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Battle of Superfoods: Flax vs. Chia

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods at 4:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Flax seeds and chia seeds are two of the most popular superfoods as both are excellent plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. One question always pops up when talking about these two seeds: which one is better? Which one should you buy? Perhaps the best answer is: it depends on what you are looking for but, regardless, both seeds are an excellent addition to your diet.

Chia seeds have been one of the hottest, top-selling items in recent years due to its endless health benefits. These South American seeds are known to promote energy, weight-loss, and strength as well as regulate the digestive system. In comparison to flax, chia seeds contain less calories 69 vs. 75 per 2tbsp serving and less fat 4,4g vs. 6g. Additionally, chia offers a little more fiber and antioxidants than flax seeds. One ounce of chia seeds has 11g of fiber, 20% of the RDA vs. 15% RDA from flax. The fiber in chia is largely soluble and may bind with cholesterol, evacuating it out of the body, It can also help IBS as it absorbs water that is excreted more slowly during digestion than insoluble fibers. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds are an excellent source of calcium, as one serving of chia contains roughly 20% of your daily calcium needs.

Flax seeds are just as nutritious and offer many health benefits. In comparison to chia, flax offer less carbs 4g vs. 6g per 2tbsp serving and more vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, copper, vitamin B1 and folate. One of the best nutritional benefits of flax is that they are a rich source of lignans, a type of antioxidant known as phytochemicals that have been linked to a reduction in menopause symptoms, removing cholesterol from the body, and enhancing the appearance of skin and hair. Flax is the number one highest source of omega-3 fatty acids of all plant foods, slightly edging chia in this category. Flax is mostly comprised of ALA fats (alpha linolenic fats), which is a precursor fat to forming EPA and DHA, the types of omega 3′s that are excellent for your skin, brain, arteries, and preventing inflammation.

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