Which is the True Super Seed: Chia, Flax, or Hemp?
If you’re looking for a new way to shake up your same-old salads, smoothies, and yogurt bowls, make super seeds your go-to.
Chia, flax, and hemp seeds add a healthy punch to meals and snacks. They’re easy to find in grocery stores and easy to add to just about anything – just sprinkle on a spoonful or two. But how do they match up against one another? Here’s a deep dive into these three high-performing superfoods:
Of the three seeds, hemp seeds contain the widest variety of benefits and most balanced nutritional profile. Check it out:
Two tablespoons contain 6 grams of fat (including 882 milligrams of ALA Omega 3’s), 2 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein.
Hemp seeds are a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which the body needs for energy production, nervous system function, skin health, brain development, immune system support, and cardiovascular health.
Hemp seeds and oil contain gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) and stearidonic acid (SDA), which help the body convert omega fatty acids more efficiently. SDA and GLA can't be found in flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts.
Hemp seeds are unique in that they contain all 20 essential amino acids that the body needs, including the 10 essential amino acids our bodies can't produce. This feat is a rarity among plant protein sources.
With its amino acid profile and protein content, hemp seeds are one of the most complete plant-based sources of protein available, making them a great dietary addition for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
More than 25% of the total calories from hemp seeds are from high-quality protein. That is considerably more than similar foods like chia seeds and flaxseeds (whose calories are 16–18% protein).
Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc.
Whole hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, containing 20% and 80% respectively.
Two tablespoons of flaxseed meal contain 4 grams of fiber. Up to 40% of the fiber from flax is soluble. This type of fiber is known to trigger hormones involved in controlling hunger, which is a big help for those looking to curb their appetite. It also includes 2.4 grams of the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and 300 milligrams of an antioxidant called lignans.
ALA is considered vital to your health because it’s a type of fat that your body can’t produce on its own; you can only get it through your diet. Both ALA and lignans are anti-inflammatory, and lignans may also help lower cholesterol levels.
Flaxseeds should be eaten ground (look for flaxseed meal in the store), so it can be fully digested by the body.
"Chia" is the ancient Mayan word for "strength" and these tiny seeds are pretty darn powerful. At a whopping 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon, chia seeds are an easy way to up your fiber intake. Just add two tablespoons of the seeds to your yogurt bowl, oatmeal, or protein shake in the a.m., mix them in with your favorite salad dressing recipe, or make chia seed pudding for a healthy dessert.
Chia seeds are an incredible protein source for those who are vegan or vegetarian, or just looking to get more plant-based protein in their diets. By weight, chia seeds are about 14% protein. They also boast calcium, omega-3 fat ALA and are a low-calorie and low-carb food.
How to Add Hemp Seed to Your Diet
You can’t go wrong with any of these super seeds. But as a CBD company, of course we have a special place in our hearts for hemp! No matter how you choose to eat them, super-versatile hemp seeds can add another level of flavor and an explosion of health benefits to many meals – from salads to lasagna. Don’t forget to checkout cbdMD.com for more information on all things hemp and CBD related. And while you’re at it, checkout our entire lineup of premium CBD oil products to help boost your health in a more natural way!