So finally, after looking into the benefits of both these seeds, it is safe to say that both these seeds are more or less equally beneficial and can provide similar benefits to the body and can be incorporated equally into the diet or even consumed as per individual choice. READ MORE – Pumpkin Seeds for hair growth, weight loss, good sleep and more
These seeds can be best consumed in smoothies, oatmeal bowls, mixed in plain water (more recommended for chia seeds), ground seeds as a flour substitute (more recommended for flax seeds), into puddings or even pancake mixes.