Home » Diet and Nutrition News & Advice » Chia Seeds vs. Flax Seeds

Chia Seeds vs. Flax Seeds

You’ve likely heard a lot of positive things between two much-hyped super foods—flax and chia seeds. It’s about time we got the real scoop when it comes to which seed has more health benefits.

That’s right, its time for an all-star, health food face off between flax and chia to see exactly which seed comes out on top when it comes to positive health benefits…

1. Protein and Heart-Healthy Fats

When you’re scooping seeds into your diet for a more healthful edge, the big 3 essentials to look out for are dietary fiber, protein, and heart healthy fats. When it comes to protein, both chia and flax seeds emerge in a neck-in-neck draw, according to Prevention Magazine.

Two-tablespoon servings of each seed weigh in with roughly 2.5-grams of protein, respectively. Both seeds are also equally matched when it comes to the amount of cholesterol-balancing omega 3 fatty acids, female-friendly folate, potassium, and magnesium offered.

2. Dietary Fiber in Chia vs. Flax

However, the tables suddenly turn when it comes to fiber. If you’re reaching for chia seeds, research from the USDA’s National Nutritional Database says you can expect a stellar 20-percent of your daily recommended allowance (RDA) in one serving.

Flax still provides the fibrous goods, at only 15% of your RDA. Chia also provides double the calcium—11% of your recommended daily dose (compared to just 5% in flax).

3. Disease-Fighting Vitamins & Nutrients

In the end, chia delivers more when it comes to antioxidants, the molecules found in food and beverages, which protect the body from disease-causing free radicals. The USDA also notes that chia contains more heart-healthy selenium, and bone-strengthening phosphorus compared to flax.

But don’t count out flax just yet—this seed has bragging rights in its corner when it comes to higher levels of cancer-blasting magnesium, tissue-defending copper, and brain-boosting vitamin B1!

4. Calories and Carbohydrate Content

When it comes to points for basic nutrition, it really depends on your individual needs from flax vs. chia seeds. If you’re judging these seeds based on their caloric count, chia wins out for fewer calories—just 69 per 2-teaspoon serving compared to 75-calories from flax, according to Prevention Magazine.

Chia also gets points for ranking as the slimmer seed—there’s just 4.4 grams of fat per serving compared to 6-grams of fat per serving of flax.  However, flax is packed with fewer carbohydrates—just 4-grams of carbs vs. chia’s 6-grams of carbs per serving.

5. Flax Prevents Breast Cancer

The many touted health benefits of flax are due to the seed’s rich phytoestrogen lignans content (pronounced like phi-to-estrogen), which is especially important for the ladies.

Lignan compounds infuse the female body with a weak form of estrogen, which studies from USDA’s National Nutritional Database have linked to breast cancer prevention.

6. Chia Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Research from the National Institutes of Health indicates that chia is linked to significantly lower rates of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, and other related diseases when consumed in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

And, keep in mind that chia can be eaten whole (as opposed to flax, which is ground). That means chia gels when mixed with liquids, like smoothies and yogurt, to better regulate blood sugar and fill you up for longer if you happen to be dieting.

7. Substituting Chia or Flax for Other Foods

Remember folks, in the end, depending on your own nutritional and dietary needs, it’s really up to you to declare a winner between chia seeds vs. flax seeds.

Unless you’re subbing chia or flax seeds for other foods in your diet, remember that you’re adding 60-calories or more per 2-teaspoon servings, which can quickly add up and outweigh the other well-hyped health advantages.


We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat
  • 8 Amazing Health Benefits of Parsley
    We've all seen parsley added to a dish—it's particularly popular in more upscale restaurants where the appearance of food is taken very seriously.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Reasons Why 2016 is the International Year of Pulses
    So what the heck are pulses? No, I'm not referring to the pitter-pater of your heart beat. While you might not recognize the term, trust me, you're familiar with the food.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 5 Things You Should Know about Quinoa
    It would seem that the super food quinoa lives up to it’s health star status. The super grain is actually pretty amazing, but even though it’s a newer feature in North American...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The Health Benefits of Oregano
    Nothing fills the senses (and Nona’s kitchen) with warmth as much as aromatic oregano.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Health Reasons to Say "YES" to Wild Salmon
    There are many health benefits to incorporating wild salmon into your diet.  Wild salmon dine on other fish (unlike farm-raised salmon, which can be fed fillers or injected with...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Get Cracking: 8 Health Secrets Contained in Eggs
    As far as compact super foods go, eggs take the whole omelette. One whole egg is filled with a ton of essential vitamins, healthy fats, proteins, and health benefits, like...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Harmoniously High Fiber Foods
    We all know that fiber is an important component of a healthy diet. However, we might not know exactly why?
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 9 Impressive Facts About Antioxidants
    We’re bombarded with marketing about antioxidants—we’re told they’re good for us, to eat more foods and sip more teas high in these so called “super powered” molecules.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Super Ingredients for Healthier Smoothies
    Smoothies can provide a healthy breakfast or snack if they pack super mineral, antioxidant, or vitamin ingredients like these.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Introducing 8 Super Health Foods for 2014!
    You may not have ever heard of these eight newest and greatest super foods, but in 2014 you bet they’ll be getting a lot of buzz from nutritionists and health experts touting...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Fresh Herbs, What Are They Good For?
    On top of serving up some major flavor, the following ten fresh herbs pack some pretty serious health benefits... 1. Rosemary Boosts brain power and cognitive function 2.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 13 Superfoods Kids Love to Eat!
    Proper nutrition is vitally important for the development of children's minds and bodies.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 15 Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors: The Winner May Surprise You!
    As we all celebrate the arrival of spring, there are several things to look forward to. For some, it may be the re-opening of golf courses, for others it may be getting your bike...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day
    Eating healthy is an important part of life. Many of us strive to eat as healthy as possible every day, but are you really consuming the best nutrients for your body?
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Little Known Health Benefits of Eating Fish
    Mom always told us that eating fish had its share health benefits. And we constantly hear the benefits of a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids, of which fish is a prime source.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice