Which Super Seed Packs the Most Nutrition?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/1/2012 10:00 AM   :  53 comments   :  36,955 Views

If you've ever been to a health food store, you've probably seen the dozens of bulk bins filled with tiny seeds. Though they may look like bird food, don't turn your nose up at these little kernels of nutrition! Two of the most talked-about seeds are chia seeds and flax seeds. Both have been prominently featured in the media in recent years for their health benefits. If you had to choose, which seed will give you the most nutrition per ounce?
 
The Winner: It's a Tie!
 
Per ounce, chia seeds have more fiber and calcium than flax seeds--plus, they are lower in calories and fat (137 calories and 9 grams of fat per ounce of chia seeds vs. 150 calories and 12 grams of fat per ounce of flax seeds). Chia seeds also don't have to be ground up in order for you to absorb their nutrients, unlike flax seeds. On the flip side, flax seeds contain more vitamin B1 and omega-3 fatty acids than chia seeds, and some studies have shown that they are high in cancer-fighting lignans. However, both seeds are great sources of fiber and heart-healthy fats, so eat them both in moderation!
 
Wondering how the heck to use chia seeds and flax seeds? For starters, you can blend either of them into smoothies, or toss them in your baked goods for an extra nutritional punch. Chia seeds are also great for stirring into puddings. Check out these chia seed recipes and these flax seed recipes for ideas!

Do you eat chia or flax seeds? What's your favorite way to use them?
 
 


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Comments

  • 53
    I'm reading this article while eating a bowl of cereal with chia and flax seeds added! - 5/17/2014   12:37:25 PM
  • 52
    i add flax seeds to muffins and ground to smoothies and yogurt. i haven't tried chia yet but I will get some the next time i go to Trader Joe's of Whole Foods - 3/4/2014   2:51:34 PM
  • 51
    I take 2 Tbsp of Flax Seed and 1 Tbsp of Chia seed and grind them before I add them to my cereal daily at breakfast. Glad to read they are a tie as to which one is better for me! - 12/11/2013   11:40:44 AM
  • DELLMEL
    50
    I take the flax seed vitamins every day. - 12/11/2013   4:56:48 AM
  • 49
    I add 2 tbsp ground flax to my oatmeal and 2 tbsp to my salad every day.... that's 8 grams of fiber. But now I'll have to find/add Chia seeds. I like that they don't need ground. - 2/16/2013   11:35:01 AM
  • 48
    never heard of chia before, but I'm gonna look for it now... thanks! ;) - 12/27/2012   5:24:38 PM
  • SUKA2007
    47
    I use 2 tablespoons of flax seed and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in my morning smoothie. Yum! - 12/6/2012   9:31:45 PM
  • CPILLS1970
    46
    I grind enough flax seeds for a week, take them to work, and mix them into my greek yogurt every day. Yummm! - 12/5/2012   2:36:20 PM
  • 45
    Lilly_spark- Thank you for metioning that about people with gluten problem's (I'm am being tested) and eating flax or chia. I am going to have to try some chia. I hope it's not as expensive as flaxseed is. - 12/5/2012   8:53:18 AM
  • 44
    No, I think pound-for-pound they are to expensive. I take Flinstone Chewable vitamins and get what I need. - 12/4/2012   7:05:58 PM
  • 43
    I use both when I make Nutri-blast smoothies in my Nutri-Bullet. - 12/4/2012   10:56:42 AM
  • SPARKZEBRA
    42
    Both are great as egg substitute in Vegan baking. 3 tablespoons of ground chia seeds dissolved in half a glass of water for 10 minutes are an equivalent of an egg. - 12/3/2012   2:11:43 PM
  • TSHIRT24H
    41
    I use flax seed. I put it in cereal and in my baked goods! - 12/3/2012   11:06:48 AM
  • 40
    I grind up flax seeds and sneak them into as many foods as possible for the added fiber and omega-3. I put it in oatmeal, meatloaf, breading for oven fried chicken, smoothies, and muffins. - 12/3/2012   9:43:24 AM
  • CVJANE
    39
    My favorite breakfast is Quaker Oats High Fiber Instant Oatmeal with both chia seeds and ground flax made with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk... so wonderful and takes care of half or more of your fiber content for the day. - 12/2/2012   11:46:12 PM
  • COCOAHONEY
    38
    I've actually just taken a spoon of chia seed and chased it with OJ before on a rushed morning. Which is tricky because I can't swallow ANYTHING whole without bad gagging (which means prescriptions are shell to pay). It kept me going the whole day, and I had to remind myself that I had to eat more calories to avoid derailing my goals.

    They're great in homemade pinole. Endurance worker's delight. - 12/2/2012   10:24:56 PM
  • 37
    I add Jarrow protein and flax seed to my salad or a hot dish every day. Adds fiber and nutrients that I otherwise wouldn't have. Now, I need to get chia seeds.... - 12/2/2012   4:33:00 PM
  • 36
    I eat both of these every day in my cereal for breakfast. They are super filling! Another great seed is hemp. It's also a great source of Omega-3 and 6. I eat a tablespoon of that in my yogurt every day as well. - 12/2/2012   4:21:57 PM
  • 35
    I know this isn't a helpful comment, but are these the same chia seeds that are used on Chia pets? - 12/2/2012   4:12:48 PM
  • 34
    We grind up 1/4 c. of golden flax and make a smootie of it with 1/2 to 1 c. of cranberry/grape juice. That's all I eat for breakfast when I have it, and I stay full all morning. - 12/2/2012   4:00:00 PM
  • 33
    I have added Flax seeds to yellow rice and oatmeal. - 12/2/2012   3:40:23 PM
  • FABAT502
    32
    Grind flax in coffee grinder, add to oatmeal,pea protien shake
    Add to salad for lunch ummmm - 12/2/2012   1:07:31 PM
  • 31
    Every morning I have 1/2 cup President's Choice Blue Menu Fibre First, 1/8 cup President's Choice Blue Menu Omega 3 Granola (30% nuts and seeds flavour) and heaping tablespoon of chia seed topped with 1/2 cup frozen blueberries. I put it together as part of my getting ready for tomorrow night routine and stick it in fridge that way the berry juice that thaws gets absorbed into the seeds. In the am I put milk on it and devour. In winter I heat the milk in summer not. The Granola already has "salba" seed in it, but only a little and it migrates to the bottom of the box too. I use the regular chia. I used to get it from the distributer at $2,000 US per metric ton, we just shoveled it into a bag and weighed it. It is cheaper (wholesale) now, but the retail price never changed.....woe is me woe is me, and now I have to pay retail too. But I love the stuff.
    - 12/2/2012   12:59:19 PM
  • 30
    For those who cannot tolerate flax:
    try chia! I used to try different ways of using flax (ground, mostly as whole passes through) because I'm Celiac. Celiacs VERY commonly have other foods--often grains and seeds--that cause problems (well, lactose, too -- it's a protein like gluten). Basically, we have a LOT of problematic foods. Chia, in my experience, is KINDER. Rock on! - 12/2/2012   12:41:43 PM
  • CLAYLADY001
    29
    I have never tried either flax or chia seeds,wonder if these are the same chia seeds you see on the pretty little animal critters??Anyway they sound so good I will have to try to find them for myself. - 12/2/2012   12:27:58 PM
  • 28
    I eat both most mornings with my smoothie or my oatmeal - 12/2/2012   11:21:10 AM
  • CHINGOBINGO
    27
    Hey Sparkpeople, can either flax seeds or chia seeds be sprouted and eaten as sprouts? - 12/2/2012   10:57:52 AM
  • 26
    I eat both pretty much every morning for breakfast. In the warmer months, I toss them in my breakfast protein smoothies. In the colder months, I cut up a tofu block into 8ths (each strip is about 1/2 inch wide) and coat the strips in nutritional yeast, garlic powder, chia and flax seeds. Then I cook the strips until crispy. Two strips on a tortilla with some vegan cheese (daiya) and fakin' strips (lightlife) is about 200 calories, and warm and filling! - 12/2/2012   9:33:27 AM
  • 25
    I throw chia seeds into everything! This morning I put them in my waffle batter. - 12/2/2012   9:23:51 AM
  • ANDY_54
    24
    So glad I found this! Have been using flax in my oatmeal for the last few weeks, but heard about chia seeds and was interested--*off to look at recipes*. - 12/2/2012   9:02:50 AM
  • 23
    thanks for reminding us of ways to improve our nutrition with foods we don't always consider - 12/2/2012   8:33:41 AM
  • 22
    Thanks for the info - I wasn't sure you could use ground up flax in baked goods without losing nutrition. Also, I buy flax seed whole and use a coffee grinder to grind it up - I then put the ground up flax seed in a freezer bag and store it frozen until I need it. Add it to my oatmeal. - 12/2/2012   8:13:17 AM
  • 21
    I put chia seeds in my overnight oatmeal. It adds a nice crunch! - 12/2/2012   8:12:54 AM
  • 20
    Useful article; I didn't know this before. And thanks to people who commented on ways to use the seeds. - 12/2/2012   7:26:38 AM
  • 19
    I add ground golden flax seed to my yogurt along with some fruit and flax seed oil. The ground flax seed reminds me of having like a graham cracker crust. - 12/2/2012   7:24:47 AM
  • SHANNONY84
    18
    It's amazing in Chili! - 12/2/2012   4:26:25 AM
  • CHRISTINASP
    17
    I use both. I put chia seeds in my green smoothie every day and I use ground flax seeds in my breakfast. - 12/2/2012   3:16:22 AM
  • 16
    Don't eat either(except for Trader Joe's flax seed tortilla chips), I guess I'll have to try them. - 12/2/2012   3:15:09 AM
  • 15
    I have Chia Porrige for breakfast most mornings. Grind up a tablespoon of chia seeds, then blend with warm water. Serve with almond milk and raisins or cranberries. Fast and delicious! - 12/1/2012   10:29:12 PM
  • 14
    I eat 1-2 tablespoons of Chia seeds every day! I put them in smoothies and wraps. - 12/1/2012   9:50:21 PM
  • 13
    I use Flax Seed ALL The Time In Lots Of Things! I've Never Used Chia Seed But I've Been Wanting To Try It. Thanks For This Good Information!!! :) - 12/1/2012   9:48:19 PM
  • 12
    My neighbor makes the most delicious flax seed bread. It's a batter bread. I'm planning on getting the recipe. - 12/1/2012   7:54:36 PM
  • 11
    I use both. I put them in oatmeal, soups, yogurt, cakes. They are both great! - 12/1/2012   7:49:22 PM
  • 10
    I used chia seeds for more than a month....
    I am not sure I noticed a benefit - 12/1/2012   6:58:06 PM
  • 9
    I put 2 Tb freshly ground flax seed on my cereal every morning. - 12/1/2012   6:38:44 PM
  • LOOSEMAGOOSE
    8
    For a good source check www.drugstore.com . You can get smaller quantities (1 buy 1 lb at a time) and the prices are good. - 12/1/2012   2:07:51 PM
  • 7
    Sources please in a very small town and do not want to buy old? and or a
    5 # bag online
    Fiber is not my friend - 12/1/2012   2:00:54 PM
  • PROMOMMA
    6
    For those who don't know, yes flax have to be ground up for us to assimilate the goodies it has to offer. If you eat them whole all they will be good for is fiber that's it. Also getting flax pre-grounded is a really a no-no. Flax has a short shelf life and should be kept refrigerated even more so after being ground. The pre-ground flax 99% have long gone rancid and can be used for little more than a flour substitute. For best nutritional value buy fresh un-roasted flax, keep in your fridge, and grind fresh everyday before eating. - 12/1/2012   12:47:11 PM
  • 5
    Raw chia puddings are excellent! - 12/1/2012   12:19:09 PM
  • ANYTIME22
    4
    I put ground flax seeds in all of my smoothies, and when baking... great way to add fiber - 12/1/2012   12:02:16 PM

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