Chia, Hemp and Flax seeds are being added to smoothies, oatmeal, breads and any other recipes for additional nutritional value. All are healthy add ons that deliver fiber, minerals, antioxidants and alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid, but does anyone know the difference between the three and the benefits?
HEMP: Has more protein than the Chia and Flax seeds. Two tablespoons serve up almost 7 grams, which is equal to the amount found in two egg whites. Plus, the protein in hemp seeds contains all essential amino acids, something that’s unusual for plant foods. (Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; essential amino acids must come from your diet because your body can’t make them on its own.) Hemp seeds are also an outstanding source of magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar. Blend two tablespoons into your smoothie and you’ll get one-quarter of a day’s worth of magnesium (116 mg).
CHIA: Chia seeds are high in magnesium too and unlike hemp and flaxseeds, they’re also a good source of calcium. When it comes to fiber, chia seeds have the greatest value providing 5 grams per tablespoon of whole seeds. (One tablespoon of ground chia has 2.5 grams of fiber.)
FLAX: Has something that hemp and chia seeds don’t. Flaxseeds have something called lignans which are phytochemicals linked to breast and prostate cancer prevention. In order to gain the nutritional benefits of flax, the seeds need to be ground. Otherwise, whole flaxseeds pass through your digestive tract undigested.
Tips to Consume Super Seeds:
1. Mix it up. Include one to two tablespoons of one or more types of seeds in your diet each day.
2. If you’re watching your waistline, calories from seeds add up. Two tablespoons of hemp seeds, for example, serve up 115 calories. Substitute one tablespoon of seeds for one teaspoon of good fat oil in your diet. (Avocado, UDO’s, Flax, Safflower, walnut, coconut)
3. To retain nutrient value longer, store seeds in the refrigerator
4. The BA favorite brand of these seeds is “Carrington Farms”
5: Here is a quick and easy superfood energy bar that is good for on the go!