Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, & Flax Seeds...Oh My!

Helllo, guys! I hope that your week is off to a great start. It's starting to feel a little bit like Fall around here, and I am not mad about it. I don't know about you, but I've had enough of the hot, humid, and sticky summer days. I'm ready for some crisp mornings, chilly nights, cozy sweaters, and sitting by a fire. :D

In today's post I wanted to give you guys the lowdown on chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds. I'm sure that you may have heard of each of these mighty seeds, but do you know what they really are or how to use them? If not, read on!


Chia Seeds

Let's start off with ch-ch-chia seeds! Sorry, I had to :) anyone else remember those commercials for chia pets? Anyways, what really are chia seeds? These small but mighty seeds come from a desert plant in Mexico called Salvia Hispanica and date back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. "Chia" means strength, and it's said that the Mayan and Aztec cultures would use chia seeds as an energy booster, which make sense since the seeds are packed with omega-3s, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. You go, chia seeds!

Two tablespoons of these mighty seeds contain 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor which makes it easy to add them to smoothies, yogurt, cereals, and rice dishes. Personally, my favorite way to use them is to add them into my Vitamix with my other smoothie ingredients and blend it on up! 

Some say that chia seeds can aid in weight loss, due to the seeds taking on fluid which may cause them to "expand" in your stomach, keeping you fuller longer. However, research has found no direct relationship between consuming chia seeds and weight loss. BUT, adding chia seeds to your diet is still a great thing to do, as they can add a great deal of nutrition to your diet!

Last thing to mention about chia seeds: If you're allergic to sesame or mustard seeds, on blood pressure medication, or on blood thinners, you should check with your doctor before adding chia seeds to your diet. 

Hemp Seeds

Alright, next up are hemp seeds. If you're a vegetarian, hemp seeds are a great way to add in some extra protein into your diet! These little seeds give you the complete nutritional power of hemp with their blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, high fiber content, amino acids, and magnesium. Magnesium can help with relaxation, blood sugar control, blood pressure, and even osteoporosis. I mean, pretty awesome, right?

Three tablespoons of hemp seeds give you 10 grams of protein (not too shabby), 14 grams of fat (this comes from those omegas so it's good fat), and 2 grams of fiber. So, while chia seeds are higher in fiber, hemp seeds are higher in protein. 

You can sprinkle these mighty seeds on top of your salad, in your smoothie, or even mix them in with your yogurt! 

Flax Seeds

Last, but certainly not least: flax seeds. I think that flax seeds may be most well known out of the three seeds we're chatting about. You can find flax in a lot of pre-packaged food like frozen waffles, crackers, and oatmeal. I bet if you haven't noticed that before, you will now!

Flax seeds are known for their omega-3 fatty acids, lignans (weird word, I know), and fiber. One tablespoon of ground flax seed has about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s and the lignans in flax seeds have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants = awesome. 10 points for flax seeds! The fiber in flax seeds also help things to keep moving through our digestive system which is super important! 

Research has found that consuming flax seeds can reduce risks of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and even lung disease. I mean, flax seeds seem pretty great to me...I'm in! 

Make sure to buy ground flax seed, not the whole flax seeds when you pick yourself up a bag of this magical seed. I like to throw my ground flax seed in my smoothie - you won't be able to taste it at all!

Alright, so there ya have it! I hope that this post was helpful for you and that you can now say you know what each mighty seed is, their nutritional content, and how to incorporate them into your diet. Thanks so much for reading, guys, it means a lot!

Question of the Day: What's your favorite way to incorporate these seeds into your diet?