Attention vegans and vegetarians: if you’re not incorporating flaxseeds and chia seeds into your daily diet, you’re missing out on nature’s best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids... those healthy fats that support things like cardiovascular health, eye health, brain power, healthy skin, hair and nails and much more.
And here’s another fun fact to consider: your body can’t make omega-3s on its own, so they have to come from the foods you eat every day. You also need an ample supply of omega-3s because they help your body make new cells and regulate a variety of important bodily functions. The good news is that you really only need about one ounce of either chia seeds or flaxseeds to get the healthy amount of omega-3s that your body needs.
Benefits Beyond Omega-3s
What’s another important nutrient that many of us don’t get enough of in our daily diet? Fiber! What’s one thing our body needs to function properly but something that many Americans probably get too much of from their daily diet? Cholesterol! (Although the debate about the “healthfulness” of cholesterol is still quite heated.)
The good news is that chia seeds and flaxseeds are both cholesterol-free and are packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber, which help promote healthy digestion and regularity. And the hydrophilic nature—or water-loving absorption nature—of chia seeds in particular makes them a favorite among athletes and anyone who’s looking to help curb their appetite and maintain a healthy weight: chia can absorb 10–12 times its own weight in water, expanding in your stomach to help you feel full.
Additionally, chia seeds and flaxseeds are loaded with antioxidants, which fight free radicals and convert them to harmless waste products that your body can efficiently eliminate. In short, antioxidants act as scavengers to help keep the body’s cells, tissues and overall health intact.
To top it all off, chia and flax are also excellent sources of protein, vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and magnesium. We don’t always hear a lot about magnesium, but it’s needed by every cell in your body and for over 300 biochemical reactions. The problem is that 60 to 80 percent of us don’t get enough magnesium in our diets. Fortunately, adding these amazing seeds to your daily diet can help solve the magnesium shortfall.
Ounce per Ounce, Chia Seeds Deliver More:
- Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon
- Antioxidants than blueberries
- Calcium than milk
- Magnesium than broccoli - see more magnesium rich foods
- Iron than raw spinach
- Potassium than bananas - see more potassium rich foods