Sunday, May 23, 2010

Flax and Chia Comparison



                           chia     flax

calories                137    150
fat g                         9      12
protein g               4.4      5.1
fiber g                 10.6      7.6

omega 3 mg        4915   6388
omega 6 mg        1620   1655
ratio 3:6               3.03    3.86

calcium mg           177     71.4
magnesium mg         0       110
phosphorus mg     265      180

The nutrition information above came from Nutrition Data dot com and is for one ounce of each. Here is the link to the chia and flax page on that site. The flax data comes up for 1 cup so you need to change to 1 ounce to compare them.

This morning Laura Jill asked me what I knew about chia seeds compared to flaxseeds. I tend to favor flaxseeds but do use chia seeds occasionally. I decided to summarize the nutrition data for one ounce of each in a table so everyone could compare for themselves.

We tend to favor organic flax for a few reasons these are:

• Better omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. This is particularly important if you still eat oil. The American diet is very high in omega 6 and low in omega 3. I have read studies that indicate the SAD diet is 1:50 (3:6) and should be closer to 1:1 or 1:2. Omega 3’s are the anti-inflammatory fat so they are good to have no matter what health issue you are concerned about.

• Flax is an excellent source of lignans and chia seeds don’t seem to have any good data on this. I found a few sources that indicated they also had lignans but they were selling chia seeds so I am reluctant to trust that data. The consumption of a diet rich in lignans is associated with breast, prostate and cardiovascular health.

• Organic flax is cheaper and easier to find than organic chia seeds.

Overall I think they are both a good choice, better than most things in the SAD diet, but since I know flax is a good source of lignans I am going to stick with that until I read something that indicates I should concentrate more on chia seeds.

23 comments:

  1. I don't really know how to consume them- I have both but they kind of sit redundant..I have flax sprinkled on oats and have used it as a binder in homemade bean burgers but do you have any suggestions for using these little nutritious powerhouses?
    Thanks, Emma

    ReplyDelete
  2. Emma,

    I like to use chia to make beverages or pudding. There is a chia aqua fresca on my blog. You add a little (like a tablespoon) to any fruity beverage and it thickens. That is my favorite way to use chia. There is also a berry fool on the blog that uses ground chia to thicken the base. Dan loves that one.

    For the flax seeds I always use them ground since the body can't break down the whole seeds. I always add a tablepoon of ground flax to our morning oatmeal or smoothies. You can use it as an egg substitute when baking. It can be sprinkled on salads, soups or stews just before serving. You can add it to hummus. If you have dehydrator you can make flax crackers. I need to do that today so Dan can have his raw pizza snacks this week.

    If you have any other questions please feel free to ask, ;-)
    Ali

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  3. Oooh thank you- sound relatively easy to get a dose of omega 3s in! That berry fool sounds especially scrumptious, I like Dan's taste :) I'm going to start adding ground flax more regularly. A dehydrator, I wish! When I finish uni, and have my own place! I've seen so many yummy looking raw recipes using one.

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  4. Emma,

    You can probably make flax crackers in the oven by setting it on the lowest temperature and checking them often. I would definitely use parchment or a silicon mat between the crackers and the pan.

    A dehydrator is a fun toy. I use mine more than I expected to. I think you will enjoy it when you get one. :-)

    Alicia

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  5. I watched the video. :)

    I enjoyed it, I love learning all I can about health.

    Ali, do you know if Salba seed is the same as Chia?

    Here is my dilemma. My immune system fights many otherwise healthy foods. :( Flax is one of those foods. It will cause my tummy to have fluid retention, and bloat. Salba seed does not do that to me, so that is what I eat. It cost me more than Chia, yet the labeling of the two products cause me to believe Salba is better? I don't know.
    I would prefer to eat the flax. It is much cheaper, and has more nutrition. :(

    ReplyDelete
  6. Naina,

    I have not bought Salba but I think it is a brand of chia. A friend of mine asked this same question about a year ago. I think it is all marketing, at least that is what it looks like to me.

    I am sorry flax doesn't agree with you. Does the quantity you consume seem to make a difference? I guess I am asking if maybe it could have been consuming too much of a good thing? Probably not, but I thought I would ask.

    Glad you liked the video. I find that sort of thing fascinating too.

    talk to you soon,
    Ali

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  7. Thanks for sharing. I still have not bought chia seeds.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Heather,

    You are welcome. I hope you are having a great weekend with your sister.

    Alicia

    ReplyDelete
  9. Unfortunately, no. My immune system gets crazy over next to nothing.

    I am told for most things I can try a rotation diet. Meaning don't consume offending foods for some time. Then slowly bring the foods back, consuming them no more than once in a four day cycle.

    This has helped with things like, beans, nuts, and some fruits. Doesn't seem to work with flax, or gluten.

    It makes cooking, and eating quite a chore. I do get very frustrated.
    Mostly because my mind fails to agree with my immune system. Therefore, I often eat things like black beans, strawberries, nuts, mushrooms, etc..when I know I shouldn't. Then of course I suffer
    for it.

    See what really gets me....all these foods that fight inflammation, actually cause inflammation in my body. Including all the wonderful teas.

    I am tempted to try an extended fast. Have you read Dr. Fuhrman's
    Health and Fasting? If so, I'd love to know your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Interesting info. I use mostly flax, we go through a ton of it, but do use chia occasionally too. I like to change things up every so often, to make sure all bases are covered:)

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  11. Thank you, Ali! That's exactly the info I wanted!

    xoox,
    LJ

    ReplyDelete
  12. Naina,

    I am sorry to hear about your struggles with food. That has to be tough.

    I have read Dr. Furhman's Fasting book. But have not done any extended fasts. I do sometimes fast for a day or two but not normally all longer. If I remember correctly he doesn't recommend an extended fast without physician supervision.

    I have not read the book in 5 years though I did skim through it about 6 months ago. If you are interested in fasting it would be a good book to start with. Is that what you are asking?

    Alicia

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  13. Janet,

    I do the same thing. Like you I like to switch things up every once in a while just to be "cautious".

    talk to you later,
    Alicia

    ReplyDelete
  14. OOPs!, sorry for overloading you.

    I don't keep up with my blog, so I guess I am learning.

    forive me.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Naina,

    No worries, it is all good. Sorry I somehow missed your earlier comment. Google doesn't always send email notices and I rely on those to catch comments. Oops!

    talk to you soon, ;-)
    Alicia

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi there, I just found you and I think I'm in love!
    Your recipes look so yummy and I deeply appreciate all the hard work you obviously do when putting together your recipes.
    I printed off several to try and can't wait.
    I have been experimenting with a vegan diet for a few months now and I feel so good. You are so correct, the food we eat is directly linked to our health.
    My family too thinks we have gone "all granola" on them but I couldn't care less. They will learn to eat my new cooking or stop coming over.LOL

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi She Woke Up,

    Thanks for the nice comment. Those are always a pleasure to receive. My friends and family think we have gone all granola on them too. But since by blood pressure is now 95/55 and my cholesterol 147 (total) I could care less. Going healthy vegan was one of best decisions I ever made.

    If you have any questions about the recipes or ingredients please don't hesitate to ask.

    Alicia

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have left you a present at my blog! Please come take a look!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Brandi,

    Thanks I will be right there. I love surprises. ;-)

    Alicia

    ReplyDelete
  20. Noooo!!! Chia Chia Chia!!! Sorry I haven't been commenting, Alicia. I started work last week after moving to the Portland, Oregon area. But the good news is our Vitamix is coming tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Matt,

    Clearly you seem to prefer chia, I would love to hear why! :-)

    Congrats again on the new gig. But more importantly on the new Vitamix. You are going to love it!

    Alicia

    ReplyDelete
  22. Will someone help me to find more details about how to find a way to having an outstanding Flaxseed oil vegetable with omega nutrition dishes ?

    i want to create a awesome "more than reasonable" foods to my gust,
    in most circumstances they not much like natural foods to say the record ,
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    flax seed benefits

    ReplyDelete

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