Temp examine: how are your New Year’s intentions coming alongside? Whether or not you’re steadfast on the trail of (least) resilience, or goal-setting isn’t in your radar, permit this to be an open invitation—a mild pulse in your well-being. Perhaps you vowed to eat extra balanced this yr. Or, maybe you set a aim to move your body extra constantly to help your hormones. Regardless of your intentions, we’re right here to cheer you on. Within the spirit of habit stacking, now we have a easy hack so as to add to your wellness repertoire: seeds. The 2 hottest are on faucet right this moment—flax seeds vs chia seeds.
Get the rundown on each, together with their similarities, variations, and key advantages. Spoiler alert: you’ll wish to inventory a bag of every in your fridge.
Featured picture by Michelle Nash.
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Flax vs Chia: The 411
Firstly, they’re dietary powerhouses. In addition to being an awesome supply of fiber, each chia and flax are rich in protein and wholesome fat. Nevertheless, they’ve their variations. For starters, chia seeds are spherical and tiny. Most are black, however some are white (black have barely extra protein, whereas white chia seeds have a bit extra fats). They’ve a distinctly gentle but earthy style. Historic evidence traces chia again to the Aztecs! Flax, alternatively, was domesticated within the Center East. Its seeds are most frequently floor and have a nutty taste. Entire flax seeds are shiny and brown.
Chia Seeds Diet
Let’s begin with chia. Regardless of their tiny measurement, chia seeds are extremely nutritious. They’re filled with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and varied micronutrients. In a single serving (two tablespoons), chia seeds provide:
- energy: 138
- protein: 4.7 grams
- fats: 8.7 grams
- alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): 5 grams
- carbs: 11.9 grams
- fiber: 9.8 grams
- calcium: 14% of the Each day Worth (DV)
- iron: 12% of the DV
- magnesium: 23% of the DV
- phosphorus: 20% of the DV
- zinc: 12% of the DV
- vitamin B1 (thiamine): 15% of the DV
- vitamin B3 (niacin): 16% of the DV
Well being Advantages of Chia Seeds
Know this: they’re greater than only a TikTok trend.
- Wonderful supply of antioxidants. Chia’s antioxidants not solely defend the delicate fat of their seeds from going rancid, however in addition they profit our well being. Chia seeds might have protecting results in your coronary heart, liver, and extra.
- Might help stability blood sugar. Chia seeds are a superfood for diabetics and people with hormone imbalances, like PCOS. In actual fact, studies present a fiber-rich food regimen might assist cut back insulin resistance and enhance blood sugar levels.
- Could support in weight reduction. Although including chia seeds to your food regimen is unlikely to trigger weight reduction by itself, it might be a helpful addition to a balanced, nutritious diet should you’re making an attempt to drop some weight.
- Include bone-supporting vitamins. With their magnesium and phosphorus, chia seeds are very important for bone well being. In actual fact, a single ounce of the seeds additionally accommodates 18% of your really useful every day allowance of calcium.
- Enhance digestion. As a result of they create a gelatinous impact when added to liquid, they may also help cleanse your intestine by gathering toxins on their manner out. If in case you have an inflammatory bowel situation, like IBS or Crohn’s, communicate along with your healthcare supplier earlier than including chia seeds to your food regimen. Due to their excessive fiber content material, consuming too many chia seeds might trigger constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and gasoline.
Find out how to Eat Chia Seeds
When doubtful, soak your chia seeds. That means, add them to smoothies, overnight oats, a bowl of cereal, oatmeal, yogurt bowls, parfaits, and so on. In fact, chia pudding might be the preferred option to eat them. This enables the chia seeds to work their magic—aka, flip gelatinous. You may definitely sprinkle them on prime of your salads, toasts, and power bowls, however by soaking them you activate their most dietary properties.
Flax Seeds Diet
Tiny however mighty, flax seeds are nutritionally-dense. In a single serving (two tablespoons), flax seeds present:
- Energy: 74
- Carbs: 4 grams
- Fats: 6 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 2.6 grams
- Thiamine: 20% of the Each day Worth (DV)
- Copper: 18% of the DV
- Manganese: 16% of the DV
- Magnesium: 14% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 8% of the DV
- Selenium: 6% of the DV
- Zinc: 6% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 4% of the DV
- Iron: 4% of the DV
- Folate: 4% of the DV
Well being Advantages of Flax Seeds
Like chia seeds, flax seeds have quite a lot of advantages.
- Enhance digestion. Flax seed may also help with digestive points like constipation, because of its high-fiber content material. Flax accommodates each soluble and insoluble fiber, a win-win. Floor flax seed aids in satiation whereas protecting meals shifting easily by the digestive tract.
- Decrease levels of cholesterol. Flax seed is linked to decreasing ranges of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “dangerous”) ldl cholesterol, which implies it could possibly assist forestall different well being points comparable to coronary heart illness and stroke. As a complete, flax seed is wealthy in ALA, a kind of omega-3 fatty acid, that’s recognized to help total coronary heart well being.
- Support in weight administration. Primarily, that is due to its soluble fiber, which slows digestion and will increase emotions of fullness. In actual fact, a big evaluation of 45 studies discovered that supplementing with flax seed resulted in vital reductions in physique weight, BMI, and stomach fats.
- Assist insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance—or an lack of ability to successfully use the hormone insulin—is the hallmark of sort 2 diabetes. Some analysis means that flax seed oil may also help enhance insulin sensitivity.
- Steadiness hormones. Do you wrestle with PMS or are you estrogen dominant? If that’s the case, floor flax is remarkably useful. Flax is thought to assist stability hormones, therefore why it’s included within the apply of monthly seed cycling. Mainly, its insoluble fibers bind to estrogen, serving to shuttle them out of the physique. This helps cut back or forestall these “estrogen-dominant” signs.
- Enhance pores and skin and hair well being. The important fatty acids in flax seed oil are recognized to maintain pores and skin moisturized and hydrated. With that comes a discount within the look of wrinkles and different growing older indicators. This multitasking, anti-inflammatory oil could be utilized to the pores and skin to appease irritations or soften roughness.
How to Eat Flax Seeds
Long before flax was the super seed we know it as today, it had a variety of uses. Think: flax linen and textiles. Eventually, you’d only find flax in breads and cereals. Nowadays, it’s a staple in the nutrition world. In many ways, it’s developed a cult following. Of its many uses, flax can be turned into a vegan egg replacement when baking, sprinkled on yogurt parfaits, and added to energy bites. Past culinary makes use of, it’s additionally a improbable complement to balance hormones and cut back irritation.
Do you have to eat flax seeds floor or complete?
For those who’ve ever shopped for flax seeds, you’ve most likely seen each on the retailer: complete and floor. As talked about, you’ll additionally discover flax seed oil. Entire flax seeds are tough to crack, even with cautious chewing. And if the flax seed passes by the digestive tract unbroken, the physique doesn’t obtain the complete dietary advantages. Grinding breaks up the seed, making it simpler for the physique to digest. Due to this fact, floor flax seed (also referred to as flax meal) offers extra nutritional benefits than complete flax seed.
Need extra flax seed recipe inspo? We’ve got a flax seed guide for you!
Are you able to eat chia and flax seeds day-after-day?
Sure. Whereas there’s no specific recommendation for flax or chia consumption, 1-2 tablespoons a day is taken into account a wholesome quantity. With their versatile textures and gentle style, they bode nicely in lots of recipes. Flax, specifically, is without doubt one of the seeds you incorporate when seed cycling! This apply helps naturally balance hormones throughout your follicular phase. Like every high-fiber meals, chia and flax could make you really feel a bit bloated. I recommend beginning with a teaspoon a day and dealing your manner as much as two tablespoons.
Find out how to Retailer Chia and Flax Seeds
Whether or not you purchase your chia and flax seeds complete or floor, it’s greatest to retailer them within the fridge or freezer. Simply as storing nuts this manner extends their shelf life, the identical goes for flax seeds (and flax seed meal). In actual fact, they will last as long as one yr within the fridge and freezer. In case your chia or flax seeds have an “off” odor or taste, they seemingly went rancid. Greatest to compost or toss them.
With resounding proof, it’s clear that each chia and flaxseeds are equally wholesome. Finally, you may’t go mistaken. Nevertheless, chia and flax have barely totally different makes use of, textures, and dietary profiles. Moreover, chances are you’ll discover that you just digest one higher than the opposite. It’s not unusual to bloat from chia!
Regardless, each are unimaginable sources of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Evaluating protein content material, chia seeds beat flax. Additionally they have extra calcium and iron than flax seeds. Sizzling tip: pair chia seeds with a great supply of vitamin C—like strawberries or citrus—to maximise your iron absorption. That mentioned, should you’re aiming for hormone balance particularly, flax is the best way to go.