Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds…So many seeds, how are they similar, what’s the difference, and which one to eat if you can only swoop up one magical seed from the market?! Is there even an obvious WINNER of them all? I’m breaking it down for you!
All provide plant-based protein.
Good sources of fiber.
Have essential (meaning they need to come from your diet) fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6: Good for the brain, immune system, inflammation, fighting depression, muscle development and cholesterol levels.
All provide magnesium (increases energy and helps prevent osteoporosis) and phosphorous (for healthy bones, improved digestion, hormonal balance and cellular repair).
Close in calories (although I'm not a fan of calorie-counting or obsessing).
Chia seeds taste mild/neutral and are similar to that of a poppy seed in size and appearance.
Hemp seeds taste more earthy/nutty, similar to that of sunflower seeds.
Flax seeds taste dry, and slightly nutty.
While flax seeds have protein, chia and hemp seeds are a COMPLETE protein- They have all essential amino acids that can’t be made from the body and have to come from the diet.
Hemp seeds provide 1-1.5 g more protein than chia and flax seeds.
Flax and chia seeds have over 1000 mg more omega 3 than hemp seeds making them a better choice in this category. Still, hemp seeds do have a ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids that cause them to be anti-inflammatory in the body.
Flax and chia seeds provide more than double the fiber than hemp seeds do.
While chia seeds have strong antioxidant activity that help the body fight free radicals, flax seeds are the only seed amongst the three packing Lignans. Lignans are an antioxidant that have both soluble and insoluble fibers making them great for colon health. They also help to regulate hormone levels, and prevent breast and prostate cancers.
Verdict? You can’t go wrong with any of these seeds, as they are all packing vitamins, minerals, plant-based protein, and phytonutrients. However, if you are looking for a specific dietary boost you may consider:
Hemp seeds for protein, chia seeds for fiber, and flax seeds for omega 3’s (however be sure to grind your flax seeds to reap all of the health benefits).
Best way to have them (opinion):
Chia seeds- Chia seed pudding, hands down!
Hemp seeds- In your smoothies or mixed in vegan-pesto for a plant-based (and complete) protein boost.
Flax seeds- Added to bliss balls or blended in your smoothie bowls.
If you can, get all 3 seeds and rotate between the SUPER seeds! xx.