Chia seeds and flax seeds have gone from being virtually unknown (save for a catchy ch-ch-ch-chia jingle) to being a staple in many folks’ pantries. You’ve heard that you “should” add them to your diet, and you’ve seen recipes featuring one or the other, but maybe you’re not sure why. Chia vs flax: let’s chat seeds.
This is probably the #1 reason people seek out chia and flax. Both are excellent sources of fibre, which has a host of benefits for your body. Flax and chia are special in that they contain good amounts of BOTH types of fibre: soluble and insoluble.
If you’re looking for more soluble fibre, chia is your best bet. Soluble fibre dissolves in water (that gelly-like substance that forms), and is best for those with blood sugar and cholesterol issues. It also helps regulate transit times in your bowels.
If you want a higher amount of insoluble fibre, flax edges out chia. Insoluble fibre helps move things along, and keeps you feeling full longer.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Both chia and flax are high in Omega 3s. This is great news for anyone looking to boost brain function, or battle inflammation.
Both flax and chia are full of important minerals. Chia is higher in calcium, and phosphorus, while flax is higher in copper. Both are excellent sources of magnesium.
While these are tiny seeds, they can add a punch to your protein intake for the day. Chia is even a complete protein, which is great news for vegetarians.
Flax is also an excellent source of lignans, which are phytochemicals that can help with estrogen balance. Research suggests that they may help reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancers. They may also prove beneficial for those going through menopause.
So . . . What Do I Do With Them?
Flax and chia are very versatile! Flax MUST be ground (or else you won’t absorb any nutrients or reap any of the benefits), but that can easily be done in a coffee grinder. Both should be refrigerated when you get them home to preserve freshness longer.
Flax and chia can be used to top yogurt, granola, salads, etc. I often use flax to thicken up salad dressings. They can both be mixed with water (1 part seed of choice to 3 parts water) to make a vegan egg replacer, too.
How do you use chia and flax seeds? Let us know in the comments!
About The Author:
Kelly Boaz, CNP
Kelly is a holistic nutritionist, specializing in eating disorder recovery and food freedom. She is also a public speaker (TEDx King St. West, TDSB) and a writer. Learn more about Kelly, and about booking private consultations at kellyboaz.com Twitter: @kelly_boaz Facebook: /KellyBoazDotCom