Dietribes / Practical Practice

Tournament of Seeds Championship: Flax vs. Chia


Food Fight tournamentIt’s the final Food Fight! in our Tournament of Seeds featuring a battle between two omega-3 and fibre powerhouses – the ever-popular Canadian crop flaxseed and it’s usurper in popularity and press, Aztec warrior-nourishing chia seed.

Who will be the Tournament of Seeds champion?

flax vs chia

Flaxseed   vs* Chia
 $0.19 cost  $0.58
 76 kcal calories 107 kcal
 2.8 g protein 3.7 g
 5.9 g total fat 6.8 g
 1.07 g MUFAs 0.51 g
 3.3 g omega-3s 3.8 g
 4.0 g fibre 7.6 g
118 mg potassium 89 mg
 48 mg calcium 140 mg
 0.7 mg iron 1.7 mg
 52 mg magnesium 74 mg
 0.61 mg zinc 1.01 mg

No Baloney’s results? While flaxseed wins hands-down on cost, we give the nutritional win to chia seed. Tops in protein, omega-3s, fibre and several micronutrients, chia seeds also contain a higher concentration of lipid-lowering plant sterols (1).

This was an extremely close one and we went back-and-forth several times. Based on nutrients-per-dollar, flax wins in EVERY category, but in terms of nutrient content in 2 tbsp (as above) and nutrients-per-calorie, chia seeds take the proverbial cake in most categories. And who can ignore nearly double the fibre?

As with all Food Fight! battles, while we love comparing different foods and do crown a “winner”, that doesn’t mean you should forsake flaxseed forever! We love to use a variety of seeds on hot and cold cereals, yogurt and salads. The more the merrier!

*Nutrition information from the USDA Nutrient Database and Canadian Nutrient File based on 2 tbsp each of “seeds, chia seeds, dried” and “seeds, flaxseeds (linseeds), ground”. Cost based on organic Eat. Live. Be Happy brand from spud.ca (way cheaper chia!)

References:

  1. Ciftci ON, Przybylski R, Rudzińska M. Lipid components of flax, perilla, and chia seeds. Eur Lipid Sci Technol 2012; 114: 794–800.
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