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Choosing Between Chia Seeds And Flax Seeds

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Choosing Between Chia Seeds And Flax Seeds
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Over the past few years, there has certainly been a lot of media attention on various health foods. This has given rise to a completely new class of foods that are labeled as super foods.

In fact, the biggest boost to these new super foods has come from a number of food and productivity bloggers who have rediscovered the benefit of these foods that have been consumed by people for a number of centuries in various civilizations.

Two of the most popular super foods in the series category are chia seeds and flax seeds. Historians have found that Mayans and Aztecs used to consume chia seeds for its nutritional value. Flax seeds have also been known to be eaten for a number of centuries. Both of these tiny little seeds have their own benefits and are highly nutritional.

However, many people continue to ask whether they should go for flax seeds or Chia seeds. When it comes to the research studies, flax seeds have been studied for a far longer period of time but this does not mean that these are better than Chia seeds. Similarly, even though the Chia seeds score over flax seeds in a number of nutritional categories, flaxseeds also score over Chia seeds in some nutritional sources. In the article below, nutritional content of these super foods is compared to help people make up their mind when it comes to eating these seeds.

Number Of Calories In A Single Serving

chia seedsAround two tablespoons of these little seeds amounts to a single serving. As far as the number of calories is concerned, two tablespoons of flax seeds has around 75 cal whereas two tablespoons of Chia seeds has only 69 cal.

While it is true that flaxseeds have more calories, these do not account for too many calories as compared to the overall daily requirement. Therefore, both these types of seeds can be considered almost equal in terms of their calories supplied in a single serving.

Amount Of Fat In A Single Serving

Chia seeds contain around 4.4 g of fat in a single serving of two tablespoons whereas flaxseeds contain around 6 g of fat content in a single serving of around two tablespoons. While chia seeds do seem to have lesser fat, the fact remains that both of these seeds do not supply anywhere near the recommended daily amount of fat which means that both these seeds are safe for consumption as far as fat is concerned.

Protein In A Single Serving

Chia SeedsYou can use both of these as a plant based protein source. A single serving of chia seeds contains around 2.3 g of protein whereas a single serving of flaxseeds contains around 2.6 g of protein.

While flaxseeds have a slight edge over Chia seeds in terms of protein content, both of these are almost equal when it comes to daily requirement of protein. Chia seeds are slightly better than the flaxseeds in terms of protein content as Chia seeds contain pure protein content that can be used by the body for formation of amino acids whereas the flax do not supply the complete protein.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Both of these tiny seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. 1 ounce of Chia seeds contains around 5 g of omega-3 ALA whereas flaxseeds contain around 4.7 g of omega-3 ALA. The ALA which is short for alpha linoleic acid, is converted to omega-3 DHA and EPA that is not available from any other non-sources.

Therefore, both of these seeds are good source of omega-3 fatty acids for vegetarians. As you may be aware, omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for brain health, development as well as cardiovascular health and these are also great for your eyesight.

Antioxidant Content

chia seedAntioxidants are responsible for getting rid of free radicals in the body. As you may be aware, free radicals lead to development of symptoms of premature ageing. In other words, with the help of these seeds, you can delay onset of signs of ageing.

When it comes to the amount of antioxidants in the seeds, Chia seeds score over flaxseeds. On the other hand, flaxseeds are also rich in antioxidants but these needs to be stored in a proper manner such as in a refrigerator or freezer to prevent the antioxidants from losing their efficacy.

Dietary Fiber Content

Chia seeds score over flaxseeds when it comes to dietary fiber content. Two tablespoons of Chia seeds contain around 20% of the recommended daily amount of the dietary fiber whereas flaxseeds contain only 50% of the daily recommended amount. Dietary fiber is needed for detoxification, bowel regularity and for eliminating toxins from the body. There are several other sources of dietary fiber but these can keep you more satisfied and full for a longer period of time.

Phosphorus

In addition to calcium, phosphorus is also needed by the body for formation of teeth and bones. In other words, you cannot have strong teeth and bones without phosphorus. Chia seeds are much better source of phosphorus as compared to flaxseeds. Two tablespoons of Chia seeds can supply around 12% of the recommended daily amount of the phosphorus whereas flaxseeds can supply only 9% of the daily recommended amount of phosphorus.

Calcium

CalciumIn terms of calcium, Chia seeds contain more than twice the amount of calcium when compared to flaxseeds. A single serving of Chia seeds supplies around 9% of the daily recommended amount of the calcium whereas flaxseeds can supply only around 4%.

Liganas

These are phytochemicals that have been linked to a reduction in the risk of cancer in some research studies. However, more research is still needs to be done in this aspect. As far as liganas is concerned, flaxseeds are very good source of this nutrient whereas Chia seeds do not have these in high quantities.

Copper

Even though copper is required in very small quantities as far as the daily recommended value is concerned, a single serving of Chia seeds can supply only 3% of the daily requirement whereas flaxseeds can supply around 17% of the daily recommended intake.

How To Consume Chia Seeds And Flaxseeds

One of the biggest differences between the seeds is the way to consume them. While Chia seeds can be consumed whole after soaking in water, the only way to consume flaxseeds is to powder these and then mix them in the foods you want to eat. The nutrients inside these tiny flaxseeds are not released unless you crush them. If you eat whole flaxseeds, these will simply pass through and your body won’t get any benefit from the nutrients inside the flaxseeds.

Chia SeedsOn the other hand, you just need to soak Chia seeds for around 10 to 20 min before you can use the gel in a variety of foods. Another big difference between the seeds is that Chia seeds have almost neutral flavor which means that these are almost tasteless.

This is the reason that you can easily add grounded Chia seeds to your salads, as well as in the bread mixture for baking and into your smoothies without any fear of altering the original flavor of the food.

Also, this is the reason parents prefer Chia seeds as they can add these powdered Chia seeds to a variety of foods for their kids without their kids noticing the presence of these nutrition rich seeds. On the other hand, flaxseeds are more flavorful which means that these can be used only in a limited manner. For instance, you may not want to add these seeds to your smoothies or other such food if it interferes too much with the original flavor.

Storage Of These Seeds

Another big difference between the seeds is the way you need to store them. While both of these seeds can be stored in the dry form in a similar manner, these cannot be stored in a similar manner when crushed. The powder made from crushed flaxseeds needs to be consumed immediately or needs to be stored in a refrigerator.

If it is not stored in a refrigerator, it will turn rancid and you won’t be able to consume it. On the other hand, there is no need to crush chia seeds and even if you crush Chia seeds, you can store the powder in its dry form for as long as you want before consuming it.

Use As Egg Substitute

chia seedsBoth Chia seeds as well as flaxseeds can be used as egg substitute by people who have a vegan diet and by those who cannot have egg or gluten. There are a number of recipes available online where people share the ways to use them as egg replacement.

For Chia seeds to be used as egg replacement, you need to soak around one tablespoon of these seeds in around three tablespoons of water for a period of 5 to 10 min. In around 10 min, the resulting mixture will have a texture similar to a raw egg.

For using flaxseeds as egg substitute, you need to take one tablespoon of grounded seeds and mix it with three tablespoons of hot water. You need to wait for around 5 to 10 min before the mixture forms an egg like consistency. You can also add whole flaxseeds to a meal, and add some warm water and then blend again to crush the seeds.

Which Is Better?

This is the ultimate question that everyone wants to know the answer to. The truth is that both of these have their own advantages when it comes to different forms of nutrients. For instance, Chia seeds provide more nutrition when it comes to various minerals and protein and other such things but flaxseeds have more liganas that may help in fighting some forms of cancer though more research on this benefit of fighting cancer is needed.

chia seedsTherefore, it is recommended to add both of these seeds to your diet for ultimate nutritional benefit. There are a number of ways in which you can add these seeds to your diet.

One of the best ways to add Chia or grounded flaxseeds into your diet is to add these to your morning smoothie or to your breakfast cereal.

You can also prepare granola bars using them and you can also add these to your bread mixture or muffin mixture. One of the most used ways to consume Chia seeds is to prepare a pudding with toppings of honey or chocolate. Overall, both of the seeds are delicious, nutritious and very easy to find. It is best that you consume them both.

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